When you decide to merge your art into a business, sacrifices must be made. You worry about your art remaining authentic, but you also need to consider what it will take to make your business profitable. Luckily, you can ensure your artistic voice is still being heard as you develop professionally if you keep an open mind.
There’s a fine line between sharing your creativity with the world and losing control of it — and watching it turn against you in the process. Changing the way you create and make money is a constant dance, and there are no right or wrong moves: it’s all about finding balance. What are you willing to sacrifice? And what is that sacrifice worth to your wellbeing and your business?
In balancing creativity and business, it is not uncommon for individuals to find themselves at a crossroads. They must choose whether they will pursue their passion within the space of entrepreneurship or remain in a traditional job where their artistic integrity remains safe from the ruthless competition of the marketplace.
When choosing the former, concessions must be made. When you are an artist and a business owner, there’s always a bit of give and take. Making sacrifices for your art feels inauthentic, while sacrifices for your business feels counterproductive. How do you find a healthy equilibrium between the two?
There is no set blueprint to follow, only operating within the realms of where you want your business to go.
Evaluate your non-negotiables and do not compromise your integrity.
Determine what balancing creativity and business mean to you. What is of utmost importance to you about what you want your art to say to the world? Is that reasonable to maintain within the demographics of your business? Be firm but practical. Keep in mind that your non-negotiables will evolve with time. That is normal, and it shows growth in both areas.
What do you stand to lose if you make a sacrifice? Why is this particular aspect important to you? If what you want to say to the world is still intact with the sacrifice, that seems to be an area that allows flexibility. It’s okay to change.
And if you can’t answer these questions, keep digging. The best way to remain authentic is to stay honest. You have to take a deep look at yourself. Not just what you want, but also where you are trying to go. Allow your path to veer off course to find out where you’re really supposed to be.
Remember that different creative projects serve different purposes. The occasional passion project is okay, but understand they lack the components needed for financial growth. But not all art needs to be a part of your business plan. Pursue them with caution and care, accept the time and money you will lose, and enjoy them for what they are.
Some art, however, is for growing the business. If you want to merge the two, this is a reality you must face.
In a time when being an artist has become a business commodity, consider the dangers of prioritizing your creative work over time management. Time management affects your success as an entrepreneur, and maintaining a balance between life and work is critical for survival. There’s a delicate balance between the merger of life, your business, and your creativity. All must co-exist peacefully for you to thrive.
No matter what you decide for your art and your business, and no matter how you divide your time, you are on the right path — as long as you remain honest with your goals and allow them to evolve. Skip the guilt about the journey, and embrace it.
Hear about my journey merging art and business on: Business Vibrations Podcast: Seven Minutes of Morning Inspiration for the Creative Entrepreneur