Creativity and Innovation: artists and designers can be entrepreneurs too

Richard Branson is usually a fun read. He states his mind, and he does it clearly and concisely. In the article, Richard Branson on Taking the Entrepreneurial Plunge, he’s also very positive and addresses a young entrepreneur’s anxiety about a lack of tech-savviness. His advice to them is to follow their passion, and pick up some programing skills along the way to help if needed. Great advice.

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I see these types of articles a lot—business students trying to be entrepreneurs. What troubles me though is that I hardly ever see these from artists or designers. Artists by nature are entrepreneurs. They have to be. So we should address them as such. In doing so, hopefully, they’ll gain a greater business sense and turn a profit. Being profitable is good because it enables artists to keep making art. Strangely though, art may be the only field where many people view financial success as failure.

Designers on the other hand, tend to look at themselves as labor for larger companies. Their designs are part of a creative production line owned by others. However, the difference between a design and an invention is very slim. An invention is just something that could be patented. Steve Jobs patented a rectangular object that could be used as a phone. That sounds like a design to me.

Artists and designers should take more of a proprietary stance when it comes to creating work. It can give them more leverage in negotiations. And it could give them more control over their creative future.

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