Fashionista or Businessman? An International Artist’s Dilemma

I have been a fashionista for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories involves my father dressing me up as if I were going to a business meeting at the age of four, complete with slacks, dress shoes, and bow tie. As I got older, my passion grew and now it’s one of the only things I’m truly serious about in life. However, while fashion has always been my passion, it hasn’t always been my career; in fact, the two things have never really gone hand-in-hand because my international business degree doesn’t apply to the fashion industry at all!

Artists and Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Each Other
Artists are often entrepreneurial people, which is an incredible asset to have in the business world. But, in some ways they can get lost in their art and not see the bigger picture as a successful entrepreneur. Likewise, entrepreneurs need to step out of their comfort zone and experiment with other artistic avenues – like music, dance, film- in order to experience success. It’s all about balance, right? In this blog post we’re going to explore two different personalities:

When You’re in a Creative Field, It’s Hard to Think of Yourself as an Entrepreneur
It was difficult for me to envision myself as an entrepreneur when I was a fashion designer. If you’re in a creative field, there’s always this sense that you should be passionate about your work and not motivated by the idea of owning your own business. But being an entrepreneur can also give you more freedom to do what inspires you. Although it may be scary at first, it can be very rewarding in the end! Read on to learn some tips from an international artist on how to find success both creatively and financially as an artist entrepreneur.

Then Comes the Balance Between Art and Business
All of these thoughts made me ponder a question: Am I an artist first and foremost, then a businessman? It is so difficult to strike the balance between art and business. Am I an artist who chooses the comfortable life because it satisfies my artistic spirit and also helps my family financially? Or am I a businessman who does what he can to make as much money as possible even if it means sacrificing some artistic integrity? I’m starting to realize that you can’t have it all in this career, but do you go for the short-term comfort or the long-term benefits that come with focusing on just one side of yourself?

What Every Fashion Artist Needs to Know About Building a Network
Building a global network is one of the most important steps you can take to grow your business and connect with customers. In order to do so, there are three areas you need to focus on: culture, language, and location. You should research these before trying to find someone who will help you expand internationally. You’ll want to identify other designers in your field that are already in that region and contact them for advice. The more connections you have overseas, the better off you’ll be!

How to Start Building Connections, Even if You Have No Experience
Look for local businesses who share your interests and contact them to see if they would be interested in having you do a guest blog post on their website. Don’t forget to check out the local consignment shops! They are always in need of new clothing. There are also online communities, like LinkedIn, where you can meet and connect with people who may have the same passions as you. Join groups related to fashion and marketing to find more like-minded individuals who can help provide feedback or provide insights into how you should be targeting your niche market. Just because it seems that you don’t know anyone, doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of opportunities for networking waiting for you around every corner. You just have to put yourself out there and make those connections happen.

Different Ways People Can Help Artists Promote Their Work
There are many ways in which the public can help artists promote their work. Such methods include, but are not limited to: buying pieces of their art, paying for advertising space on social media sites, and sharing information about the artist with other people in person. A popular way of promoting an artist’s work is to contact a company and request that they use their product as advertising space on their company page or website.

How Artists Can Help Entrepreneurs Out by Sharing Their Clout
Too often I hear from entrepreneurs how they want to take the leap and go global, but feel inhibited by their lack of artistry. They want to reach more customers and invest in marketing but don’t know where to start. But what if there was a way for creatives to offer their skills to the ambitious entrepreneur? Enter skill licensing or an agreement in which the artist gives permission for another company or person – usually a commercial entity -to utilize his creative work as long as he receives a percentage of the sales proceeds. Skill licensing can be applied across numerous industries: fashion, product design, art installation design, you name it!

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