More often than not, the underlying vision behind a great piece of art – a photo, a film, a painting, a play, a whatever – comes from a single source. Dostoevsky hatched the vision for The Brothers Karamozov, Andreas Gursky for his huge surreal images, Warhol for his Brillo boxes.
But in almost every case, making art, sharing it, selling it, giving it wings, and cultivating it’s adoption throughout popular culture requires that the creative piece touch a lot of hands. Fans, gallerists, DP’s, agents, Creative Directors, lawyers, assistants, partners, editors…the list goes on.
Generally speaking we are pros at one thing. And a most professional approach to making art and sending it out into the world is that you recognize this, recognize other professionals for what they bring to the table, and treat them with respect and appreciation. Gone are the days when people will work with a talented jerk for longer than a white-hot second. Gone are the days when an artist emerges from her basement with the next Ulysses by herself and lives wealthy or fulfilled and happily ever after.
In short, it takes a village.
Want to be a successful creative? Cultivate your village. Cultivate your network, your relationships, your support, your mentors and friends. Without them, your journey will be a short one.