"Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art." - Andy Warhol
I just interviewed an artist who was applying to The MAKING Art Making MONEY Semester.
I informed her that we have a secret Facebook group where she could connect with Study Partners, fellow artists, new members of The New Creative Class, from around the world who are on the same entrepreneurial learning path. They meet live via Google Hangouts.
I also let her know that she would not be allowed to post her art in our secret Facebook group.
If she wanted to share her art privately with her fellow students that was fine.
A bit confused and disappointed, she asked me why. My answer may be instructive for you too.
- Art is in the eye of the beholder. If I only accepted students whose art appealed to me how limiting would that be? How fair would that be? It would be like a business school offering education only if you built a business that they approved.
- Success requires focused action. So I don’t want my student’s attention distracted by unnecessary tangents. I want to protect their investment in themselves and protect their most valuable asset, their time.
- The focus of The MAKING Art Making MONEY Semester and Artists Who THRIVE is on Making MONEY and THRIVING. Before an artist enrolls they should already know how to make art.
- I don't offer art instruction, critiques, or representation because that's just not my expertise. Think about it. No one could possibly be an expert in every single creative medium, genre, and category of art. It’s just too vast. There's no way my opinion could contribute or be relevant because I just don't know that much. No one does.
- Last but not least, I don’t believe in selling art. Why? Because selling art sucks. What do I suggest? I suggest that artists stop competing with other artists to sell their art. Instead they should pour that energy into creating value above and beyond their art and serving their "art target market."
So what do I want to see from artists? I want to see that they know their:
- Why. They know who they are and what they stand for and what they stand against. This has nothing to do with their art and everything to do with them.
- What. Their mission, the one problem that they believe is really worth solving, based on their why. This has nothing to do with their art and everything to do with how they will serve others.
- How. How they will combine their art with their other resources and skills to solve that one problem worth solving, their unique value proposition.
- Who. Who has that problem worth solving who they can serve, their target market.
Who does need to see your art? Not me, not other artists, and certainly not art judges in those silly, costly, time wasting art contests.
Why not? They’re not buying your art.
The only people who need to see your art is your target market.
- It’s the same reason a smart car dealer would not show me a Hummer.
- It’s the same reason you would not show someone who only shops at Walmart a diamond necklace from Tiffany’s.
- It’s the same reason that you wouldn’t show a farmer a condo in San Francisco.
You get the picture.
So that my friends is the reason why I do not want to see your art.
It’s nothing personal. I’m just not your target market. I don’t buy art. I make art.