Where Does the Art Stops & The Art Business Begin?

I tend to have an equal amount of respect for the hours of practice and repetition it takes to master any craft. The same appreciation for the work a skateboarder puts in as with any other skill. It takes a similar amount of time to do that complex combination of flips and kicks as it does strokes on a canvas or hours on a basketball court.

Mastery usually comes at the expense of time and effort. At the sacrifice of personal relationships and private time. Constantly, no less than a thought is put towards the respective craft. Most would say that they would do what they love for free, but still in the same conversation would probably also say that they would also like to be paid for this passion. Wouldn’t we all (insert eye roll emoji). However just like the mastery so many of us work towards, being paid takes time effort as well.

Someone told me once that every entrepreneur is at their core was still a creative. I actually agree with them for the most part. No matter what you do there will always be a need to be creative in any area that you want to stand out in. There is still that point though. In every business owners path to success where you have to decide how much is enough. When is it about the money and not the love.

That figurative line in the sand. Creativity & joy on this side, sales & marketing on this side. A good creative business owner will have figured out how to thrive in the gray area. That special place where you still find joy in all aspects of business ownership, no matter what that business may be. I have had the pleasure of talking with so many successful and some not so successful creatives. Being a writer, we often have the luxury of sitting back and observing from a far exactly how tricky running a business can be.

There’s the politics of the industry, the dynamics of personalities, not to mention the fickle clients who have high expectations but a vague idea of how to express the needs they have. Finding the joy in a world that seems bent on taking joy from everything is tricky. Much less keeping what you love joyful and revenue generating. Lets just say it’s a struggle we share on the deepest of levels with so many other creatives. Who like us are just trying to balance it all.

The art and the money are no doubt binary. One can exist without the other, but to grow and thrive both are needed. I know so many artists. Painters, musicians, writers, and the like who all make sacrifices in their crafts to pursue money. Making compromises in their creative processes to please clients that commission them for very specific projects. Those same creatives that find joy in their work, no matter who it is intended for have a disdain for commission works. They’re a necessary evil it would seem though.

A revenue generating necessity in order to do what you love for a living. When is it for love and when is it just a job though. When is the creative project just a monotonous and soul draining as a 9 to 5 job. How do you keep the pitfalls of the typical job from seeping into your creative passion? If I’m being honest I have no idea.

All I know and all I’ve seen from personal experience and observations it that it doesn’t even matter. You just work through the 9 to 5 moments. You keep doing what you love no matter how you feel about the job. Because doing what you love is a thousand times better than the soul draining, life force dulling alternative of the rat race. I don’t know a single business owner who would not rather deal with the ups and downs of ownership versus the endentured servitude that is standard employment.

I don’t think there is a point where you are either an artist or a business owner. The truth is you are eternally both. Bound in a sacred matrimony of work and reward for you very survival. So you relish in the fact that you are doing what you love. You appreciate that the alternative is far worse and the ups are far greater than the downs. You don’t draw that line in the sand. You instead thrive in the gray. Where there is more balance between the two. Where the passion for the art and business lie.