"Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art." - Andy Warhol
Noooooo. What? Did she just say, “Artistic talent is overrated!?” Ohhh, yes I did.
I’m partnering with the founder of John F. Kennedy University’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership to develop a college accredited Artists Who THRIVE course.
Yesterday I was working with an accounting consultant to develop the financial module for this course. I asked her to help because she has a number of clients and friends who are artists so she is very familiar with the financial issues and opportunities facing most artists.
She mentioned, “Many artists believe that success will come if their primary focus is to continually improve their craft.” My reply, “If you're not concerned with selling your art, then that is absolutely true. And who says that you have to sell your art. You don’t. But if you want to get paid, artistic talent alone will not lead you to financial success. It’s overrated.”
I say "Pay attention to your craft and your commerce. Continually tend to and balance both sides and they will feed each other."
And I remind artists all the time, “No one is coming to save you. No one is going to discover you. Your talent alone is not enough.”
This begs the question “What is enough?” Given the sea of creative talent, talent is essential, no question. However, providing unique value to a target market is they key to business success.
I would venture to say that every noted artist in history provided unique value to a target market and generally they arrived at their value proposition by going against current conventions.
Replace the words “unique value” with "innovation" and “target market” with "tribe/current culture of a society." Now think about Andy Warhol, Michelangelo, and even Thomas Kinkade. Who was their tribe? How did they celebrate the tribe's culture?
Who is your tribe? How do you serve your tribe? And how could add more value?