I have been spending a lot of time lately trying to balance being creative and being a business person, or should I say learning to be a business person.
These 2 things, at a first glance, just don’t seem to go together well, being a artist and being a business person. I think its cause there has been a huge disconnect create in our society that says if you are an artist you have to be a starving artist and if you make money doing art then you aren’t really a artist cause your work is commercial.
But, when I look back on even some of the great fine artists of the day like Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollack, Leonardo De Vinci, or Michelangelo, I recognize they must have been doing something pretty big to get there work seen by the public. After all the 16 chapel was a commissioned by the Pope. Doesn’t that make Michealangelo a artist for hire (a commercial artist) so to speak.
It also makes him a business man.
In some of my research I have been finding that being a good artist is only 20 – 30% of what it takes to be a successful artist. The other half is Hype!
Marketing and getting your work in front of the eyes of the many individuals out in the world that might actually like what you do. It takes a great deal of time and effort because you aren’t just selling your art you are selling yourself.
I always felt like even when I do a caricature I am giving a little piece of myself away to the world. Some people appreciate it and some people don't, but I always want to give whoever I draw for my best. Even when it seems to take me forever to complete.
In the end creating content is important, but sharing the content is even more important, and making a living from your content is the most important. To me being a starving artist is not noble, it's just an excuse to not work hard for yourself. People that don't see the value in what we do or that want us to sell ourselves cheap lack respect and understanding of how art truly effect our society.
So you have to step up to the plate, set the value for your work you feel you deserve and push you work out into the market place. In other words learn how to control your business life and create opportunities that will allow you to be a thriving artist.
Its ok to be a hobbyist, as well, but if you are trying to make a living as an artist you have to learn a lot more than just how to draw pretty pictures. It has been a long road and a difficult lesson to learn but a valuable one non the less.