As an artist you HAVE to believe that your body of work has an Intrinsic value in the face of figures and paperwork to the contrary. It is so hard to approach meetings, offers and negotiations knowing that nothing on paper apparently supports this notion.
It’s a struggle and I struggle with it but if you yourself can’t retain the notion that your entire life’s work has a value and potential to grow beyond its humble position it will simply be impossible to convince a prospective investor that it does.
Remember that YOU have been investing in it for years and at the point you wish to decline an offer in the hope of better you will almost certainly be told by someone that this is risky. It is risky but so is ploughing every ounce of your time, energy and available funds into it. You’ve already done that bit, the hard bit, this is simply holding your nerve.
Half the industry runs on that fear, that this is the best you can expect out of it, so stick, don’t twist and don’t shout. Not everyone is trying to drive down price in concern of nothing but the bottom line. But EVERYONE will tell you they are in it for the music, this will only be true in certain cases and you have to get good at spotting bullshit when you see it.
I’ve never believed in the elusive and intangible “x-factor” nor do I believe that you get your “one moment”. This is the weaponisation of fear, if you’re talented and worked hard enough to earn an opportunity the chances are that isn’t the only opportunity you’ll ever be offered, it doesn’t work like that. If you haven’t had any yet well then there are likely to be a few around the corner or down the line or along the road or whatever your favourite analogy is.
People in this industry predominantly back a winning horse, most wait for it to be within a hair’s breadth of the finish line before lending their support to it. This is the most infuriating bind of the whole thing in my opinion. That the universal perception of your imminent winning then makes it all the more inevitable and conversely the widespread perception that you are still many yards from the line makes it all the more so.
You kind of need that one influential person to inadvertently misread the figures and correctly or incorrectly (not a distinction worth making) identify you as this year’s grand national favourite to win and thus it may well be so.
The only winning tactics are perseverance and self belief as I can see it. The rest is time and luck, neither of which can be controlled or circumvented. So you can go to a million masterclasses on social media strategy and all the workshops on co-writing, collaboration and creative collectives but it’s a waiting game. Like most things in life what you really need is confidence, hope and patience.
So it’s a thanks but no thanks this time from me, I’m waiting for a better offer than that…