The pressing matter in the business of art (is not letterpress, a-ha!) is in itself.
The business of art has always been one that is iffy. The old adage of arts undergrads with creative pursuits to yield less job prospects than other disciplines is as much a cliche as it is a candour.
Creatives being creative is expected.
Creatives that are progressively creative with being creative is good.
Creatives that are progressively creative with being creative the way it would make bank is the hallmark of the pressing matter in the business of art.
Career counsellors often advise artists to commit as much time and effort into the business side of their art as the creative side. It is also statistically chronic that artists ignore this advise.
Even in the last two operating years for The Alphabet Press, we have learned that there is much too much on the business side of art that may wind creatives up in tangles. What happens on the creative side of art is subjective but all else are objective and may require more if not equal amount of time and effort.
For example, we need to make sure that the following are covered consistently and smoothly, at that; Sourcing for suppliers, quality control, clients liaison, media liaison, social media management, photography, visual merchandising, promotional materials, copywriting, inventory management, shipping of products, consignment agreements, and answering inquiries. These are atop the indispensable company budgeting, human resources, overseeing accounts payable and receivable, regulating expenses for tax purposes, and odds and ends. After getting all tangled up in the aforementioned, sufficient time will also need to be allocated to ‘untangle’ before exploring the creative side of things for the next set of product design.
Phew! Did I miss out anything? Sounds like we need an army…
Now, these could be overwhelming to those who are uninitiated but we must set aside false dichotomies between the business and creative sides of art. Please do not assume that one is at odd with another. One will find that most of the unsuccessful art businesses are those that juxtapose these two elements.
The exciting motion of the business of art is its intangible essence.
Yes, there are calculated algorithms of how to increase social media presence and documented strategies of how to drive sales. These are topics with umpteen books written on them and are probably appearing in between every alternate news on the feed.
If you are a creative, I implore you to explore that very creativity that drove you to be a creative for it to prosper the business of your art too. There obviously will be conflicting moments, but success especially so in the art of business of art is often achieved by pushing the envelope.
Think out of the box, grind out of the box.