Artists & designers range widely in their willingness to share creative control. Some people thrive by sharing the idea-making process & using parameters as guides, while others are at their best when given the freedom to explore their own ideas. If you work with creatives & you wish to better understand your colleagues, or you’re an artist trying to figure out how to develop your professional ambitions, knowing who wants or needs creative control is key. Yet this topic is often avoided, incorrectly inferred, or completely overlooked altogether. This article is part of a mini-series, in which I suggest a few ways to get the greatest result for creatives & art supporters. Read on for more.
Elevating Your Business Practices: When Building Yourself Means Building Others
by Daric Gill
Let’s Get Personal
Most of my articles are written through an art-centric viewpoint. We are all mutually looking for little rays of business positivity in an otherwise grey sky. Today I hope to contribute to the sunlight. We have an unprecedented opportunity to re-envision how we as artists, entrepreneurs, community members, and even corporations operate from the ground up. The following article spells out the single most important (and possibly the only) real bit of wisdom I know. By sharing this, I hope people can apply it to both their personal choices and professional business practices.
The One Truth I Know:
For a relationship to flourish, be it professional or personal, each party has to have the other side’s best interest in mind. If you take care of me and I take care of you, the needs of both are met. However, if one side doesn’t do their part, the road is one-directional. All benefits are weighted to one side which leaves the other side exhausted and starved for balance. This is how I measure my personal as well as my professional relationships. If you’re looking to elevate your business and yourself, these are a few questions you could ask:
-Am I the kind that protects myself, my bottom line, or my motives over others?
-Are they the kind that protects themselves, their bottom line, or their motives over mine?
If you answered ‘yes’ to either one of those, the road is one-directional. One party will be the taker, benefiting off of the work of the giver. If this is you, I encourage you to find ways to elevate yourself beyond this and perhaps consider how you could change going forward. If it is the other party, it is not in your best interest to engage in this partnership.
Another way to look at this through a business mind is, “Before entering in this partnership, deal, or arrangement–“
Are they more people or profit oriented? (Profit could equal financial or other type of self-seeking gain). Align yourself with businesses that focus on their people first. Profit is the side-effect.
There’s been a vast shift in the consumer mindset recently, where we passionately back companies and entrepreneurs who showcase sincere commitment to the wellness of their employees as well as their customers. This mindset champions that the best business practices don’t merely rely on an end-product profit margin, but rather a whole transaction of internal and communal reputation as well. If there’s any silver lining to be seen when things look so dim, it’s that there is a surge in this people-first model. We are actively supporting those that equally support us back– my definition of a positive relationship.
To highlight some examples: In the past few weeks, I’ve seen some true heroes pop up in the world that exemplifies the very apex of mutually beneficial human partnerships. NYC-based technology manufacturer, Adafruit Industries, have re-aligned their services to distribute/make some PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) such as face shields. There are no layoffs for 130+ Adafruit team members.
Additionally, countless businesses around the world are rebuilding their models to become more flexible, mobile, and uniquely people-based. Among so many examples: musicians are holding live concerts, museums are giving virtual access to their exhibitions, artists (like myself and many others) are providing free resources or critiques, and food vendors are becoming mobile and centered around the fundamentals of standing for and by their community. If you’re anything like me, you are watching these leaders very closely and vowing to spend the next round of money on those businesses before anyone else.
In my city, Middle West Spirits (makers of OYO Vodka, Middle West Whiskey, and Vim & Petal Gin) are using their unique distilling process to make hand sanitizer for frontline responders, including EMS and shelter staff. This is a massive undertaking and should be reciprocated by support. On a smaller level, Staufs Coffee Roasters are constructing an ice cream shop styled pick-up window out of a former entryway/pay-phone stall so that people can enjoy their great coffee outside, with less risk for all, and with greater ease. This will be both beneficial to their bottom line as well as the good of their customers. It comes as no surprise, as Staufs has a reputation for community engagement that reaches outside of the needs of a simple cafe.
Globally, we see people finding unique ways to sing, show movies, and romance their ways into better lives. This week I’ve had friends from all over the world check in with me, just to say hi and connect. It is the artists, musicians, health care professionals, grocers, truckers — and all those tuned to human nature that are getting us by. And it is exactly the sort of shared partnerships we can bring back into the business world. If I look out for you, you will look out for me.
You can find more free articles like this on my Artist Resource page. My mission is to provide free and accessible tools for artists, educators, and enthusiasts. I encourage you to share and refer people here as often as you wish. Naturally, these articles take many hours to thoroughly research and write. If you’d like to support me as an artist and advocate, please consider donating whatever you can. Thank you!
Track Your Art Submissions With This FREE Worksheet
by Daric Gill
Applying to exhibition opportunities and grants are commonplace for the artist. Whether these applications are for a booth at an art festival or a solo show at a museum, there’s a real need to track your progress. If you haven’t found a system that works for you or you are just beginning to organize your submissions, this article is for you. The following write-up will describe who might benefit from this type of system and how to use it.
Artist Getting Organized: Download a FREE Artwork Inventory & Sales Example
by Daric Gill
Whether you are an artist or a collector, at some point your collection will need organization. If you haven’t found a system that works for you or you are just beginning to get your inventory under control, this article is for you. The following article will describe who might benefit from this type of system and how to use it.