Do you know what’s happening in your creative industry?

 Written by Holly Blondin, Founder of Arts Meet Bizness

If not, then it’s time to take a look.

An important part of being a professional artist is staying up-to-date on the trends, innovations, and the “who’s who” in your creative industry. Knowing more about your industry will give you a competitive advantage in your business.

If you are an artist who cares deeply about using your art and creativity to make a social impact, also being informed about what is happening around the world is crucial to your success.  Understanding world issues and how people all over the globe are being effected increases your capacity to empathize, connect, and communicate with the people you are trying to reach.

Today, technology is making a powerful impact on the arts. Are you familiar with the new tools being used in your industry? How are these tools being applied? How are they shifting and shaping ideas? Are they changing how work is being made and also how it is being received? What are the opportunities, advantages, and challenges being faced by the community in your creative industry as a result of technology? What role do you play in the evolution of your industry?

Each creative industry is unique and has its own set of vocabulary, resources, and systems for playing in the marketplace. In order to gain a large understanding of what is happening around you,  it is not enough to only follow your own Facebook or Twitter feeds to receive information. It takes a deeper dive into the heart of your creative industry, both locally and globally, to see the big picture.

There are plenty of resources available to you, but knowing which ones to use can be overwhelming. Start here:
– Trade magazines (online and print)
– Industry blogs and newsletters
– Universities with arts programs. You don’t always have to be a student or alumni to participate in expert talks and interactive workshops, or read department newsletters and university blogs.
– Union newsletters and websites. You don’t always have to be a member to access important information.
– Networking events, meet-ups, conferences, expert talks, master classes…and Creative MorningsTED talks for innovation!
– Non-profit arts organizations dedicated to empowering artists in your industry with up-to-date resources and information
– Attend shows, presentations, exhibitions, readings, etc. of other artists, arts organizations, and institutions

The most obvious, but often the least used resource, is the person standing right next to you. Don’t be afraid to ask other professionals questions, and don’t be stingy with your own knowledge and experience. Sharing knowledge and experience with one another makes a stronger community, and offers a richer artistic experience for everyone.

Here are a few questions to get your creative industry investigation started:

Are you familiar with the history of your industry?

What are the latest trends?

“Who’s Who” – Who are the big players in your industry – present, past, and future?

What is the ‘market value’ of your work? What is a fair price in your industry? How much can you charge clients, expect from a contract, or ask for when negotiating?

What are some of the most recent innovations in your creative industry? Who is creating, designing, and publicizing them? What resources, tools, and inspiration did they apply to their ideas?

What outside influences are effecting your industry? (technology, world issues, societal behavior)

Your investigation is an ongoing process with no end. As time progresses so do we. Our creative industries are constantly evolving. Knowing what you want to do with the information you collect can help you move your career and your business forward, or it can help you to change the world. The decision is up to you!

Investigating your industry is a part of Exercise 1 in our 3-part exercise to build your ‘Artist Business Plan’ – check it out!

Share this:
Facebooktwitterlinkedin