Do we agree that it makes sense that a business person can enjoy art?
Then is it not absurd to think that an artist cannot enjoy business?
As artists, I think we find it difficult to publicly express any possible love of commerce, organisation and marketing.
This sense of silence has been established and reinforced by the traditional structures of patron and artist; gallerist and artist. The representative took care of the financial and marketing elements of an artist’s work and helped to steer the artist in a direction that was beneficial to both the artist and the patron/gallery.
This structure worked well in many ways; but there were inherent problems too.
This structure has shifted dramatically and we find ourselves in new, exciting times.
It is the time for artists to become comfortable with business, if they wish to fully embrace the breadth of their artistic practice – from concept to realisation to selling (from commercial, tangible sales to grant writing – it is all selling. Selling is simply the voluntary supply of something in response to a request. Grant writing and art sales can be beautiful, meaningful activities and transactions, but they are essentially sales, and that’s okay.)
We need to create a space for open conversations to be had around art, money, marketing, systems and culture.
Good marketing can change the world in good ways.
An intimate relationship with the inner workings of commerce are what sustain the production of exceptional artists and organisations.
A passionate approach to organisation makes things work more efficiently so we can get on with the actions of creativity and innovation.
If you have the idea that you can’t be a deeply considered, dedicated and culturally progressive artist who also has their eyes open to the wider setting their work sits within – and how that work can be funded and sustained in compelling ways – then, you’re wrong.
This idea is an often unmentioned belief within the artistic world. It is not cool to talk about the economics or strategy around the conveyance of our work. It is, in fact, viewed as really quite distasteful.
This view is unhelpful.
Giving someone a box and telling them to sit in it, doesn’t work anymore.
People are smart.
Our world is smart.
We need to stop limiting people based upon the ideas of the past and encourage a more open dialogue that seeks to construct new ways of thinking and doing.
Today, is not the old art world.
Today, is the new art world.
Tomorrow, will be even newer again.
Let’s start there.
From there, we can talk.