Day 154: Artist As Entrepreneur

Posted by on Jun 2, 2012

Day 154:  Artist As Entrepreneur

Day 154.  I received a package yesterday.  It contained a 12×12 canvas of my friend May Charter’s photograph.  I purchased it from her artist Instacanvas page, which is apparently an offshoot of Instagram?  I pretty much know nothing about either one because I’m not a photographer.  The photograph on the canvas is beautiful.  It was super easy to order.  It was fairly inexpensive as art goes.  It got here in just a couple days.  In a nutshell, it was a piece of cake to support my friend’s art.  I love it!  She is an artist being an entrepreneur.  It has me thinking about the very idea of creative people monetizing their work.  Today, more than ever, it’s possible to hawk your wares quite easily.  The Internet is just one big flea market.  It has pretty much democratized the distribution playing field.  According to a Gigaom.com article Why 2012 Will Be the Year of the Artist-Entrepreneur, “Everywhere you look, artists are taking more control over their own economic well being, in large part because the Internet has enabled them to do so. You see it in all forms of content, from books, to video to music.”  It seems their prediction is in full swing.

I started a consulting business after I sold my share of Scriptapalooza, called Artist As Entrepreneur, based on my experience founding, building and operating a successful business.  The concept of Artist As Entrepreneur is that creative artists need to create their art as well as create a business around it.  The goal: to make a living from what you love to create.  Easier said than done, of course.  Opportunity abounds with the Internet but it’s also so crowded and competitive it’s difficult to rise above the din and get noticed while at the same time continuing to create your art.  But I know it’s doable.  It’s about striking the right balance between constantly creating and consistently creating a business around your creations.  Besides helping fellow creative people like myself create a business around their creativity I plan on writing a book around the Artist As Entrepreneur program and my experience with it—eventually.  It’s on “the list” anyway.

May's Instacanvas on my desk

Obviously, I have decided to put my money where my mouth is and start a business around my own personal creativity—it’s time to put my principles into action.  I think it will make the Artist As Entrepreneur book I (eventually) write all the more compelling and valid—well, if I succeed that is.  I’ve been to the “start a business barbeque” before and I’ve come out successful in the past but I did have two talented partners to help make it happen.  Venturing out alone—sans partners—is a new thing for me.  It’s a little scary—there’s no one to blame but me.  But it’s also exciting and freeing.  I hope to replicate my former business success, only this time it will be on my terms, built around my own personal ideological beliefs and creativity.  My business plan, which is based on my Artist As Entrepreneur program, is a 5-year plan—consistency and patience are definitely required!  We shall see where I’m at with all of this at the end of 2016.

I’m thankful for this experience with my friend’s new Instacanvas venture.  It reminds me that I am, indeed, setting out to be creative not only in the arts but in business as well.  Yes, the mantra is, “if we’re not having fun, we’re doing it wrong,” but it’s not just about having fun creating art, it’s also about having fun creating another successful business model.  I want to put my creations (both business and art) out into the world, find an audience for them and make a living from it all.  I can’t lose sight of the delicate balance between creating and creating a business around that creativity.

Until tomorrow, create from what you have…and create a business around your creativity.

Kelli Joan Bennett is a filmmaker, actress, writer, entrepreneur, advocate for creative thinking and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Think Outside The Box Inside The Box Media.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *