Everyone has the capacity to be creative – creativity is not something unique or characteristic only to the arts. People, who think and behave in creative way in their normal lives have some common features. They question and challenge, make a lot of connections and see variety relationships, explore ideas, keep different options open and reflect critically ideas (that’s why it’s so important to develop creative skills, to teach creatively and to teach for creativity!). During our meetings and debates with artists we asked several of them (those, who feel they are successful) to define what is most important aspect in the development of their vocational life. Almost all of them told us that success didn’t come only from their raw artistic talent. They defined that first of all they use their creativity, authenticity and capacity to build connections – some kind of tension between the arts and business.

In this case – could we say that artists sell products or ideas just like the other entrepreneurs? Some of artists/creatives told as, that there are a few elements, which could confirm this argument. The artists define their unique, signature style – or in business language: their mission/brand/identity. Some of them do it very knowingly – they create their ideas, their approach to work the content, subjects, and form to develop and engage their audience. What is important: they  try to understand and know their audience, so – like every good entrepreneur – they studies the habits of their audience. They try to know what prices their audiences are willing to pay, where they are willing to buy artistic work, when, and how often. It’s important knowledge, because the buyers will be different at local art fairs than at trade shows or galleries (or in concert halls/outdoor events/during playing in pubs). The next, one of the biggest challenge is ability to price artistic work appropriately (to cover costs and make a profit). Also because the artists have usually problem with understanding the value of their work (often artists either over inflate the value of their work or undervalue it).

That’s why artists use some basic marketing and sales practices. They also understand that keeping in touch and building an audience is key to selling their work (also using social media tools like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and search engine tools like Google or Pinterest). Both artists and entrepreneurs know that networking is more than giving business cards – business is first all about relationships. Having a network of great people around is a key to success – Foundation ARTeria run from a few years the CULTURE HUB program to exchange, connect and network the creative ideas – next meeting will be very soon!


Anna Ochmann