I was never quite certain why we call a guide to doing something well the "art of". After much pondering, I realized that art is more than just a painting, sculpture, performance, or another expression of emotion. Art involves a creative thought process, unique to each individual, which is articulated through fine-tuned techniques. We all have a bit of artist in our personality and daily lives.

With this thought process it is easy to see how art is present in several parts of our lives. Therefore, knowing that art can be transferred to business, then what about the opposite? What about the business of art?

Breaking the stereotype that a businessman is not artistic, we can also break the common thought process that artists can’t be business savvy. Great art does not have to come while you are hungry, struggling to make rent, and anxiously awaiting the next commission. In fact, maintaining a stable business will allow you to focus on your work rather than just making ends meet. Focusing your creative skills on not only your art, but also your company will allow you to be successful in the business of art.

Make a plan. Every successful business must start with a strong business plan, including an art business. When beginning a painting, drafting a story, or choreographing a piece, you always start with an idea, growing that thought into a plan before execution. Your business is not different. Several small business organizations host libraries of useful resources to assist you in drafting your business plan. This will help you stay on track to achieving necessary goals and allow you to creatively plan the paths you are going to take to meet these goals.

Get organized. It is time to break another stereotype. To be creative does not mean you have to be messy. To grow and maintain your business, you need to get organized. Keep track of business leads, finances, and daily business needs. Just as you plan time to work on your art, preparing the perfect setting to concentrate, set aside time to tend to business needs.

Explore other resources for income and grow your resume. Art does not have to be your only source of income, just like acrylic doesn’t have to be your only medium. You should explore other resources for income. These can even be art related and enhance your art. For example, if you are inspired by the outdoors, perhaps you could find a part time job as a natural tour guide. You also have an excellent opportunity to share your talents and train the next generation of artists through private or group lessons. Growing your business to more than just producing and selling art can not only increase your revenue stream, but also your resume.

Build your brand and make it known. As an artist, you have spent time building your individual style and you must do so for your business. How are you going to portray yourself and your art to consumers? As an entrepreneur, you not only represent your work, but also your business. Participate festivals, shows, and other events to showcase your art. Network with other artists, gallery owners, and potential customers. It is crucial that you put effort into marketing efforts. No matter how great your art is, your business will only be successful if others know about it.

You can have it all – pursuing your passions and building a successful business. Transferring your creative skills from your art to your business will ensure your success in mastering the business of art. As you master your business development skills, you will be prepared for the next article in our series, how to sell your art by becoming a marketer and merchant.

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