Monday, January 24, 2011


It's a tough thing being a solo artist, having to rely on your own drive and motivation to get you through some of the darkest times. It can be a lonely occupation, one which can end up having go round and round in circles, it would seem. Whilst i have discovered my own ways to get things happening within myself, it remains a constant natter at my door, turning me inward more often than not, as i find myself getting in the way of myself.

Sharing and Caring
Sharing your journey in a partnership is delicate. The only way it can truly work is if you have a give-and-take relationship. Everyone involved needs to be flexible and compassionate, as some things may matter more to one person than the other. Some tasks, (such as the business end of things), can take some negotiating, even in the simplest of terms, such as who is going to do what. It's hard to find a good, long-term relationship of trust, action, and equality. In some ways it's like a good marriage, where people are prepared to flex and grow with the times.

If indeed you are one of the lucky few to find such a gift of partnership, most important of all is communication. In this age of electronic comms, things can get lost in text translation, so keeping things real as often as possible is probably a good idea. If you live or work close by, this can be as simple as having a weekly beer at the pub to chat about the week ahead. If distance separates you, (something more and more common), tools such as SKYPE can keep you in touch face-to-face for free, across the globe.

Who Does What
You usually find that some peeps are good at some things, whilst others are good at other stuff. Working out which stuff comes easily to whom can make a huge difference. For example, if one of you is more comfortable on the phone, then it makes sense to have that person make a lot of the calls. Tech folk should obviously take-on the tech tasks, and writing tasks should fall to the one who is most comfortable with that. This can make a HUGE difference to how you feel about the workload and the peeps involved. If you get stuck on something, see if you can delegate.

The Creative Stuff
Of course the foundation of any good creative partnership is the creative arena, which was probably what drove you together in the first place (though partnerships arrive through all manner of needs). Maintaining a good creative practice will keep you solid on the business end. Momentum is so important. It shapes part of the feeling, and the knowledge that you're working on something that only came about because of a team effort. This is what we fall back on, when all the other business stuff feels too hard. It's what you will keep coming back to, so keep it moving. After all, at the end of the day, it will be what you showcase. No one will see all the 1000s of hours you put in to the website, the opportunities you chased, the arguments you had, and the procrastination you constantly felt at your heals. They will see the art. That's all they will have, so make it good.

MuscularRose aka Peter Grigoriadis & Tania Rose

Be Real
The reality is that people also have lives outside of the project. You can't expect people to put the project before all else, even though you yourself may be at times prepared to do so. Most artists also work a day-job for a living, have families, and a social life. High expectations can result in feelings of neglect and frustration, so you need to be realistic. If someone can only put in a few hours after work each week, but you're wanting more from them, you might have to adjust your thinking to save you from self-inflicted pain. Likewise, not everyone is going to be able to answer emails and messages straight away, even though to you it might feel urgent. Patience and understanding are two of the most fundamental assets you can have, as you'll be doing everyone a big favour.

We all want results, but everyone has different expectations. If you communicate your very least expectations to each other, things might be easier in the long run. For example, if you are working towards an exhibition or an album release, then having your art on gallery walls or a box of freshly pressed CDs in your hand might be a wonderful and realistic goal. Selling your art might be a secondary goal, one which you work towards. If the whole basis to your partnership is based on making lots of money, you may be in for a rough ride. Expectations of this kind of outcome are pretty freaky, and can become highly stressful and intense. Not to say that you cant have this goal, but if you look at things in a stage-by-stage manner, you'll have a much more enjoyable ride.

Partnerships are people. This must never be forgotten. No matter how far you've come, what you have done, or what didn't happen, it's all about the personal journey. We are feeling, breathing, human people, so a partnership is all about that. It's a shared journey of a meeting of souls, a walk down the same path, a place where we meet, evolve and nurture each other. Sharing this journey, and taking a path you wouldn't take on your own, can be one of the most extraordinary and precious things you do. With the right people, you can create lifelong working relationships, deep friendships, and and understanding that goes beyond words.

Above All Else
Treasure these things for what they are. People come together for many reasons, and often out-of-the-blue. They are gifts, special chapters in our lives, taking us to new places within ourselves, and providing us with new opportunities of growth and exploration. If we learn from them, we can only become better human beings.