Sometimes we just need to let things sit and settle and the answers become clear. Other times, we still keep tossing and turning the options over again and again hoping we'll find some new angle.... and sometimes we have to find ways to meet ourselves in the middle somewhere.
I decided that while I did not like the arrangements, I simply could NOT keep my work out of this book if they would want me in it. I decided that the opportunity to have my work represented in this collection was worth making a free contribution... but I would limit what they could use and they could only use images we agreed upon. So I am making my selections now and hopefully they will agree to show one maybe two of my sculptures. But that is all I am willing to give to a project when others will be making money from the book but the artists will not. It is not an ideal way to conduct business, but there may be some good still to come, we shall have to wait and see. If a children's hospital commissions me for a big project, or a large Garden centre somewhere, it will have been worth it.
Now, on to the tale of another situation similar to this with a different plot twist. Several weeks ago I got a surprise phone call from a website that I've been a regular follower of for years and years. It is an Astrology site and there are many really excellent writers who contribute weekly to the site. It's all very collaborative. Some of the subject matter is of little or no interest to me, but on the whole it is a nice community of spunky and thoughtful people.
Every year they put together an annual report. It is basically taking a peek into their collective crystal balls to see what the upcoming year may hold for each Star(sun) sign. The report is very in-depth and remarkably canny in the detail and scope. This year they were hoping they could use some of my photography for the project...would I be interested?
Here was a case where I knew that the work would be seen by a smaller number of readers and while folks might enjoy it, they'd be coming for the reports, not the art. Still, the group works very hard at being creative collaborators and I admire them for that. I knew that it was most likely going to be a swap for some of their services since they are a young and fresh company with not very deep pockets. I was fine with a trade as I believed in their collaborative business model. I thought about it for about 15 seconds and said "Yes" to the woman on the phone and we had a few good laughs about the timing (for other reasons).
I was able to come up with a lot of images for them and it took me the better part of a day to make them all ready and upload them to her. I even managed to get them turned in a week or so early. It all felt really good and they were very kind and gracious for the use of the work. And I thought that was the end of it.
A week or so later, I get a call... turns out, they need my tax ID number. I was puzzled...this was for a trade, why did they need my ID? Well, they had some funds after all and they could send me some $ if that was alright with me. Amazing! And it was a nice, generous fee too, not just a token gesture. So, this just made my week, and offered quite a contrast to the book deal (which I am still going to do).
So you just never know. But it is nice when you feel that natural "Yes" come right from the heart, and when it is met, honoured and reflected back with the same integrity that it was given....well, it just simply feels great to have it come full circle like that.
If you are interested in checking out the readings you can find them here: http://planetwaves.net/pagetwo/ . I've used this service before and I can say that the readings are quite good and I found them to be very helpful. The price is very reasonable compared to what other readings are and you get a lot of goodies with each report. They make a fun gift too...and hey, this year there is some unusual photography to go along with the readings! ;-)