Collaboration in Visual Culture Learning Communities: Towards a Synergy of Individual and Collective Creative Practice

Andrea Karpati, Kerry Freedman, Juan Carlos Castro, Mira Kallio-Tavin, Emiel Heijnen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A visual culture learning community (VCLC) is an adolescent or young adult group engaged in expression and creation outside of formal institutions and without adult supervision. In the framework of an international, comparative research project executed between 2010 and 2014, members of a variety of eight self-initiated visual culture groups ranging from manga and cosplay through contemporary art forms, fanart video, graffiti and cosplay in five urban areas (Amsterdam, Budapest, Chicago, Helsinki and Hong Kong) were studied through interview, participant observation and analysis of art works. In this article, collaborative group practices and processes in informal learning environments are presented through results of on-site observations, interviews and analyses of creations. VCLCs are identified as inspiring, collaborative spaces of peer mentoring that enhance both visual skills and self-esteem. Authors reveal how identity formation is interrelated with networking and knowledge sharing. Adolescents and young adults become participants of global communities of their creative genres through reinterpretation and individualisation of shared visual repertoires. In conclusion, implications for art education from the VCLC model for creative collaboration are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Art and Design Education
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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