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Collaborâte with Charlotte Exton & Maisie Nevin

collaborâte - Charlotte Exton



Today we'll be interviewing Charlotte Exton (Graduate of our Leadership & Ministry course in 2014) & Maisie Nevin (Graduate of our Leadership & Ministry course in 2016). We're featuring them on our blog today for their collaboration in photography. 

Tell us about yourself.

What do you do for work?

Charlotte Exton (CE): Full time Photographer at and on instagram.

Maisie Nevin (MN): Well I have a part-time life; I am a part-time photographer on instagram, a part-time nanny and a part-time retail worker.

What's the dream for you?

CE: To have my own photography studio, space and offices with multiple staff with an international reputation, if all we are talking about is work. Otherwise give me the ocean, a big family, and everything and anything I can do to build the kingdom of God :)

MN: The dream is to become a full-time photographer, working with other creatives (aka Charlotte #studiodreaming) and travelling the world seeing and shooting the things I love.

Let's talk about creativity and collaboration.

Why is collaborating important to you?

CE: I like collaborating because you get to participate in something you are passionate about whilst making memories with someone and building relationships with them.

MN: Collaborating is important to me because I love working and creating with other people. (who doesn’t love to do something they love surrounded by people they love??) I also learn so much from others when working and collaborating together; you get multiple minds and multiple ideas. 

How has working with friends who are creative helped you?

CE: It’s fun, it’s inspiring, teaches you skills you don’t know, has the potential to get more work, you become a trusted recommendation, opens up job opportunities

MN: It has helped me in multiple ways. It has helped me to see the potential I have because the creatives I have in my life are so supportive and encouraging. I have learnt so much from working with others and it has also opened up so many doors to different jobs and opportunities. But most importantly it’s fun!

How do you collaborate well with people who have different creative strengths to you?

CE & MN: If our degrees have taught us anything, you must accept the possibility of tension through collaboration, you must seek to understand rather than seek to be understood. Each collaboration will have a different brief, so know your role in the collaboration; are you in charge, is it a 50/50, and make sure you stick to your role. Make sure you communicate your role to those involved, you can’t expect what you don’t express. 

Be flexible, see the possibilities of the now, reject perfectionism, hold onto excellence. And finally, your strengths and weaknesses will change on the job you are doing but that is always a place to grow and learn something new! 

Have you ever felt your creativity made you feel isolated or different or misunderstood?

CE: The pursuit of a dream can be isolating because you can’t rely on someone else believing in your dream for you. I don’t think you really understand what it feels like to be understood until you sit down with someone who is like minded, and striving for similar goals. 

MN: I didn’t realise how isolated I felt in my dream until I was surrounded by people who were encouraging me in it, and fully understood where I was at. I am stepping out into the unknown and am only relying on my hard work and persistence so to a degree I think I will always feel isolated in that because it’s my dream but having like-minded others around me and supporting me is a real help.

Have you found ways to overcome that feeling?

CE & MN:  First and foremost they key is prayer, but also finding other creatives that can support you and believe with you.

What would your advice be to someone who is feeling that way?

CE & MN: As Christians it would be remiss of us if we didn’t share our experience about how God can come into the centre of our creativity and dream. Whether you are feeling creatively misunderstood, isolated or different, none of it matters if your identity isn’t in God. Once we bring God into the centre of it all He takes the load off of us and our dreams/creativity become fruitful. 

It is also ok to feel isolated, different or misunderstood, because there comes a point in every dream, career or project that you have to stop and reflect on what you’re doing and where you’re going. Creativity comes in seasons, some seasons you will feel like you have nothing to give, no ideas and others you will have such an ease, ideas coming from every angle and some seasons you’ll feel like people care about your work and other seasons it may seem like they don’t but learn to enjoy and appreciate your own work before you expect anyone else to.

Thanks for reading.

#Collaborâte is an initiative of C3 College. Our aim is to increase the appreciation of collaboration and community in the creative process because sometimes the genius we need is locked up in the relationships we have.

We’ve seen that a lot in our C3 College creative arts courses, and if you’re considering using your creativity for Godly purposes, we’d recommend you spend some time studying with us.

Also, if you’d like to see C3 College students exploring collaboration in performance, we’d like to invite you to Space (a collection of creative works) on November 25/26. Click here for more details.