Passion versus profit

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Galleries and museums offer a platform to artists to showcase their talent to the public

Artists are passionate about the works they produce. They execute their practice on the basis of talent to maintain their livelihoods. The question then becomes, how they can best use this talent to make a living?

They should be able to use their talent to build a profession that will profit them financially. In such circumstances art entrepreneurship is important, Rosen (2018) states that establishment of a career is difficult in all fields of work.

The job usually entails starting it as a part time work, meaning that they can start selling their artworks for themselves without representation from galleries while raising funds to establish their own art studio or gallery. One’s road to establishing a career requires the creation of a business website, such a website will show the artist’s determination towards their work. The website can include artworks and artists’ studio sessions.

These components will allow the artist to engage with their audiences at a more personal and interactive level, with little regard for distance and the need for connectivity to their target market.

An artist can also create a blog which allows them to share articles and pictures of the artworks they execute, which helps the artist understand the geographical locations of their audiences and how to facilitate commercially related functions such as shipping.

Galleries and museums offer a platform to artists to showcase their talent to the public. Through exhibitions such the Zimbabwe Annual Art Exhibition artists are able to submit their works which are then selected for the exhibition.

The exhibition itself serves as a form of canonization and recommendation to having attained a level of proficiency in their creative practice, a strong support for the artist’s curriculum vitae and portfolio when referencing their practice.

In Zimbabwe the aforementioned is the most prominent exhibition in the country and it gives artists the chance to expose and appraise their abilities to the local and global community.

The exhibition platform has continued to develop artists; showing how efficient institutional endorsement is for local artists by providing insights on submitted works, gauging quality and authenticity via a theme provision which influences the generation of measurable content and context. Local artists have used this opportunity to gain representation of their artworks and develop lucrative professional practices.

Networking is another factor that can help transform one’s talent into a profession. Art institutions host a variety of events such as the Harare Conversations that allow artists and the public to meet and discuss a wide range of creative and productive topics of interest.

Business relations are developed through networking, and if the artist has a good business strategic plan, this could promote their chance of attracting buyers, collectors and patrons. As the artist connects with the greater public, the content they share during networking workshops will connect them with potential customers, and create new clientele bases.

Social media is another way in which an artist can transform their talent into a profession. Small business can uplift their work by simply creating social media pages on different platforms at no expense. According to KG Hughes and Association (2017) social media and personal networking provides an audience to share and associate with possible business leads.

A lot of people are familiar with social media as they use it for communication with people in different parts of the world and also for meeting new people.

Since social media has a massive analytical resource base, it can be the best tool to advertise or promote a new business. It increases visibility and has a much wider audience. It can also help artists meet other artists from different parts of the world therefore helping to build better business connections in a virtual space.

Social media is one of the most profitable techniques to develop a talent into a career, through developing and upholding a personal network with the audience.

KG Hughes and Association (2017) states that business and talent work hand in hand.

“Developing your talent and nurturing your business must go hand in hand. Turning your passion into a solid business is more reason to foster your talent.

“In the early stages, you are the biggest asset to your company. As your talent matures, so can your business because you are providing added value to your customers. Successful businesses specialise in solving problems and providing what people want to buy.”(K G Hughes and Association, 2017)

Sadly, a large number of artists do not practice professionally as the industry is economically ungoverned, hence its classification as an informal industry.

Those who practice art professionally realise it is important for them to have a strong foundation that will ensure that their business lasts a lifetime.

Artists need to develop unique approaches to their practices, which may be through their individual styles and techniques, that is, the kind of works they create and how to make sure that their artworks are worth the investment for buyers and collectors.

It is not always the case that one’s talent will convert to income generating streams when a career is pursued since transformation into a practical business can face tumultuous challenges on the road to successful operations, however as in any business or enterprise, the artist must always be prepared to address risk as it manifests before them.

Talent, conclusively, can be transformed into professional practice when the measures stated above are judicially put into consideration since these help the start-up business. Artists should develop a unique outlook to guide them towards the maintenance of consistency, correctitude and overall investment attraction.

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