A Brief Examination of Creative Togetherness
by Ali LaBelle & Alysia Alex
Alysia: Okay so, let’s tell the people how we met.
Ali: You came in for an interview at our old job — I was looking for someone to work with me on building an artist program.
Alysia: Yeah, like, a person who would work with artists to create work for the brand in a way we felt good about.
Ali: Yes exactly, and we ended up being sort of partners? Like, I’d build some art direction, then you would find a bunch of artists that would make it happen, and we’d work together to work with those artists and turn their work into products and things. And we sat next to each other.
Alysia: And talked all day long…I’m sure everyone around us was so annoyed.
Ali: Totally. But we were, like, always riffing off each other!
Alysia: Endlessly talking about podcasts and music videos and stuff we’d read.
Ali: It was so sad when we didn’t work together anymore and there wasn’t anyone on my left to turn to and say “Ohmygod did you see…”
Alysia: I know. It was an adjustment.
Ali: But now you’re doing something cool…
Alysia: Now I’m at ArtCenter, where I help students prepare themselves for real life.
Ali: And I’m freelance creative directing…the broadest title on planet earth.
Alysia: But we’re better friends than ever?
Ali: I think so. I mean, we’ve done couples costumes.
Alysia: And we have regular 6-hour dinners.
Ali: Really, really long dinners. You’re my favorite person to ask for advice, especially creatively. Like, because we know each other so well, I feel like you can get into my head and see what I see and help me work through it. Like I can just look at you really intensely and you’re like, yep, mind read, here’s what you should do.
Alysia: I always tell people you’re my friend but more importantly my creative soulmate. It’s not even that we have the same style or thoughts on everything. It’s more about the ease of idea flow that happens when I get to access your brain and visa versa. I think because we get to tap back into that dynamic of helping each other make our projects stronger or just being there to offer general support and cheerleading.
Ali: And it’s extra fun that we like to do a lot of the same things. We could do them alone, sure, but it’s a million times more interesting to do them together.
Alysia: Exactly! I think we both can agree that there’s a lot of joy and power in being together, especially being creative together.
Ali: “Creative togetherness.”
Alysia: That’s it! So it makes sense we’d focus our syllabus on just that — a look at the many manifestations of “creative togetherness” across music, friendship, art, and pop culture…people doing things they love with the people they love to do them with.
Ali: Beautiful. That should be the tagline for our book. No one steal that!
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