Creative relationships bear all the same qualities as a emotional and romantic relationships.
You go into them with the same impulse, to share something intensely personal over an extended period of time, and during which you expose yourself, make a fool of yourself and become dependent on each other – and in the course of them you work out who the other person really is… well you get a very good idea of who they are.
Finding someone to work with, who you click and gel with is like finding a life partner – something that only happens a few times in your life. You’ll work with all sorts of people, and some of them will pretend to like you if there is money involved, that’s always the case, but someone who you carry with you – from project to project – that’s rare. Not impossible of course…
I’m thinking about this issue because I’m working with a variety of people at the moment, and it feels, just now – like I’m engaged in creative dating. Trying people out – edging round each other – wondering if we can take things forward. We meet for coffees, exchange emails – make plans – with the hope that it will lead to something more.
Some people talk a good talk, you think you’re clicking – there is laughter and energy at those meetings, but then when it comes to it – they’ll slack off and become fearful of committing themselves. The creative equivalent of slouching in front of the TV with a pizza box at their feet. Others will charm and smile, and the gaslight you through the project – jostling for control and making power grabs. I’ve just been “ghosted” by someone. Dropped for no apparent reason just as things were getting going.
Discussing this issue in these terms makes be consider two keys points. That creative relationships should be a two way interaction – but then if someone’s coming in on your project – working to your brief… then you have to leave them space to breath, make sure they know that their contribution is valid and respected. The other thing is to be careful about walking the line between pragmatism and exploitation. To not expect perfection from others, but also to let go of people if they aren’t committed or are bringing a project down (something I’m terrible at).
Of course – as noted above – all these issues are slowly nullified the more money is introduced into the equation (all profile…).
Just now – as I look around and try and set up new projects – it’s like I’m swipping away at a Tinder app…