This spring I had the opportunity to collaborate on a Viking-theme wedding photoshoot.

Due to distance, I did my pieces separately from the other vendors. We communicated via a Facebook group and Messenger.

Here are a few lessons I learned!

1. Always have ideas prepared.

This isn't a negative lesson at all! I'm used to dealing with real weddings and a bride with a central vision that I execute. Some people, however, want the artist to contribute not only product but also ideas! I actually struggled with the freedom I had. I will develop a portfolio of ideas for future projects I'd like to collaborate on so I have something concrete to contribute.

2. Don't make sheaths without a knife or sword template.

The knife forger and I live in separate states. He created beautiful pieces and sent me the measurements, but I didn't have a knife with similar dimensions to work with. I made a few rookie mistakes, so I don't think the knife fit into the sheath. I hope the sheath was usable! It was one of my favorite pieces.

3. Give myself time to explore and make mistakes.

I'm in the stage of growth that still requires much time and trial/error. To enjoy a collaboration, I needed to give myself the time to work on the collab project and either a side project or a mock-up of the main pieces.

I genuinely enjoyed the process, and I hope to do more in the future.