The intersection of art/commerce/PR and making money off what ya do

Smart piece, by the founder of a denim label, on the intersection of art/commerce/PR and making money off what ya do: Ten Lessons from a Maker [via JF].

I) No one knows you exist.

You make a great product. But the world isn’t holding its breath waiting for you. It doesn’t know who you are. It doesn’t know you even exist. Currently, in the pecking order, you are at the bottom. It’s nothing personal. Everyone starts here.

You will have to make your reputation. You have will have to gain peoples attention. You will have to be as good at selling your product as you are making it. It is your job to get people to know you are on the planet.

II) You are not an artist.

You make things. You make things in order to sell them. The difference between you and an artist is you can’t wait years to be discovered.

You have to make what people want to buy. This is commerce. This is not art.

Selling is good. Employing people is good. Having apprentices is good.

Makers are here to make. Makers are here to sell - Van Gogh had to wait till he died before he sold his first painting. You can’t.

Sales after you die don’t count.

III) Make something that people want to buy.

Time is your most valuable resource. Spending your time making something that no one wants is one of the best ways I know to waste your life, and also to kill your business. So before you start, work out what people want. Work out why they will buy your product over your rivals. Work out what sets you apart.

One good way to make sure people want what you have to make is to do it better than anybody else. Another good way is to design it more beautifully than your rival. But the best way, is to do something that no else is doing. And do it so well, they don’t even try to copy you.

I know, I know...you're an artist and you shouldn't have to deal with this stuff. But maybe this is just part of being an artist now?

And speaking of makers, this is a beautiful short about a master woodworker in Eureka, CA. It goes deep. [via JK]

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