Volume 3: Nov & Dec 2014

How To Start A Collective (Or Something Like That)

So if you’ve been perusing this issue of ARTWOLFE, you’ll notice we’ve been focusing on organisations in Namibia who are getting things done in various arts industries. Being proactive, making a difference, enabling art, etc. It’s all very exciting and maybe, just maybe – you want to do something similar?

Perhaps you and some friends have been wanting to start something for a while? Poetry readings or improvisational dance jams? Tai Chi in Zoo Park or a cycling gang to bike around Windhoek in the moonlight? A breakdancing crew or clothing exchange? Life is interesting and bizarre and wonderful things are waiting to happen! You can make them happen!

Here are some useful tidbits about how to start doing COOL SHIT.

– Nike was right. Just do it. When the idea for ARTWOLFE came into being, we probably spoke about it for a week before realizing that speaking about a zine didn’t in fact make a zine. So we wrote some articles and printed them out. We didn’t worry about the (countless) things we (still) don’t know about publishing, funding, printing, layout etc. We just started, and learnt along the way.

Starting is the most important. Plans and preparation are important also, but only insofar as they become a reality. At the end of the day you have to begin. 

– People. People are important, make sure you surround yourself with the good ones. People who start or help on projects with you can make or break an idea, a flow, a dialogue. It’s tricky to find the keepers, but don’t be shy to shop around if you really believe in your project – the people around you need to believe in your idea for something truly magical to happen.

– Fancy words. Sometimes to convince others (and yourself) that your idea is legit, you need fancy words. I really like the word ‘Collective’. It’s respectable and ambiguous at the same time, I often throw around, “Oh, we’ve started this artist’s collective” or “I’m in a dance collective” or something like that. ‘Initiative’ is also a good word, as are some terms like ‘project-based’, ‘enterprise’ ‘concept-driven’ (I’m making things up now). The trick is to be confident. You’d be surprised at how many people take you seriously. Which is the first step to being taken seriously.

– If it’s not on the Internet, it doesn’t exist. This is rapidly becoming one of the strange and disturbing truths about our world. So for youe idea/collective/dream to exist, make sure it’s online. Making a page or group on Facebook also is like a little booster to your project, a sort of wave of encouragement as your idea becomes a reality.

So yes! Pursue your dream! Start your collective/organization/business/art house/DJ session/pottery school!

And when you do, email us and we’ll write about it!

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