Successful entrepreneurship as an artist

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Organizations Art is A Guaranty and Cultuur+Ondernemen organized a number of Artist Meetings, in which artists explored with experts how they could strengthen and expand their independent social and economic position. In BK-information we provide a condensed version of the reports that Cultuur+Ondernemen made of each Artist Meeting. This time useful information about entrepreneurship as an artist and how to tell your story. Eva Kaldenbach, trainer and owner of De Verhalenmakerij, explains in three steps how to create an inspirational story.

Every day we receive so much information on our plate that we have to be selective in the information we allow in. As an artist or creator, how do you create a good story that appeals to exactly those collaborative partners, buyers or fans who fit your professional practice? It's about answering the question "what's in it for me?" to your followers or listeners. When you talk about your work, it should be immediately clear to the other person that you are touching them in the heart. Important, because choices - such as the choice to listen, to follow or to buy, for example - we make with our feelings, and not with our heads.

What three steps help to achieve an animated story?

Step 1. Ditch your art (temporarily)

Of course: your story is about your art. It's about what you do and how you do it. But really, the art you make is a tool. You want your audience to experience somethingárun, whether you are aware of it or not. And exactly that drive: dáár is what your story is all about. That is the common denominator that others can identify with. Forming your own story, means zooming in. Not on your creative work, but on the question: What do you get out of bed every day for? What do you want to achieve with the people who see your work?

Step 2. Make it personal

There was a moment when you chose to be an artist. And there was a moment when you decided to make what you make now, how intuïtive as well. Those personal motivations make a story unique and at the same time recognizable to others. What you share depends on what suits you. Provide telling anecdotes or visual examples that underscore your motivations. With such a personal story, you attract people who fit your work.

Step 3. Keep scraping

Your story is never finished; after all, you keep evolving. So constantly adapting and fine-tuning your story is part of it. Test your story with critical others. Where in the story were they gripped? And where did they drop out? What did they find strong, and what less so? This can be done when the first story is on paper, but also during the years that follow. Feedback from people around you is valuable: it provides fine input to sharpen your story even further.

Read the entire article on the Culture+Enterprise website

This report is based on the fourth meeting of the Artist Meetings 2023, a series of four sessions in which artists explore with experts how to strengthen and expand their independent social and economic position. The Artist Meetings offer reflection, insight and concrete tips to make strides in your own practice. Artist Meetings 2023 is an initiative of Art is A Guaranty, filmmaker and art manager Annick Vroom, political geëngaged sculptor and conceptual visual artist Caspar Berger and Culture+Enterprise.

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