The creative mind doesn’t fit inside a box. It isn’t black and white. It doesn’t follow a pattern and it isn’t ruled by mathematical formulas. The creative mind is fluid, constantly changing, finding inspiration in its surroundings. A creative entrepreneur must find a balance between the need for structure and the need to be free to express their creativity. This is the creative’s challenge.
It takes a lot of effort to get a business started. Aside from deciding what type of business to register, determining where to invest your dollars, and coming up with a business plan, you still have to somehow find time to work on creative projects and meet deadlines. It also takes time to build a client base and obtain a steady flow of income. Many times an entrepreneur just starting out will take any project they can just to get started.
Because of this, we sometimes accept projects simply because we need to make a living, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that we have an interest in the subject matter. This is one example of why a passion, once a hobby, can become unpleasant when it becomes an obligation. It’s not that we no longer have a passion for it, or that we aren’t good at what we do, it’s that the extra element of pressure, and sometimes dull subject matter, can strip the life out of our inspiration. For a creative individual with dreams of perfecting their talent, this can be very frustrating, especially if the ideas just aren’t flowing.
Because creativity is usually free flowing, it doesn’t always cooperate when we want it to, and quite frankly, being creative can be tiring. How can you commit to a deadline for a creative project when you just aren’t feeling creative? What if you are working on a project that provides little, if any, inspiration? What does it take to light the spark that will become a masterpiece? Sometimes having the presence of other creative people in our lives, whether as a formal ‘team’ or a group of friends you can call when you need a lift, can help alleviate pressure and keep us inspired. This is why a creative entrepreneur needs a team.
Since most creative people are inspired by external stimuli, it helps to have a creative team in place to open our minds and strengthen our ideas. They help us form new ideas and look at things in a way we may not have envisioned before. They also help to motivate, inspire and encourage us. We also need others to help keep us on track and offer a unique perspective if we are falling flat on a project. Most of all, we need them to remind us of our passion for the arts and the very reason we became entrepreneurs in the first place.
Chances are, if you are a creative person you probably surround yourself with creative people already. If this isn’t the case, my suggestion for building a team would be to start placing yourself in creative environments where you can meet other people with similar interests. Get involved with a creative group in your area, check for networking sites on the Internet, attend workshops, classes and seminars, or go to places that support your particular talent. Because summer is a great time of year to get out and meet people, now is the time to start. Many areas hold outdoor art shows, concerts and other similar events that bring people together. Scan your local paper or the Internet for events in your area, and check out the local talent.
This is also a great way to see what other people are creating. Talk to them about how they sell their art and follow up with those that could be potential partners on projects. You never know what opportunities could come your way by simply placing yourself in an artistic environment, and you have nothing to lose by starting a conversation about art when it is of mutual interest. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t make acquaintances right away, because even just being in a creative environment can help make the difference between a complete lack of inspiration, and a brilliant idea.
I would encourage any creative entrepreneur to seek out other creative people. Collaborate on projects together, or just get together once a week to talk about your craft, the ideas you have for future projects, and the direction of your business. I believe that we can find strength in the passion and talents of others, and that this passion fuels the creative gifts that burn inside of us. Extracting and renewing this passion with others can be the key to great success. It creates a bond, a community almost, of extraordinary people who think outside the box and believe in the power of art. It is the seed by which all other ideas are formed and by which masterpieces are made. One team can give birth to countless opportunities.
By Jennifer McLynch