Let's talk about creativity in business. And yes if you are an artist, you are in business if you are selling your work. The question is, do you only use your creativity for producing your art works, or do you bring your creative muscles to play in the business side of your art practice as well?
Many businesses these days pay lip service to innovation, without truly understanding that ALL innovation is driven by creativity and that the creative process has its own set of anti-rules. These are parameters and processes which don’t fit into corporate rules, boxes and traditional ways of thinking.
We spend more of our lives working, either for ourselves if we have our own business or for someone else if we are employed, than we spend doing anything else. Which ever applies to you, I have a couple of questions –
Do you consciously use creativity or creative thinking in your day-to-day working life?
Do you think it is a general creative ‘bent’ that you have, or does everyone have a creative pool that they can tap into?
Now if you are not an ‘artist per se’ or you don’t work in a ‘creative’ type of business did you know that we all have a creative genius?
Well, I’m here to let you know – if there was ever any doubt about it, that you do. And the scariest thing about that is owning up to the fact that you might be really good at something. Why is that?
Pretty simple really. If I am truly good at something then that might lead me to the reluctant conclusion that I am not really making the most of that thing which I am an expert in, or could be an expert in. This of course then leads to a potential can of worms so to speak. It is often so much easier to go with the status quo than it is to begin self-searching and heaven forbid, ‘being different.' But do you know what? We are all different and we are all unique.
As soon as I begin to think a bit more creatively about what happens, suddenly I’m no longer invisible; people might think I’m weird or I might be thought of as a trouble maker etc.
Instead, I might rather choose one of these alternatives; duck for cover, profess innocence, blend in with the crowd, don’t rock the boat etc. These are all standard tools employed in the corporate world - not to mention politics of any sort whether it’s the local school committee or running for president. These are the things which the majority of business environments still foster and what helps to keep them stuck.
Using your creativity often does not sit well with any of the above-mentioned behaviours. Why is that? Because the simple unvarnished fact is that creativity brings change and change is what absolutely scares the pants off people and corporations. With change comes Oh oh……. The dreaded – outside the comfort zone. Often stepping up is required, letting go of things we might be comfortable with doing which have become outmoded, or that we have a vested interest in.
In applying our creative minds to our Art Business we can perhaps draw on the ideas below to help take us to new thoughts and ideas as to how we might market our work. What new knowledge and skills might I acquire? What do I need to be trained in?
As Einstein put so well, “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. So dig out your creative genius and think about how it can help you to get more of your art out into the world.
Next Week: A Christmas message