What is it that you do?
I am an artist. Basically what I do is large installation pieces, meaning I go into spaces and respond to them sculpturally and try to create an environment that someone would experience as a whole rather than if they were looking at a painting or a drawing or a piece of standalone sculpture.
My background is in painting and my work got more and more sculptural. My work started growing off of the wall, until finally it came completely off of the wall. And then I just wanted to create these environments that you could actually either look at or go into and experience it with all your senses.
What role does a business plan play in creating your works?
Haha. A business plan should play into it. I would not say I am very successful at making a business plan at all. You know…finances, “making a living” in the art world is very difficult. It is very difficult for me especially for me because I’m…I don’t think I’m very savvy at it.
And it’s taken me a long, long time to think that the business part of it – getting paid for what you do – is important. I was brought up in the school of the starving artist, and if you’re really passionate about what you do it doesn’t really matter that you make any money. But in certain ways, there is a certain kind of validation with getting paid for what you do, and being respected for what you do, and not being expected to do it just because you want your work to be shown.
So a business plan, in today’s day and age, people see the validity in the arts having a distinct business plan.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurial artists about planning?
What I think it has taken me a long time to realize is that there is a great validity and a great importance to what artists do and therefor there is a great validity in paying an artist for what they do.
What do you believe are necessary qualities – if there are any – for aspiring entrepreneurial artists to develop?
Well number one, a real belief in what they do. Number two, persistence. And persistence in the face of people not believing in what you’re doing, people not believing in the project that you want to do, people sort of discounting your ideas or the importance of what you’re doing.
Jo Ann Fleischhauer is a Houston based freelance artist. Her most recent installation piece, “What Time Is It?”, is a clock tower in downtown Houston she has restored and reimagined. The tower uses color and sound to tell time, and seeks to question the place of time in contemporary society.
Kyle Given is a Film & Media Arts student at Southern Methodist University. When not busy with classwork, he is always working for experience in the Dallas/Fort Worth film industry. The immediate goal is to find work as an Assistant Director, and later weave into the position of a Producer.