The Cowboy Collective is About You Making Things

OWEN EARL   15 July 2021

Why haven't you contributed?

I feel like this project has been a failure. This makes me very sad.

Today I went on a walk, and I listened to Songs of the Cowboy (vol. 01) and I realized that it came out in 2019: two years ago. The Cowboy Collective is not where I had hoped it would be by now, and I fear there is some fundamental flaw in this project’s conception or execution.

The mission of the Cowboy Collective is simple, to empower anyone to be a cowboy. That means you. I want you to write poetry, share photography, play music. There is a clear disparity when it comes to contributors to the site. If you sort by cowboy you’ll see that probably half the posts are by me. And the half that isn’t me is either people making music videos for that sweet, sweet, $1000 reward, or art that already existed in the world that has been reproduced on the Cowboy Collective website with permission.

I don’t want to be rich and famous and I’m not making all this cowboy art for the glory. Everything that I’m making for the Cowboy Collective is public domain and the intention is that it will become a tool for you to build off of.

That’s part of what the $1000 for music videos is about. Songs of the Cowboy (vol. 01) isn’t just an album; it’s here for the express purpose of being a jumping off point to build greater things.

I’m so deeply saddened by the state of the world these days. It feels like the worlds ending and I am powerless to do anything about it. I am powerless. Most of us are. To me the Cowboy Collective was my attempt at creating a kind of community where everyone would feel safe to express themselves and to share their stories. I think there’s power in coming together.

But I feel very alone.

I have failed to create what I set out to.