Art vs. Commerce

Have you ever noticed how so many artists hate talking about money or business? Why is that? Where did the mindset come from that the two are mutually exclusive? Why does someone who loves art need to hate the entrepreneurial tasks of making a living?


Now, some will say its a right brain/left brain thing. That creative people don’t always enjoy the mundane number crunching of business. But that seems short sighted to me. Business is as much an art as painting is. You don’t have to enjoy numbers to be a business person. I know plenty of entrepreneurs who are terrible with money. They just love to create and businesses are their canvas.

 Art is about ideas. About challenging the status quo. Its about connecting with people at an emotional level. Businesses and brands do that all the time. Its storytelling at its finest.

Perhaps you find yourself as an artist being forced to deal with numbers or facts and figures and things that don’t interest you. Find the story in it. Find the emotional hook. Its possible to become as interested in building a business as you are any story you create in your mind whether that’s expressed through painting, music or film.

When that business is you, the emotional hook is knowing how to protect your creations and make money so you can continue to create for years to come.

Realize that art and commerce aren’t mutually exclusive. They are two sides of the same coin. You are expressing yourself through something you create, and at the end of the day, that’s what’s important, right?



  1. Art and business may not be exclusive of each other, but each one involves a major investment of energy and resources to “succeed.” There’s the rub I think. Artists may not have the energy to spare for truly effective business selling their work.



    1. That’s a great point. I have to remind myself sometimes though that the investment of time in the ‘business’ side of things is as much an art as the other stuff I love. Treating it that way helps me not despise it but actually enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person


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