Well, the why is easy: You won’t make any money and will be stuck in a dead-end day job forever while you toil away for your art in obscurity.
Harsh? Yes. True? Hell, yes.
See, we creatives—writers, painters, illustrators, actors, musicians, designers and the like—are conditioned to think the pragmatism of business can only taint our art. That worrying about what our audience will think necessarily dilutes the art’s purity. And God forbid we sell what we do at a profit! We may as well sell our souls to capitalism.
All right, that’s all well and good if you want to wait tables till you’re sixty, selling your original paintings for pennies compared to what they cost you in time, materials, and passion to create. But wouldn’t you rather do what you love and actually make money doing it?
The trick is to turn your creative talents into a business. And to make that business feasible, with no hint of starving artiste mentality. To start, answer the following three questions:
If money were no obstacle and I could do one thing for a living, what would it be?
What products does that “one thing” yield (i.e. young adult fiction, superhero comic books, couture fashion, one-act plays, etc.)?
Who would pay well to acquire these products (i.e. parents, schools, and juvenile counselors; boys aged 11 through 19; Barneys, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue; community theaters, high schools, etc.)?
You’ve now isolated (a) your passion, (b) at least one product/service it provides, and (c) your initial target market. Congratulations: You’ve officially crossed over from coffeehouse dreamer to nascent entrepreneur. Not so painful, was it?
Keep reading my blog to get more in-depth business solutions for creatives!