ARTIST INSIGHT | Creative Partnerships

Artist, Architect and Co-founder of Under the Radar LOFT JAVID shares his best practise on building healthy, successful and creative partnerships. Javid is currently based out of 185Augusta, a live-work studio-gallery representing toronto community-based artists


Top 5 Tips on Creative Partnerships

1.  Transparency

Know what you want out of a relationship, and find a way to clearly represent that. Be honest with yourself and your potential partner - do not shy away because you feel they may not want to commit. This is the best way to manage expectations and understand what exchange of services and what benefits each party is providing/receiving during your relationship.

2. Research

Get as familiar as possible with your potential partner - be it an individual or organization. Check them online, check out their tweets, take them out for a coffee, invite them to an art show. The way people conduct themselves informally is as important as their professional personality when it comes to the creative sector - we often blur the lines between social and working circumstances, so you need to make sure you can be comfortable and productive with a partner before building on this relationship.

3. Experimentation  

Get your hands dirty quick and test how powerful your partnership can be. Create a circumstance where you can collaborate and design/create something quick and fast to learn about one another. This could be as simple as an "exquisite corpse" exercise - the goal is test your chemistry in a creative, informal manner where you and your potential partner have nothing to lose.

4. Risk

Accept challenges during the course of a project with a new partner - face your weaknesses head on and trust that you can overcome whatever deficit you believe you may have in terms of your previous experiences. We are very good at playing to our strengths, which is always important, but we can only grow when we test our abilities in areas that are new to us. At the very least, you will become familiar in an area or skill set you previously only witnessed as a by-stander. 

5. Instincts - Trust them

They are crucial for creatives - you must be able to rely on your instincts and intuition to harness the power of spiritual energies that flow through all our endeavors. Train yourself to listen to your instincts by free writing after meetings, freestyling, or just telling the story of your encounters with a close friend - these unconditional narratives allow yourself room to react without preconceived notions to your experiences, and make decisions that are not only rational, but that feel right.



Javid’s interest in social innovation drives his expression as an artist-designer. Incorporating a range of techniques, from brush and spray can to 3d-modelling and graphic design, his process can be described as a series of experiments in multi-disciplinary platforms. Javid is currently based out of 185Augusta – a live-work studio-gallery representing a collective of community-based artists in Kensington Market, Toronto.

As a street artist, JAH has been painting murals since 2000. His work blurs the critical lines between graffiti, mural art, vandalism and revitalization. Co-founder of Under the Radar – a social enterprise of the LOFT – Javid is committed to youth engagement, mentoring emerging artists in the process of developing sustainable art and design projects.
As a student of architecture, Javid is particularly interested in redefining public spaces within communities experiencing marginalization in the City. Currently, Javid is in the final year of his Masters of Architecture degree at the University of Toronto, developing a thesis that considers how graffiti art in the digital age can impact architectural design.