How to marry business and art?
My good friend Tristan once told me one day that I inherited from the business mind of my dad and the artistic sense of my mom. Although it might sound weird to some people I have always approached my art with the idea that I want to sell it and make a good living from it. In my experience it has never affected my creative process : the place where art comes from is totally different than the planning and reasoning brain required for leading a successful career.
One of the artist that inspired me to start selling my work is Stephen Gilberry www.gillberry.com. Before I even started I went to him for advice for my career. He was extremely generous with all the information he had collected over the years. He is a father and his art is his sole income to support his family. When I thanked him for his help he said ” It is so important that artists know how to present themselves professionally. A show will attract more clientele if the artists have great professional presentations.” He is right, over the years I have seen that serious buyers are very appreciative of professional presentation.
For me marrying the business and creative sides is not difficult. Actually I see it as an absolute necessity if you want to make a living from art.
The energy I put in “running it like a business” does not take my heart away from creating. I realise that if I don’t do this, I will have to dedicate time and energy toward a second job, most likely in a different field… and this will not only drain my inspiration but also affect my career over the long term.
Most professional artists agree that 4/5 of the time is put toward the business side (that is updating websites, managing social media, organization of exhibitions, accounting, media, responding to emails, prospecting galleries, networking, creating presentation material, answering various calls for artists and applications to shows, creating newsletters, working on commission paintings, preparing speaking engagements, putting together workshops… just to name a few of the business activities of an artist!)
This is a lot of work away from painting but by working from home, I am always around my paintbrushes and creating art is always at the centre of my daily routine.
For me the advantage of art is there is no threat of competition. We all have our uniqueness and like Stephen says, being stronger together is to everyone’s advantage. On my blog I share my creative process but I also like to write about what I have learn from the business aspect of my career. I hope to be able to help and inspire others to pursue their artistic talents, take themselves seriously and be successful at it!
For more information on my artwork you may visit www.artbygaia.com