The art of Business and the business of Art

Being a self employed independent Artist has been a slow and long learning curve for me.

Of course I must have done something right every now and then, because my artwork is actually permitting me to make a somewhat decent living, but it has been frighteningly on the edge of things at times! With that in mind, and because I believe in my ability to thrive, I take the time to make assessment along my journey, every now and then, and consider what my goals have become, which have been reached and what is ahead. I also take the time to daydream things… But that’s another part of the story.

So lately, it was assessment time and I considered that my website, though pretty, friendly and remodeled with love at great expense of time and money, my dear website was not generating what I was expecting after its remodeling! Hhhhmmm…

If it doesn’t work, I believe something has been overlooked, a target is missed or something is misrepresented… whatever it is, something, maybe an ensemble of things, has to be reconsidered. So I decide to buy myself a website assessment interview with another artist who came from the corporate world and created for herself a wonderfully successful artist’s niche. She was so successful with her business strategy that she started coaching other artists less savvy than her in the business department. So last Monday I was on the phone for 50 minutes with her.

Oh boy! … Did I ever get what I asked for ! It was for sure educative to say the least…

So it appeared that I have been limping along (or maybe bumbling along) with my nose in the wind and my eyes on a sky blue future full of golden stars when I was not even close to have done half of my homework! Yikes! (I had written a business plan before creating he Blissful Gallery  of course, but it was not encompassing everything it should have apparently). Big brain-storming time.  I started with buying one more self help book (on her prompting) “The one page business plan”, to review and reconsider my whole venture from ground zero and regroup toward a better vision of it. Literally. And when I say vision, I mean a clear understanding of what data and what principles I have to use to be able to grow my business in a sustainable way, PREDICTABLY. Not only for my website mind you, no, the whole thing. My entire business, which includes my studio, my artwork, my gallery in Stinson Beach, and of course my presence on line. That’s what a business plan is there for. Even if it is subject to change as we grow. It will give me insights on what is needed, what is extraneous, what is counter productive and what is supportive of my dream.

Well well well…

Do I want to do this? Of course not. Nope. I want to paint for crying out loud! I want to chat with my visitors at the Blissful gallery, I want to interview the next guests artists for the summer season. I want to go and travel the world and see wonders everywhere.

Am I going to do this ? Yes. Of course I will. I want to be successful. I want financial security. I want to be able to generate a job or two around my work. I want to become a role model if I can, for other artists who are skillful but unfortunately struggling at the moment. I want above all, to keep growing, to keep evolving, to help myself thrive. If it includes doing my homework and crunching numbers, establishing mission statements and yearly projections, well, so be it. Yes I will do it. By Golly I will !

But between you and me: I wish I would not have to. That being said, I am so eager to evolve and understand what I still don’t know, that I’m sure I will do what is required from me. Because Life is presenting me with it. And once I have done it, I will be so glad I did !

So today, by this nice rainy afternoon of March 2013, I include in my daily schedule several hours of learning what I need to learn and writing what I need to write, as well as researching data and doing maths… I believe this is going to help me understand, clarify and modify what I did not yet, so far; therefore permitting me to ultimately spend more time doing what I love and be more at ease and more confident in the business part of my career.

It seems to me that being a true artist, a visionary indeed, is by no means contradictory with being an accomplished entrepreneur. It should even be easier because of the vision aptitude, and the flexibility of thought, the imagination and the desire for beauty that permeates everything in my artist’s life.
Having a thriving business can be done within very strong ethical guide lines, and in the midst of an ever changing world. It can be done anywhere and at any time. It can be done with joy. It can be done with grace. It can be done right here, and by any of us who have the desire to go for the journey. I do believe that.

In any case… This is what I am up to ! Thanks for all the blessings along the path…

More later…

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