The line between art and commerce has been effectively blurred. In a world where artists used to be the misfits of society – huddled in their studios, casting aside the traditional job and working to create solely out out of pure love for their craft – comes a new wave of what it means to be an artist.
We have watched as the recognition for creative jobs has skyrocketed and more people are realizing that passion can result in profit. No longer do we perceive an artist as one who struggles to pay their bills, yet instead we applaud them for their ability to effectively combine creativity and business to make their project ideas into a true reality.
There seems to be a notion that if you make money off of your art, you are in some way selling out. Being able to survive off of your work means that you threw in the towel and let corporate consumerism take the wheel. In a sense, it’s true. Making a living from your work is the equivalent to selling out. But why is that necessarily a bad thing?
Making a business from your art doesn’t make you less creative. It doesn’t make you less of a true artist or less of an advocate for those pursuing such a non-traditional path. Instead, thinking of your art as a business makes you smart. It means you’re visualizing the possibility of your work as sustainable, as something you could create for the entirety of your life and still pay your rent on time.
The Business of Your Art Makes You More Effective
Having a business focused mindset about your art is guaranteed to make you more effective in your production. While developing good work should always be done because of your interest in the subject, it doesn’t hurt to know that you can financially benefit in return.
When you have an artistic project in mind, you can develop it without ever truly needing to share it with the masses. Yet, this doesn’t exactly ignite the purpose of art. As a form, creative expression is meant to be analyzed, seen and discussed by others. Subjective in nature, art is meant to be shared in the hopes that it gives heightened clarity to an idea, culture or genre.
When you turn your art into a business venture, you have the ability to share, sell and distribute your work in a way that can be seen by a community. Whether you do this through social media, by creating written or visual content for a specific company, sell your work online or showcase it in galleries – these are all business models that make the creation of your art more effective.
You’re Creating An Entrepreneurial Mindset
By looking at your art as a business venture you are instilling a strong, entrepreneurial mindset. While some people place artists into the same category as freelancers or self-employed, it’s obvious that an artist deserves its own distinction. This is because as an artist, your creations are a direct representation of who you are.
While you probably never set out to make big bucks from your passion projects, framing what you develop as an object to be consumed will ignite the ideals of entrepreneurship. It isn’t to say that you need to mass produce your works in order to be recognized. Considering options such as limited edition prints, one piece of work that can be purchased through an exhibition or even physical books of your words or visuals that are produced in a small quantity – can allow you to turn your art into a business without creating a content machine.
Having a self starter mindset allows you to grow in your creativity. You can now think of new ways to allow your work to be seen, focus on the delivery of your projects and even develop a plan of execution for your future ideas. Once you have the idea that you want your work to be consumed, critiqued and appreciated by society, you will see yourself as the CEO of your own artistic journey.
This Means You’re Innovative, a Go-Getter and Ahead of the Curve
It’s important to remember that business and art can coexist in a wonderful way. Instead of imagining being an artist as an unworthy pursuit that will leave you high and dry, you can reconstruct this career choice as a fulfilling and worthwhile adventure.
If you see the potential and possibility of your art as a sustainable business, you are already ahead of the curve. Your visualization of the possibilities that lie in creating something that can sustain your lifestyle and even end up being a lucrative platform shows innovation and a go-getter spirit.
In all, viewing your art as a business will make you a more open and effective creative. You will be able to put purpose behind what you create. You will be able to afford your lifestyle, enjoy your life and invest your profits back into the projects that you care about the most.
The idea of combining art and commerce is a recipe for a more powerful and positive artistic future. As artists continue to employ their business mindsets, the community and reputation of being an artist has no choice but to grow and expand. In your efforts to be truly successful, think of the combination of your art and business as a spark that will ignite a lifelong creative fire.