Thursday, December 20, 2012

An MBA's Answer to the Selling of Art

This is an incredible business article concerning art. If you are an artist or if you know an artist, this article it for you. This article, written by Yong Joo Kim, guest blogger for

Here is the first part of the article, with permission from the Artbizblog. Finish reading it at their site. It's an amazing read!

Conversation with an MBA Grad

 written by guest blogger Yong Joo Kim.
In school, I got the impression that “selling” was “below” artists. “How do artists make a living?” students would ask. “Teach” was the most flippant answer. So I did. And it was wonderful. But it was not sufficient to make a living. To live off of teaching, you had to be a full-time professor. And full time positions in art is scarce, not to mention highly segmented.
While contemplating my options, I got to talking with my friend with an MBA.
“Why aren’t you selling your work?” he asked
“Sell? That’s not what artists do.” I responded.
“What do you do then?” he asked.
“I make art.” I responded.
“Then what?” he asked.
“I send it off to exhibitions or galleries.” I responded.
“And what? Hope for the best?” he asked, sarcastically.
“Sure.” I responded as-a-matter-of-factly.
“That’s the most uncreative thing I’ve ever heard of” he exclaimed.
“What?!” I responded, shocked and annoyed.
“You call yourself an artist and that’s the most creative business model you can come up with?” he continued.
“What are you talking about?” I responded, offended, not even knowing what a business model was.
“MBAs would kill to be in your position.” he said.
“What are you talking about?” I asked, confused.
“You see, our passion is in making businesses, not products. But businesses sell products or services. So when we graduate we are going crazy trying to figure out what to sell. Artists like you already have that problem solved. So it pains me to sit here watching you parked on your ass hoping for the best.” he exclaimed.
“You just don’t understand! Art is not for money.” I fight back, feeling the need to defend myself and the discipline of art.
“Who said anything about money? You’re thinking about large corporations. Not all business is infatuated with money. Money is a natural byproduct of a business exchange. It is the currency of business. But business, at its core, is about forming reciprocal relationships.” he said, firmly.
Keep going! Check out the rest of the article at

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