Competition or Cooperation?

This is something interesting to think about for those in the world of art or creativity in any of its aspects. Anyone who studied arts in college like me will have noticed that everything is focused on being competitive and egocentric in many cases. And later, in some work environments, too. Especially in the world of textile and fashion design. Which leads me to wonder, are there other ways to approach being creative? Can you be creative in these sectors, leaving behind inordinate egos and destructive competitiveness? Why not admire what the neighbor has done? Why not learn from him? Will we not go further by joining forces and ideas?

According to the dictionary, cooperation is defined as: “… working together for mutual benefit.

FDR said that “competition has proven useful up to a point and nothing more, but cooperation, which is what we must strive for today, begins where competition ends.”

We as humans have managed to evolve thanks to competition, yes. But also to cooperation. In fact, cooperation is the basis of our development. Why not apply it to the creative world? To do something good must you END all of the above, must you CRUSH your competitors? Or maybe you can learn from what has been done before, combine your skills with other people’s? This may make the result even brighter. Bertrand Russell “The only thing that will redeem humanity is cooperation.”

My conclusion is that in the creative world there must be both (healthy) competition and cooperation. It is the combination of both that allows the human being to go further. Since cooperation without competition would imply that only one option is given.

True cooperation must be voluntary, which makes it compatible with the rules of a free society. Competition is nothing more than an accompaniment to it. In a society where freedom prevails, and that seeks progress; both must take place.

Now, there are ways of competing that could be considered “healthy” and others perhaps very excessive. I believe that the key is to focus on the competition from the point of view of wanting your own growth and development, not by wishing someone else’s failure. Take ideas and take note of what leads others to success, not by copying. Try to get higher, not by trampling anyone. Wanting to be better, without falling into the trap of extreme perfectionism. To be proud of what we have achieved, not for that reason feeling more than anyone.

An example of cooperating is creating your own techniques and paths, but not simply disdaining with everything that was previously done, with perhaps centuries of human learning, but LEARNING from what has already been achieved. Integrate it into our creations, or take it as a starting point to break with it. You can take new paths, but to break with the old you have to know it first.

It could be seen as a way of cooperating, because you make what someone invested time and effort in inventing and developing last and acquire new importance adapted to modern times. Now, I am talking about seeing each case, because in no way can plagiarism be seen as “cooperation”. But if perhaps you decide to incorporate techniques used in cubism in your art giving them an innovative touch (example, take photographs and digitally retouch them so that they are in cubist mode), I think that it could also be considered cooperation. Keeping a legacy alive, at the same time that this legacy brings something to you as an artist.

A mere example. And an eternal human (and artistic!) Debate, cooperation vs. competition. There is no versus. My conclusion, there is a fifty fifty to make things work.













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