Sunday, November 7, 2010

Business Success Secrets for Artists

EtsyMetal Blog Carnival
Each month, the artists at EtsyMetal take a crack at a different topic related to the arts. This month it's Business Success Secrets: What does it mean to you to be "successful" in business as an artist? How do you walk the line between creativity and profitability? What is the best thing you've done for your business?

Artists often wrestle with, and angst over, the question of how to define success. Get a bunch of us together and the conversation on this topic can get hot fast. The main bone of contention usually always boils down to the fact that financial success is often viewed with suspicion and seen as a sign that one’s artistic integrity has been compromised. The converse of this is that many individuals who enjoy an artistic leadership position in our field don’t have a proverbial pot to piss in and cannot support themselves on their art.
The question posed for this month’s blog carnival illustrates this concept: “How do you walk the line between creativity and profitability?” Creativity and Profitability are presupposed as mutually exclusive states. It wasn’t always this way in the arts.
We don’t think that we need to walk a fine line between creativity and profitability. We think that running a profitable business making art REQUIRES creativity. And not just in designing and crafting a product. Business is an art and art is a business.
The truth is, no one does art in any form for the money. It is a calling, a way of life. What we all hope for is to be able to express ourselves through our art in our own pure voice. To make the art we want to make. If this coincides with what people want to buy, you have arrived at artistic Nirvanna.
The best thing we have done for our business is to study business principles and stay true to our artistic principles. For us, success is pursuit of an artistic way of life.


  1. Business = creative... I'll have to explore that further. It always seemed like a drag to me, so maybe now my challenged is to see it from another lens.

  2. well said, as usual... my new plan is to endeavour to make business an art...

  3. hear-hear :) SO what you are saying is that if you make money on your art then great,and the latter not so good. No real formula hunh?
    I swear you'd have the magic answer :/ !!??

    I want artistic nirvana ALL the time I want-want-want it ALL, muah-ha-ha-ha...

    Maybe the trick is to have what others do best and have them do the "paperwork" business part.
    At least this is what I have been pondering, If I could just give up some control and have "the money" to pay someone, ha!
    I have to realize I am weak and cannot do it all and it has become a chaotic mess and then makes the "creative" side suffer from freaking out about the "business" side... sigh. SO. thanks for reminding me of other options, i quickly forget in my minds mess.
    "thanks for sharing you guys its always a pleasure to read your writings!"