On Trust and Creativity in Art as Business

On Trust and Creativity in Art as Business

[Cover Art by Carly Kozacheck (Synergy Creative Studio), Ace of Wands]

When working with artists, especially as a “non-artist”, there is a reciprocal bond of creativity and trust that needs to exist. This bond lays the groundwork for healthy collaboration, but more importantly, for the internal validation required to keep going with your work. But what does this bond look like? What does it mean to root your collaborations in creativity and trust? Who gets to be the judge of whether you’re being creative enough? 

Collaborations are one of the hardest pieces of an art business to lock down. Getting artists to understand your motivations, providing a platform for them to shine, all while marketing their work to outsiders is a daunting task. The root of it genuinely is ensuring that the work you do comes from a desire to be creative, and from a trust that you aren’t out to rip anyone off. 

Artists are right to be wary when it comes to who they should collaborate with. There are myriad stories of greedy gallerists pulling the rug out from a show and running off with the money, or having your art stollen and sold under a different name. When it comes to building the trust of artists the best way is to meet them halfway and genuinely engage in the creative process, even if that creative process doesn’t look the same on both sides. Being creative as a curator, even as an art business owner, can take many different shapes, but it is always necessary to the process. 

There isn’t a distinct watermark for what creativity needs to look like. It could be writing and communicating an artist’s story, creating a podcast to get the word out about a topic, or even helping to put in that last finishing touch on a point of sale. In all of these cases, creativity can be defined by the process of creating collaboratively, not just reproducing or re-contextualizing. 

All in all it’s a complex issue that relies heavily upon the context of the collaboration. At the heart of it, to work with others effectively you have to approach the situation with good intentions and a willingness to be accommodating.

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