in tandem

In the fall of 2020, New York based artist Petah Coyne, and I –  Canadian artist/author Danielle Krysa – started meeting online to share our work, perspectives, process tips, and goals. Very quickly, Petah and I realized what a huge impact our bi-monthly meetings were having on both of us. How could we possibly keep this new super power to ourselves?! Every woman should experience the same kind of supportive, female-powered creative partnership that we’ve found. And so here we are, at the beginning of a year long experiment (or longer if you love it), that Petah and I are calling “In Tandem”.

IN TANDEM : Two female artists, working together to move forward – both peddling, each steering at different times.

Step No.1 : Choose your “pARTner”

Yes, we’re putting the ART in pARTner! Make a short list of female artists you’d like to work with. You could pick someone in your current circle of creative friends / acquaintances, or reach out to somebody you’ve always admired – you might not know them very well now, but if they say YES, that won’t last long! Choose an artist that will help move your work forward, and vice versa. If you’re a painter who wants to start incorporating your own images, perhaps you should team up with a photographer. Do you admire the way someone sells their art without fear on Instagram, but you have no idea where to start? Maybe she’s your match. And whether you realize it or not, you’ll have support, advice and insights that you can offer in return. Here’s the thing, you don’t need to assemble a huge group, you just need ONE person to hop on with you.

Step No.2 : Make a Schedule

… and then commit! Yes, put those first few dates in your calendar immediately. This schedule is, of course, completely up to you and your pARTner. You can meet as often as it works for the two of you. Every Saturday morning, every second Tuesday afternoon – whatever makes most sense in your lives, but be sure you DO IT! If something comes up, fine, but reschedule ASAP. This will not work if you don’t connect with each other regularly.

Step No.3 : Talking Points

Again, deciding on the content of your get-togethers will be up to you and your pARTner. Arrive to each meeting with a list of at least three things you want feedback on, questions you have, etc. What was the biggest success you had between meetings, what was the biggest setback? The key to these conversations is honesty. Express what you truly want and what’s stopping you from getting there. Share the experiences you’ve had that pushed you forward or slowed you down. FOCUS on what you want / how you’re going to get there, and then do the same for your pARTner.

Step No.4 : Record

Most of these sessions will probably happen online because of social distancing – there’s also a pretty big chance your pARTner lives on the other side of the planet! We’d love for you to hit RECORD on your video calls for two reasons. One, it’s so helpful to go back and re-listen/re-watch them after the fact. Perhaps you can’t remember a resource your pARTner mentioned, or maybe you’ll learn something important by watching the way you talk about your work. And two, at the end of this year long experiment, it would be amazing to have video clips of hundreds of IN TANDEM journeys from women all over the world. If Petah and I are right, there will be some huge transformations for all of us between now and December 2021… and who knows, maybe there’ll be a short film documentary in there somewhere!

Step No.5 : Building a Community

If you and your pARTner would like to share your work / progress with everyone else in this women-powered global group, please hashtag your Instagram posts with #intandemart2021. By following that hashtag, you’ll quickly find so many other female artists sharing everything from new-to-you techniques, to calls for shows that weren’t even on your radar. Sharing (and hashtagging!) this information will make our female-powered community, and its resources, grow exponentially!

Step No.6 : Go!


*In Tandem, in action! This is a screenshot from our last call… and yes, that’s Petah’s studio!?

comments (11)

  1. Jenny /// 01.10.2021 /// 4:45am

    Petah HAS to write a book about her life. Your interview with her was not long enough. Thank you so much for introducing me to her, Danielle. This podcast has saved my life this year. It makes my lonely little non-studio, a little less lonely.

  2. the jealous curator /// 01.10.2021 /// 6:03am


  3. Linda /// 01.10.2021 /// 12:10pm

    Would this be a project that could include very new artists of all ages?

  4. Christine Sirko /// 01.16.2021 /// 1:31pm

    How did this past year effect your work ? Can we Zoom meet? #intandamart2021

  5. sue seeger /// 01.18.2021 /// 2:27pm

    So inspiring!! (As always– thank you Danielle!) A fellow artist and I who have shown together before are just starting to prepare for an October show and have decided to use this as a new way to approach it– more connected and seeing how this influences our work over the coming months. Very exciting– thanks!

  6. Christina Massey /// 01.20.2021 /// 7:20am

    LOVE Petah’s work, and jealous of your tandem conversations with her! Love this idea so much, am working on finding a pARTner myself and would be happy to share with my community on WoArtBlog too! Thanks so much for supporting and encouraging women artists!

  7. Pierce Jonassen /// 01.25.2021 /// 7:33pm

    None of my friends do art. We all play bridge. Between times I do my watercolors. I’d love to have an art friend who would critique my work

  8. Ellyn Zinsmeister /// 02.17.2021 /// 9:25pm

    I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this idea since I first heard the podcast but wasn’t sure who my pARTner was supposed to be. tonight I was chatting with a newish quilting friend and I knew it was her! I’ve shared this article with her and we are getting ready to make a plan. thanks!

  9. Emanuela Camacci /// 03.15.2021 /// 8:43pm

    So inspiring. I would like to be envolved in this project

  10. Melissa Louise bolger /// 01.01.2022 /// 7:42am

    It would be so wonderful if there was a directory of all the people in your network that would love to do this and sign up. Finding the right person to connect with is challenging. I would love to do this but not sure how I would find a person on the same page.

  11. Wendy Bradley /// 01.01.2022 /// 11:21am

    Hi! Not sure if this is an open partner-search, but in case it is, I’m ½ way through writing a book to help the next generations start their leadership journeys 100 steps ahead of where we started 60 years ago (no time to lose.). I know how to design collaborative, visionary organizations, but not how to design and illustrate a book to make this calling fun and lively! Do you have any ideas?! Happy New Year!

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