The Art of Business Thinking

A slide presentation given by Paul Mirocha for the
Guild of Natural Science Illustrators
International meeting
in Ithaca, New York, July, 2008. 
Introduction: Why think about business?
If you’ve ever sold a piece of your art, you’re in the Art Business. That may be a little uncomfortable at first, even represent a fundamental paradigm shift, but this is my subject.

Most of us treat business as a necessary evil. We don’t know how to do it, or we may even think it’s harmfull to our authenticity and our art, or (most likely) we just don’t want to do all that work. In some ways, it often seems easier to scrape by and struggle than to take on the business side of life. Yet, if you are to eat and meet your basic needs, maybe even thrive, that means someone does some business development. It might as well be you.

I’m suggesting that it needs to be you. That is, if you are ready to make your living as an artist. Being a businessperson will require a lot of you–the kind of effort you routinely put into your art. Let’s talk about that.

the art of business thinking

View the slide show here.
(31 pp, 10mb, Please practice patience while the pdf downloads.)


Not only does business-thinking work, if you take the time to develop a business model that fits you, there are lots of resources out there in the business world to learn from. It’s not hard, but it takes passionate work and “Right Concentration.”

If you can understand how to create a painting, you are way ahead of the game. It’s the emotional and personal paradign shift that business-thinking requires that cause us to resist and procrastinate.

We have to accept a hard truth: when it comes to business, most of what the Craftsman part of us knows is wrong. By taking on the role of the Enlightened Businessperson, we learn a new way of seeing more deeply into how our business works.

Maybe those two separate brains– the artist’s brain and the business-persons’s brain can become like two hemispheres of one more powerful mind. After all, for the self-employed person, your business is your life. And once you have created a sgtrategic vision that you are comfortable with, you don’t have to compromise your heart and soul in order to do business.

Stay tuned for more installments of this series on developing a business model for creatives.

© Paul Mirocha 2008

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