Artists in the Business

If you want to make a living as a visual artist, take note of notable artists of today

Artists are known for having that special gift. Whether it’s in dance, visual arts, singing, or even acting. If going into business with these gifts, one must possess the knowledge of how the business operates to use these gifts to make a good living. Many times we’ve seen talented artists get taken advantage of or fall short in the business aspects of their respective industries. This is because they lack the knowledge of what it takes to successfully balance perfecting their craft along with learning and understanding the business side.

Management for business operations are often employed in these positions for the artists to focus on their art while the business professionals take care of the business aspects. Although this is a smart move, in order to become an all-around professional, there has to be some skillset in the business world to prevent bad deals, lack of revenue, and or ending up in a position where being a fulltime artist is no longer an option.

To have a basic understanding of the business world, one must take the time to educate themselves in some way to be fully equipped in stepping out the use their craft in the business.

RESEARCH
Research the type of business you are going into. For example, if you want to make a living as a visual artist, take note of notable artists of today. Watch how they are moving within the industry in communicating with art galleries and other businesses who use their work for marketing campaigns, branding, and exhibitions. Even go out on a limb and picking a successful artists’ brain in asking the important questions about how they are maneuvering within the business. You can also talk to the men/women behind the artist to get an understanding of their job duties in day to day operations.

READ
Read books, articles, and blogs about general business. Some may touch on business contracts to speak about the legalities within signing contracts and what the legal jargon really means. Others hint on the topics of marketing, accounting, and communications. Marketing is highly important to brand and promote your craft and who to promote them to. Accounting is helpful to understand how the money is allocated and what you’re actually receiving once your tasks are complete. In keeping up with where the money goes, you have a better understanding on how you are spending your investments and whether or not you’re getting a return on them. Communication is key. Learning business communication helps to build and maintain important relationships in your field. Know what to say and HOW to say it.

ASK QUESTIONS
If you are one of the artists who employ business managers etc., do not be afraid to ask questions to have a better understanding of how they are working for you. Sit in on a few conference calls and/or meetings so you know what type of deals are being negotiated for you. Weigh out your benefits versus the drawbacks.

To have a basic understanding of the business world, one must take the time to educate themselves in some way to be fully equipped in stepping out the use their craft in the business. Artists create art, that what they were put on this earth to do. However being knowledgeable about the business side will put you at a greater advantage for longevity in you career.

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