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Many creative people get so caught up in their art that it’s very difficult for them to carve out the time needed for the business side of their, well, business. Maybe it’s a left brain/right brain thing. Creating beautiful pieces seems to come naturally, while dealing with accounting, shipping and customer relations is completely foreign. Many artists even resent those logistical aspects because they take valuable time away from the creative process. Unfortunately, the bottom line is that you might make the most gorgeous pottery in the world, but if you can’t efficiently and effectively sell it, how can you make a living?
Luckily, some organizations offer business training that is tailored to the needs of artists. One such organization is the Arts Business Institute (ABI), which was created to provide practical business education for creative entrepreneurs. The ABI holds workshops around the country, and faculty members include artists, gallery owners and small business professionals.
As Executive Director Meghan Bunnell writes in “Getting Down to Business” (PPP, March 2008, pp. 13-14), “The goal of every ABI workshop is to provide artists with the business tools that they need to succeed. The ABI faculty covers topics in open settings that allow artists to have a free and comfortable dialogue with the presenters. Communication is a very important part of ABI workshops. Faculty members understand that each artist has a unique set of needs, and they strive to provide information to the broad group of artists as well as on individual levels.”
Business sense may not be innate, like your creative drive, but it can certainly be cultivated. If you’d like to learn more, a link to Meghan’s full article is included below.