Artists: Natural Entrepreneurs?

“My second conclusion is that attributes of creative individuals and attributes of

SMU Arts Entrepreneurship student and professional DJ, Niko Pappas

SMU Arts Entrepreneurship student and professional DJ, Niko Pappas

entrepreneurs are so similar that even attempting to define a set of predetermined characteristics is a futile exercise”. (1)

This is such a great quote and I would further add that the reason for this is that entrepreneurs are creative individuals. They are creating the “larger vision”. Where a painter might concern themselves with the realization of their creative vision in the form of a completed work on the canvas, an arts entrepreneur’s completed work typically leads to job creation, a necessary driving component of our economy. Arts entrepreneurs create culture (within their businesses), as well as art.

Artists are, natural entrepreneurs. They assume risk in pursuing careers in the arts and, therefore, are typically natural risk-takers. They are creative individuals, artists, able to create from their imaginations and impulses and naturally have a sense of meaning and imaginative problem-solving, as they live in these places. For those in collaborative art forms, such as film, theatre and dance, artists develop an innate understanding of team-building, working with others and of collaboration, all qualities and skills the entrepreneur comes to rely upon.

Entrepreneurs are creators. Artists are creators. Arts Entrepreneurs create entrepreneurially and artistically.

When artists turn their creative visions and abilities towards their community, they have opportunity to create, not just works of art, but culture as well. They create not just art, but jobs too. They create not just what they feel and imagine inside, brining art from their creative impulses, but create for outward good and impact as well.

Artists have tremendous potential and when trained with entrepreneurial skills, carry great potential for others too.

At SMU, Meadows School of the Arts, we are training artists to be creators: Creators of art, as well as community, business and the arts-based economy.

Jim Hart

(1) This quote is from “The Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship”. Bygrave, William D., DBA & Zacharakis, Andrew, PHD. (2010) The Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship, 4th Edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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