COLLABORATION OR COMPETITION? THERE'S POWER IN BOTH CONCEPTS

Written & Styled by Sharra Greene

From "My Sista's Keeper", Featuring Tene'A Cummings and Dominique Harris and shot by Damon Rice.

From "My Sista's Keeper", Featuring Tene'A Cummings and Dominique Harris and shot by Damon Rice.

A lot of major brands and business in the fashion and style realm as well as other industries are taking a stand for the idea of "Collaboration Over Competition", essentially creating a movement that empowers the idea of individuals coming together to achieve a common goal as opposed to individually competing to get there. This movement has a powerful message that caused me think about the different benefits of both competing and collaborating in order to progress in a career, and even in life in general. I believe that both concepts can bring out the best in a person both personally and professionally, I explain how below. 

The Ideal Concept of Competition

     The idea of competing for some sort of supremacy, whether it be money, a repuation, or even clientele, often has a negative connotation behind it because of the often insecure, immoral and sometimes mean spirited nature of people. However, when competition is done with authenticity and good ethics, it can serve as a tremendous benefit for those who are constantly striving to grow within their craft.

    As a style creative, I am not necessarily just studying those in my proximity who are building a brand within my field, but I am looking beyond, at the ones who are or seem to be "winning" the way that I want to win. When I do this, I'm rarely ever looking to compare my chapter 7 to someone elses chapter 20, as they say. But instead, I am proposing a challenge to myself to create work that I truly believe is on that level. I truly believe that by challenging yourself to compete with the best, you can literally only get better in the long term. I believe that when someone is receiving the things that you want, one of the most effective things to do is to challenge yourself to create work that could stand side by side with theirs. This type of competition can be done without announcing, sabotaging, or bashing someone else. Over time, the progress will definitely speak for itself. 

My Sistas keeper2.jpg

The Ideal Concept of Collaboration

Though I appreciate healthy competition, it is no secret that I am pro collaboration. Most, if not all of the posts on The Walking Art Blog are a result of a collaboration with other bomb creatives. I absolutely love the idea of a group of individuals leveraging each other's strengths to create a collective work of art. Looking back at my journey as a stylist from when I first started to now, one thing that I've learned is how to be selective about who I choose to collaborate with. When I am either seeking or deciding whether to accept or decline a collaboration request, I am looking to see if we are all on the same page, and if our collective efforts would add value of some sort to each individual involved, whether that be financially, professionally, or artistically, the value needs to be there. When those factors are involved, that is when the magic happens. That is when everyone involved can utilize the results to take themselves and their work to the next level, whatever that level may be for them because it really is different for everyone. 

Embracing Both

I am truly learning to appreciate and embrace both competing and collaborating because of what the two combined could do for me as an artist and as a business woman. My advice? Don't just stick to one. Explore both strategies for yourself in the best way that you can and witness your own growth in whatever it is you're going after. 

My Sista's Keeper.  Tenea is wearing a vintage faux leather little black dress with fur trim, Inari fishnet stockings, vintage earrrings and rings, thigh high boots, gold scale necklace from my wardrobe collection. Dominique is wearing a vintage Janine New York geometric print metallic dress, Public Desire Kassidy gladiator heels, Urban Outfitters choker, bangles, rings, and earrings from my wardrobe collection

My Sista's Keeper.  Tenea is wearing a vintage faux leather little black dress with fur trimInari fishnet stockings, vintage earrrings and rings, thigh high boots, gold scale necklace from my wardrobe collection. Dominique is wearing a vintage Janine New York geometric print metallic dressPublic Desire Kassidy gladiator heelsUrban Outfitters choker, bangles, rings, and earrings from my wardrobe collection

Credits:

Photographer/ Creative Director: D. Rice Photography

Models: Tenea Cummings and Dominique Harris

Styling and Creative Direction by Me

Click here to see this full shoot!

Stay tuned for more inspiration and insight coming very soon to the blog.

Sharra,

"The definition of walking art."