Warning: Doesn’t work well with others

In the art world, it is inevitable, you have to work with others, especially if you are like me, who works somewhat with print in the visual arts and can’t draw their way out of a paper box.

Seriously, my stick figures don’t even look like a 5 year old drew them.
My excitement of my visual art idea quickly fades every time I think about having to work with others because frankly every experience minus one (my children’s book project) that I have had, had majorly failed.
It started back when I was a fresh-eye college student. I had a plan for a fem-fatal graphic novel and a friend who was an art major in a near-by college. He had already had some successful with his post-it-note paintings, so I was majorly excited when he approached me about a collaboration.
I spent the better back of four months, drafting and conceptualizing a story (it sits still on my laptop, I need to rework it for a novel now), sending him drafts, getting feedback, waiting for the drawing to begin.
He even sent me a couple of rough sketches.
But then, I got a boyfriend.

Then poof. Nothing. Nada. Won’t return my phone calls/text.

When he finally gets around to answering me, he comes up with the excuse that I’m not invested (after i did all of my end of work) and scraps the project.

Months, hours, days wasted on a script I will have to completely retool to be readable.

I would like to say this is an isolated incident, but it isn’t.

Time after time, other artist I have worked with have bailed, and it doesn’t matter if they are “professional” artist or a “novice”, but I end up pointlessly excited and doing way to much leg work to have it fall through.

I’m starting to feel like I’m cursed, and I’m starting to want to mostly go solo, but art for an extrovert isn’t much fun when you are always solo.

Has anyone else had this experience?

7 comments on “Warning: Doesn’t work well with others

  1. Well clearly you’re “artist” had a different type of “partnership” in mind. But yes, I think it is difficult to find a collaborator who shares your passion and vision for a project. I think writers “see” the imagines of our stories even if we don’t have the talent to turn the words into pictures. The unfortunate “answer” is that the best partnership will be the one where you “Pay under contract” for the service…otherwise your priority will suffer their priorities. Find an artist, get a price, try funding through kickstarter…

  2. When doing a collaboration, communication is a major component. If the person you’re working with doesn’t contribute and goes on indefinate hiatus…well, their loss!

    There’re many times where I’d like to work with other people. Sharing the creative process with others that have the same passion is awesome. Yet, it’s not foolproof. That’s why I work alone most, if not all, of the time. The only person you can count on is yourself. If you can feel comfortable illustrating your own work, then do it. The result can add a tangible depth with your unique vision.

    Don’t sell yourself short…take a chance! Best of luck to you!

  3. I think and this is me still flying solo… collaboration there has to be some kind of chemistry of two sharing passion for what they are doing. As Raymond so nicely put.

    They say a picture can tell a thousand words. but to describe a picture we need a million words.
    Don’t give up, you give it your all every project you have or do. nobody could ask more of you. all we do is ask them to do the same.

  4. A good friend of mine who is in comics has had this happen to him quite a few times. 😦 It can be hard to find a good person to work with.

  5. I’m lucky enough to have found a partner in the arts who is just as dedicated as I am, but it took quite awhile. Hang in there – you’ll find the right person someday. 🙂

  6. Seriously, Rachel……..writing for a living would be SO much easier if we didn’t have, like, people to work with (said without a trace of snark at all). I’ve got 20 years in of trade journalism, so if you’re looking for good artists, I’ve known a bevy. Happy to do introductions if you want.

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