|Learning to run an art business represented by this illustration of Alice Through the Looking Glass, by Ralph Steadman|
The artistic brain works in mysterious ways. We as artists come up with weird ideas that no one else even bothers to think about, and we make connections between things that don't make logical sense sometimes. We are motivated and affected by color and mood and imagery in a way that non-artists don't understand. On top of this we also need to focus on these abstract subjects throughout our lives in order to develop our creativity and talent.
What ends up happening, I think, is that artists end up somewhat sheltered from reality, because we are busy creating our own!
A Rude Awakening
This subject is one that hits right about the time you graduate and are ready to work, or right when you consider going out on your own to be a freelancer or start your own creative business. And it's a big hurdle for everyone. Color classes didn't help with this!
So, if you need to be successful in art-related business, you need exposure to this perverse (aka normal) way of thinking. You need to figure out where your business brain is located so you can tap into it and use its powers to compliment your art brain.
There are several places to find this necessary business brain, if it's not already inside your own skull.
1) Find it at home
This seems to be the most popular area that artists find their business brains- the next time you're at a comic convention, count the number of artists that are sitting to the side as their spouse does all the selling work, and you'll see what I mean. I think it's because this is the easiest way that doesn't require as much risk as the alternative; but it is also harder to get a good return because your potential is limited to the people that you know or meet randomly.
But what if you are a recluse, have sworn yourself to a lifetime of singlehood or if you keep befriending only other likeminded artists? Or what happens if it's too complicated or you don't have great faith in the people you know so far? Or what happens once your family members burn out on helping...