Over the weekend, I embarked on my inaugural artists’ “collab,” an experience that completely took me by surprise. I hadn’t realized how much of a phenomenon collabs had become until then, and I must say, the two days spent collaborating with a diverse group of about 15 fellow artists left me feeling truly inspired.

Hosted by the Queer and Abled Hawaii Artists Art Collective, the event extended an invitation for me to represent our local non-profit, S.P.A.C.E. (Seaview Performing Arts Center for Education), where I’ve been leading painting classes over the past year.

Gathering in a spacious art studio, we were encouraged to either initiate a new art piece or contribute to ongoing works started by others. Tables adorned with a plethora of art supplies and boxes brimming with found objects—ranging from organic materials to driftwood, discarded toys, and various odds and ends—beckoned us to delve into our creative realms. With an emphasis on play rather than striving for “high” art, each day offered opportunities to exchange knowledge, experiment with novel techniques, and foster a spirit of camaraderie.

It proved to be an extraordinary avenue for connecting with fellow artists while relinquishing any sense of ego. This experience has ignited within me a fervor to pursue future collaborations and extend the joy of collective creation to others.