Let us reminisce together. I first heard of Project Famous through Meetup in 2012, a social website MilTownKid got me into, though didn’t take advantage of until that time. The Meetup was created by Joey Broyles, and it fashioned itself as a safe and friendly environment to connect and create things, and would be proactive on getting all the projects we wanted done. Given my desire to create things and in desperate need of friendly connections, I jumped in and supported it from day one. Good things came about from our works. That much I can say as I look back on things, sad as I am about what happened in the long run.
I eventually moved to Madison in the hopes of working closer with those in Project Famous. It didn’t pan out. One – suicidal depression doesn’t leave you much creative energy to work with, and I’ve only been getting a turn around since June 2015. Two – leadership and participation was poorly understood. No one was being active with each other, be it presenting ideas or helping projects. It was as if people were waiting to be told what to do, rather than take initiative with others and create something.
This is what actually got me fed up and on my feet a little…and yet also lead to the path of my current decision, but more on that in a bit. About a year and a half ago I started being active with other members. I got tired of what I saw and started making something happen: asking others what they would like to do, what they have to offer, doing the logistical work of following through on plans, and making gatherings IRL rather than just over the Internet and by invite only. Being inclusive and transparent as I could.
Everything seemed to be working. Members began to talk now that there was something visible, to interact with and comprehend. Presumed leadership began to talk with me, and ideas of directions to take things began to form. I even took a financial hit to host a show at the Madison Art Hub called “ART NIGHT / FRIGHT NIGHT,” which I hope to write about at some point, because I never did get my feelings out on that. Point is, it actually felt like there was a collective again.
Then another Winter came, and depression sapped me of energy to the point I couldn’t work as before. Even worse, the efforts I put in which I thought would bear fruit didn’t germinate. There was hype, ideas, and halfhearted commitments, but when it came down to it no one seemed interested in being proactive with each other, least of all the presumed leadership. The original Meetup was closed in October 2015, and the only communication that comes out about Project Famous happenings is on Facebook. There is no internal communication within Project Famous about Project Famous or its members.
I have ever been known to stubbornly fight for things that have been lost long ago, and the illusory artist collective known as Project Famous is another one of those things. As of now, I am officially done supporting it. My vision of what Project Famous could be doesn’t line up with reality, and due to wanting to embrace as much reality as possible, it’s time to move on.
Right now, Project Famous is pretty much just a brand owned by Joey Broyles. Things are happening under the brand that would call itself Project Famous, or attached to it. What exactly those things are, who is partaking of those projects, and how well their creation can be attributed to Project Famous is not known to me. Again, the internal communication isn’t better than the public communication, and that’s a shame.
I have no ill will toward the brand or the people who have faith in it. I want Project Famous to succeed, if only because I enjoy seeing good things happen to people, and investments paid in full. I’m just annoyed at myself for feeling foolish at not accepting the signs earlier. The structure and environment of it is something that doesn’t work for me. And that’s okay. This is how relationships work, and this one needs to be redefined.
So…what happens next? Well, with the weight of this declaration off my shoulders, I would like to think I can start working on something that actually shows value. Home life, friends, family, lovers, artistic/creative endeavors I’ve let go because depression and sitting on my hands…you know, everything.
On the point of working with others, I still seek it. There are other associations to find in Madison and elsewhere, who appear to be doing my vision a lot better than Project Famous. Madison Community Discourse puts on a themed show every year, and has expanded into classes and other shows as well. The Bodgery has been on my radar just as long, and the benefits of joining sound too good to be true (is it?). Even the Hops Museum has something to offer, and giving more love to the Madison Art Hub wouldn’t hurt either. And to note, I am to assume I can always call upon artists I’ve gotten to know through Project Famous, and expect they can call on me as well. Again, I have always been about creating things, and my disassociation with a brand doesn’t change that.
Otherwise, here’s hoping to seeing the birth of creative works down the road. Because it’s a long one, and you’re better off leaving pretty things behind you as you go.