I’m really passionate about the arts. I really believe creativity and the creative industries are the way forward. To me, our capacity to create and innovate is the very human aspect that won’t be phased out by automation, outsourcing, computers or technology. I also believe that when we are driven to create then creating isn’t optional. Often I hear people say they wish they could create, but they simply don’t see their arts as a profitable option. If this is you then there are two sides to this coin to consider.
Do it and screw the bottom line
The first option is always to create anyway.
Chances are you know somebody who plays a team sport on the weekend. Now I’m pretty sure, unless they’re 18, they don’t play that sport because they think they’re going to get signed and become a world-famous sportsman. If they’re anything like my sporty partner then there’s a fair chance that they like to win and do the best they can, chances are they work on their health and fitness and turn up to training and regular games. They don’t do that because they expect that sport to make them an income, and as friends, partners and family we don’t support them to do that sport because we expect them to make an income. Why is your creativity any different?
I say, if you’re driven to create then create, it’s a part of who you are. It’s amazing for your mental health. It’s brilliant for neuroplasticity. It prevents Alzheimer’s. It makes you feel good. It communicates your story to the world. It leaves a legacy and if that legacy starts piling up in your spare room and you don’t need your art to make you an income, well, give it away, share it with others, exhibit it somewhere for free. Go on and create and if you need the storage space then share it generously with the world with wild abandon.
Up Your Business Ante and Make Some Money!
The second part is understand the value of what your creative work is and then treat yourself like a business. The creative industries is a growth area. More than ever creative collaterol has become a commercial commodity. Jump over to this Unesco study if you want to see just how strong the economic value of our industry is. Communicate your value to your ideal customer and ask them to pay accordingly.
One of the reasons artists don’t make money from their art is because they’re not clear about what value they provide and who they provide that value to. There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t couple creative wild abandon with strategy and business-like mindset that allows you to reach the most amount of people and ideally bring in some income for a craft that you’ve no doubt invested time and money to, in addition to your priceless natural talent and ability. You have a gift, why not share it with the world and why not ask the world to pay for it?