How often do friends, colleagues, or people whose work you admire make verbal promises to join forces with you to do something amazing? How often do these individuals follow through and make good on that promise? How often does nothing materialize from those exchanges? And after you get over the fact that they're a bullshit flaker. After you find the strength to smile through future conversations and suppress every desire to bring it up again.
Do you ever think about the amazing shit that could've happened?
I do and the shit haunts me. What could've been, how far it could've gone and more importantly, what kind of profits would it have yielded? What type of excellence could've been achieved if this absolutely talented person had the amount of integrity and the sense of urgency I thought they had. Should I bring up the idea again and if I did, would they be receptive? Did I do something to make them opt out of the collaboration before it could start?
Back when I owned and managed a studio, I would often offer colleagues legit opportunities to make money in the space using their talents.
These opportunities came with almost zero conditions and more importantly the only investments I was asking from them was time and sweat.
I offered people chances to organize annual art showcases, weekly classes and even for them to operate and profit from the exclusive use of the studio. In every case I only asked for the minority share of profits, each ended with an enthused handshake or verbal agreement. Each time nothing came to fruition. This not only made me lose a lot of faith in the friends I made while pursuing a career in the arts. It made me lose faith in the art community at large. But I still chose to never bring it up, to be unbothered, to not come off thirsty. Playing it 'cool.'
Secretly telling myself I would never explore the possibility of collaboration with anyone else.
But I was wrong, when people flake on you, you need to address that shit. 'Remember when you said you would do this with me?' Is a more than valid response to someone flaking on you. Letting them know that they dissapointed you isn't 'extra.' And rehashing the plans with them and making better arangements to make it happen in the near future isn't a bad idea either.
-Earl 'Wolf' Davis