Artists tend to be reclusive creatures.

Despite propensity toward isolation, it has been said that art cannot be created in a vacuum. It thus behooves the artist to make periodic return-visits to civilization after lengthy internal retreats.Creative Collaborative, an organization of artists based in Utah Valley, was founded to serve this very purpose. A small group of artistic virtuosos, tired of flying solo and striving to make ends meet, gather for artistic inspiration and encouragement.

Since the group’s formation at the beginning of the year, their rendezvous have gained momentum and grown in size. In May and June the group opened their doors to the public and invited inquiring minds to join their ranks.

The four founding members of Creative Collaborative come from diverse backgrounds. Melanie Burk is a designer, commercial artist, and founder of Fifth and Hazel; Alma Loveland is a designer, pattern-maker and co-founder of Ollibird, a company that produces digital artwork; Justin Hackworth is a photographer, nationally-renowned for his wedding imagery; and Sarah Jane is a children’s book illustrator and fabric designer. Despite their sundry skill sets, they are united by a common objective.

Creative Collaborative’s mission, as described by Hackworth, is to “Work together to solve each other’s problems… Especially in regards to improving business skills and generating more paid work.”

The group also hopes to dismantle the spirit of artistic competition among members of the community. Burk describes on her blog a pivotal moment in her life when she shifted her perspective from viewing fellow artists as friends, rather than enemies. “This changed everything.” she said, “I started to learn from other artists. Then, I started to collaborate with them. And when I started collaborating, I started getting better as an artist. And then I started getting more business.”

All artists are welcome, no matter where their passions lie. They hope to create an intricately woven network of artistic opportunity to individuals of all disciplines.

The next meeting is Wednesday July 13, 7:00 p.m. at 1 East Center Street #214 in downtown Provo

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