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Welcome To Creatives and Business LLC

Creatives and Business LLC is about helping artists and other creative professionals run and market their business more effectively. Whether you are just starting out or have an established art business we have the tools and resources to help you become more successful.

We cover art marketing and business from A to Z so you don’t have to hunt for the information you need. If you don’t have time to go to business school then Creatives and Business LLC is for you. Some of the resources you will find here include:

  • Articles That Make You Think and Show You How
  • Online Learning and Webinars to Learn Even More about Marketing and Popular Software Tools
  • The Book
  • Consulting and Training
  • And a whole lot more…

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Jeff Koons – On Business, Community, Enlightenment and the Senses

I recently viewed Jeff Koons being interviewed by Charlie Rose on his show “The Charlie Rose Show”.  Jeff Koons is an American artist that his probably most well known for his bigger than life sculpture “Balloon Dog”.  He holds the auction record for the sale of a single piece created by a living artist with his “Balloon Dog” fetching $58.4 million at a recent Christie’s auction.

There is a lot of controversy in the art world over Koon’s work and his marketing tactics where critics are passionate (sometimes downright nasty!) about their views.  One thing is for sure is that Jeff Koons is an accomplished businessman and marketer.  I invite you to check out the interview to find out more about this iconic artist, his art and his business.

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Financial Statements For Artists – Understanding The Balance Sheet

Mesopotamian Balance Sheet for Artisans

Balance sheets have been around for a long time! Annual balance sheet of a Mesopotamian State-owned farm, drawn-up by the scribe responsible for artisans: detailed account of raw materials and workdays for a basketry workshop. Clay, ca. 2040 BC (Ur III).

An important part of running your art business or any business for that matter is to be able to understand your financial statements and use this information to better manage your business.  You may get these statements from your accounting system, your accountant, bookkeeper or even on your phone.  In this article I am going to take a look at one of the most basic yet most useful reports – the Balance Sheet.  The balance sheet is a financial report which you may have seen or even prepared if you have ever applied for a home or other type of loan.

Unlike the Income Statement which measures your financial activity over a period of time like a month or year, the balance sheet measures your financial condition at a point in time and not over a period of time like a year, quarter or month.  This point in time is a date where a “snapshot” of your financial condition was taken.  These points could be December 31, 2014 or any other date in the past of your choosing.  One of the advantages of using an accounting system is that you can create a Balance Sheet by pressing a few buttons.

What’s a balance sheet all about?

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Intellectual Property For Artists And Creative Entrepreneurs: Creative Commons

Image of scribe copying a manuscript

Creative Commons Licenses give you flexibility in choosing how you want your works to be shared, modified or remixed, and the type of use allowed.

The Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization, was founded in 2001 as a way to help you modify the terms of your copyright with a global license. The organization is known for being a leading player in what has become to be known as the “copyleft” movement.  This movement seeks to provide alternatives to the “all rights reserved” copyright license by adding the ability to easily present a “some rights reserved” type of license.  You keep your copyright but can change the rights you grant from none to all, commercial or non commercial, allow derivative works or not and set a level of attribution.

Generally your work is protected by copyright from the time it is created in a fixed form and becomes the property of the author who created the work. A copyright protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed. More than likely your works are already protected by copyright laws.

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Financial Advisors For Artists – Who’s On Your Team?

Painting of accountant

Every art business needs good advisors and this starts with your accountant!

The people you surround yourself with play an important part in the overall success of your art business.  The accounting and finance world can be complex and is ever changing so it is important that you get good advice in running your business.  As your business grows, so may your needs for additional or different kinds of financial advisors.  You may need financial advisors for different purposes and in many cases it may make sense to use a specialist.  It is highly doubtful that a good bookkeeper or even CPA can fill all of your needs.

You need to make sure that you have access to and consult financial advisors as you need them.  Whomever you choose to help you with your accounting and finance needs, make sure that there is a high level of trust!  A good financial advisor will explain things to you and help you understand but remember, understanding of what you are getting into is up to YOU.

Types of financial advisors you might need

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Mission Statements for Artists

Image of ancient inscriptions on a gold plaque

While you probably don’t need to carve your mission statement in gold, it’s a good idea to write it down and post it someplace where you will be reminded of why your art business exists

One thing most successful businesses have in common is that have a mission that defines why they exist, what they hope to accomplish and how they interact with the world around them. For many companies this mission is distilled down into a statement or series of statements that describes their mission. Many companies have a formal mission statement which they use to guide their overall actions. For other companies their mission statement may be informal and for far too many companies they don’t have a mission statement at all – probably not a great choice!

Creating a mission statement for your art or creative business is one of the most important and perhaps most difficult tasks in developing your business plan. In a sentence or two you describe why your business exists, what you sell and to whom, and should include a bit of your “secret sauce.” In short, your mission statement is what gets you up in the morning! Your mission statement should guide your strategies and everyday actions so that you can achieve your art business goals. Continue reading