As artists, we are running our own business. We ARE entrepreneurs. There is no arguing that. The thing is, the term entrepreneur has a bit of a negative connotation to most people that does not fit in well with the image we want to put forward of being an artist.
Many people associate the word entrepreneur with scam artists, people who don’t have a job that brings in a real income, people with their heads in the clouds, people who try to get you to sell products under their pyramid system. Those ideas wouldn’t be planted so deeply into people’s heads if there weren’t so many cases where this is true. For most of us, that is not what the word means at all, but it doesn’t change how many others feel about it. Heck, there are plenty who think the idea of being an artist is flakey enough! Do we really want to flame that fire by adding additional words to convince them of that?
We are building our brand as an artist. Every single post we make on social media, our about page, our website in general, the face we put forward for the world to see…all of this is just as important as the art itself. Do we then really want to run around announcing to everyone that we are in fact, entrepreneurs? Does this description of ourselves benefit our brand at all? I see artists describe themselves like this on instagram and facebook all the time (Jane Doe, Artist/Entrepreneur). The thing is, in most cases, it makes people take your work less serious for two main reasons.
- As I mentioned above, the term itself often has negative connotations to those who don’t understand what we are actually doing.
- While we know that art is not a fantasy world filled with midnight dances under the moon while covered in fairy dust…our buyers often still believe that there is a sort of magic involved in the creation of art. They like the fun in that idea. It’s going to be hard for them to wrap their heads around the idea of “business man/woman” and “magical artist”. Those two things don’t fit together to them!
We need to know that we are in fact entrepreneurs so that we can spend the time necessary reading blog posts/books/watching videos made for us so that we can run our art business better. That word matters to us so that we know what steps we need to make to be successful in our business, but that doesn’t mean we need to hold up a giant sign telling others about it. Just like I need to know my pant size so that I know what size to buy when shopping, I don’t need to announce to the world what that number is. It does not need to be a part of my resume!