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Perspective | Morgan Coy

Founder, Monofonus Press

It's all about collaboration for this creative renaissance man.

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I may never be a person who is really good at one thing. My creative process is all over the map and I think that I need that kind of energy in my life. Every day I switch between different projects and mediums, that’s what I do, multi-media: designing, song writing, movie making, paper cutting, video making, and writing. But amidst that chaos of projects, there are two things that nail down my process a little: tools and collaborators.


I am a collaborator. I love to work with other people. I have my own individual projects that I am always working on, but I am also continually compelled to ask other people to try and make something with me. It’s a drive in me that doesn’t seem to be going away. Part of it is that it’s easy for me to come up with a creative project when I think about a person I want to make it with. Inspiration bubbles out of people’s personalities. Not that everybody says yes (and I have to edit myself from pitching collaborations all the time because I am already way too busy), but I have created long and short-term creative relationships with lots of people. For me, the overwhelming majority of collaborations in my life have been rewarding and fun.

I would argue that all creative work springs from a social spark, from a desire to share. Artists can be accused of being selfish, but they are also inherently givers. I believe that group creation is happening all the time whether we want to acknowledge it or not. There is collaboration through association. It’s what all culture is made of. We are social and connected, at least as much as we are individuals. It’s less individualistic, less about stars and more about constellations.


I think that this might be a golden age for inexpensive tools that do amazing things. I am continually inspired by what I can make for the cost of almost nothing, if I have the right tools and the craft to use them. Really good tools last a long time. Years! I have relationships with some programs that span back over a decade. I’m not anthropomorphizing software, but I am suggesting that these tools are mental entities, beings formed from thought and process, and they stick around and allow us to make albums, movies, video games, art, books, and social media connections.

I will always be a user of a pen, a piece of paper, a guitar, and a stove, but I’m also always looking for great digital tools, and when I get a new one, I have to use it to make something, or I feel like a jerk for having gotten it.

For instance, there is this free software called Mandlebulb 3-D that I’ve been using for a few years now. I’m not sure what lead me to it, but basically it uses fractal formulas to create virtual 3-D objects that look amazing. You can tweak and explore these objects to infinite levels of magnification. It’s insane math that I don’t understand, but I have learned to play with it. This year, I submitted a design to the Art Billboards competition that I made with this program. I also have a small solo show up at Birds Barbershop on East 6th Street showing prints of some of these objects. In a sense, I guess I would say I consider tools to be my collaborators as well. But they’re not as fun to have beers with.



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