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Author Archives: Mary Bostic, Senior Content Developer
Most people who go into business do so because they want, first and foremost, to be a business owner. That’s not usually the case with creative professionals. You see yourself as a creative first, and you love the creative work. You’re in business, whether as a freelancer or running a larger entity, by accident rather than by design. You may have jumped or perhaps were pushed. If you’re lucky, with a combination of talent and excellent timing, you have ridden a wave of “success.” If you aren’t so lucky, it’s been a struggle, but you’re still here. Either way, there are aspects of the business that are not your favorite, and dealing with money is probably one of them.
Ohio-based design duo Jen Adrion and Omar Noory have created a design business with worldwide reach from their website These Are Things. They make colorful designs full of personality, modern lines, and sharp geometric shapes that feel more comfortable and familiar than stark.
Lisa L. Cyr’s mixed-media fantasy-inspired work invites the viewer to participate in her imaginative vision. That vision inspires both Cyr’s paintings and her desire to encourage others in creative pursuits. “Create from the heart, innovate without boundaries, strive for greatness and speak to the culture in ways that inspire and motivate,” she says, explaining, “I often use this quote I wrote on my website and other materials.”
There is lots of information on finding balance in our lives available. Nevertheless, for freelancers, small business owners, and aspiring artists, it might seem as though the only way to get ahead at work is to get behind at home. As a professional artist who juggles a busy painting career along with blogging, teaching, writing, social networking and family, I can speak on this subject with authority, because I have been guilty of imbalance myself.
Installing a solo show of your own work is a challenging and rewarding task. A solo show is probably something you’ve worked toward for a year or more. You have a substantial emotional investment—and often an economic one as well—in its success. If your show is in a museum or commercial gallery, installing the show will most likely be the responsibility of the museum curator or gallery director. But if your show is in a co-op gallery, art association, alternative art space, library, bank, restaurant, office space or your own studio, part or all of the responsibility for arranging and hanging the work will probably fall on your shoulders. Exploring the installation process will help you create a cohesive exhibition that will show your work to its best advantage.
Many artists are unaware of the career benefits that winning a grant can have. A grant can provide help for you to focus on a favorite theme and can lead to publicity for your work in the local press and TV, as well as in social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Listing an award on your curriculum vitae adds considerable weight to your accomplishments as well.
Every business book you read will tell you that you need a contract for every client and every project. But in the real world of doing business, it’s easy to let this detail slip through the cracks, especially if you aren’t particularly comfortable with it in the first place. Is it because you don’t have a good contract? (If you read this article, you won’t be able to use that excuse anymore.)
How many times have you submitted a proposal and then never heard from your prospect again? Or worse, learned that the project was awarded to someone else because your price was too high?
If either of these is a common occurrence, you’re probably wasting valuable time writing proposals you will never win. The only solution is to learn how to distinguish the viable prospects from the deadbeats before you agree to write anything. And that means you have to find out what the prospect’s budget is.
Strengthen Your Business: 7 Lessons for Leading, Marketing, Using Time Wisely and More, by Marcia Hoeck
In the early days of my marketing communications firm, there was nothing I wanted more than a blueprint for what I should be doing as a business owner. I was doing well, but I had no idea how to manage my business, and didn’t know if I’d be around next year—or even next month. There wasn’t a resource specifically written for creative professionals available to me back then, so I had to learn on my own. What follows is a brief overview of the plan I created for myself—the guide I wished I’d had handed to me all those years ago.