Dear Diane and Shaded Viewers,
The term professional networking mostly conjures up memories of formal cocktail parties, uptight board meetings or in some amusing instances, drunken nightclub encounters. Now, one online platform is looking to change that.
Enter Creators Connect, a multi-faceted online community for one-off and long term creative collaborations, all housed under twelve different categories ranging from digital to holistic endeavors. This week marks the relaunch of the site with a slick new template courtesy of Common Space Studio.
Just in time for the event, Creators Connect founder and CEO Marlo Kronberg sat down to discuss how dubious Craigslist postings sowed the seeds for the project, the advantages of digital networking and why creative collaboration brings out the genius in everyone.
What inspired you to start Creators Connect?
The idea initially came to me when I first moved to NYC in 2009. I wanted to be a magazine editor and was doing all of these magazine internships, feeling like my ideas had no currency. I desperately wanted to start my own magazine called Subbacultcha, with each issue infiltrating a different international subculture – from Japanese Ganguro girls, to shamans, to gypsies to international Elvis impersonators. Basically the raddest magazine in the world. Unfortunately, I didn’t necessarily know the people yet who wanted to make this happen with me. I felt like my big idea was going to waste.
Around this time, I was also always looking for ways to help out on photo shoots and films in order to broaden my horizons and support people who were doing things I believed in. I would search the Craigslist creative gigs section, but it was always full of postings looking for nude models (not in the good way) or video hoes. It was then that I first thought, “I wish there was a trustworthy, tasteful place online where people could post looking for creative collaborators”. Then I got a job as features editor at OAK NYC’s magazine, OAKAZINE, and we were always looking for stylists, make up artists, writers, etc. Again, I constantly wished my dream website existed.
I know my purpose in life is to help and support people in making their ideas a reality. I’ve always thought I was a fin de siecle salon den mother in a past life. It all kind of clicked one day that this crazy website idea might, in fact, be my true path. The rest is history.
What is the concept behind the site?
People who get into a creative flow on a regular basis are happier and when you find somebody you gibe with on the creative wavelength it’s an incredibly intense and sacred relationship. There are a million websites for finding romantic relationships – why none for finding creative kindreds? I want Creators Connect to be a champion for all humans who want to make cool things happen and meet like-minded people.
Even if someone already has a tight-knit network of really talented friends, sometimes that special person who will take their work and ideas to the next level is across the ocean. That’s why Creators Connect is international and you can see whether a posting accepts locals only or international collaborators.
It’s really important for different kinds of creators to cross-pollinate and help each other out. In this day and age, all the creative disciplines are getting increasingly bridged and informing each other. Because of this, we have categories for photography, music, film, writing/editing, fashion, web/digital, design/fabrication, performance, holistic, food/drink, and etc, and postings can be posted to more than one category.
The main thing when formulating how this site would function was that I wanted it to be really simple, with no need to put together a portfolio or answer a million questions. If you need someone for a project immediately, you post on Creators Connect and people who are available or interested will respond. You will get results. Plus, we’re invite only and people have to write about themselves in order to be considered for membership so there’s no spammers or shady stuff going on. There are profiles too, so users can further gauge if a poster is a good creative match before contacting them.
What makes Creators Connect unique in comparison to regular networking tactics?
A lot of creative collaborators meet each other by chance, which is an inviolably beautiful thing, but we’re in the age of the internet. It’s normal these days to first connect with lifelong friends online. The old John Lennon and Paul McCartney meeting as teenagers in Liverpool story is rare, and a lot of people are not reaching their potential or making their great ideas happen because they don’t have the right people around them yet, helping and inspiring them to get to the next level.
Also, if you’re an introvert or lack conviction in your ideas, sometimes it’s hard to immediately attract all the people you need in your life. Creators Connect makes it easier to get started on the ideas you might be too shy or unsure of to actually approach people about.
Plus, sometimes you have a very specific need and here you have a shot at finding someone who might not be in your friend group but would be willing to help you out in exchange for being a part of something they believe in.
What is it about the art of collaboration that you find so inspiring yourself?
Creative collaboration brings out the genius in everyone. Creative partnership is a lot like romantic love, and just as important in my opinion. To get the same references, to share the same sensibilities or have complementary sensibilities, to build off of each other and end up with something bigger and more powerful than both of you – that’s magic.
How can people get involved and what plans are lined up for this project develop in the future?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with some info about yourself to be considered for invitation. We soft launched in March and have close to 800 members now. Recently Alec Friedman, who is the epitome of a creative connector, came on board to shape and build a Creators Connect brand culture. We have our insanely beautiful relaunch coming out this week and some other interesting things up our sleeve to be revealed soon.
Hopefully some time in the near future we’ll branch out into an online magazine showcasing the work of our users and put on more events that champion the creative community. Eventually I hope Creators Connect grows to be a huge champion of creative communities around the world and a source of inspiration to many. ¡Viva la Creación!