They see the gap in the market and plan how to fill that gap. Names such as Sir Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Larry Page the founder of Google, spring readily to mind and are but a few among the thousands.
‘Artrepreneur’ is a term we artists are hearing more and more; a new breed of creative, an artist who is also business savvy and technology aware. A combination of the business savvy attitude of an entrepreneur with the skill of an artist or other creative.
In the ‘good old days’ the artist would work in their studio creating artworks then take them to the galleries that represented them to sell. The gallery took care of all the marketing and sourcing of collectors as well as hosting exhibitions, while the artist took care of creating the artworks. When the artwork sold, the artist would receive his or her payment minus commission.
It was a happy partnership and there are still a small group of artists that enjoy that benefit today, but it is a small and ever decreasing group.
What’s brought this change?
With the growing world- wide web and online shopping, we have seen an increasing number of commercial galleries closing their doors making it harder for artists to find representation and venues to sell their works. With this decline of ‘bricks and mortar’ galleries we have also seen a plethora of online artists’ websites, social media pages, online galleries and blogs emerging.
With the internet bringing so many seemingly negative changes it also brings a world of opportunity for those who embrace it and that’s where the artrepreneur steps in.
The good news is, you don’t need a degree in art or business to be an artrepreneur, just a determination to learn and not give up.
A change of mindset from the ‘starving artist’ to a business savvy creative can open a whole new market place for the artist and their art.
In the New York Times Bestseller, ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ by Spencer Johnson, four little characters, Hem, Haw and two mice Sniff and Scurry live in a maze. Each day they go to the same part of the maze to find cheese to sustain them but one day the cheese has been moved. The crux of the parable is either they learn to start searching elsewhere for their cheese or they starve. Some embrace change and succeed, some don’t.
A simple but very illustrative story.
The new breed of artist; the Artrepreneur learns how to think ‘outside the square’. They realize it’s about developing relationships with collectors, networking, knowing the ‘why’ behind their work and add value for their clients.
They become adept at marketing, money management, photography, writing, sales, websites and many other skills. Multi skilling becomes their middle name.
It takes persistence and time but the rewards are there to be had.
Change is not always easy to embrace but if we can see it as opportunity rather than loss, then we are half way to succeeding.