Artists, Widen Your Options

As an economic counselor and professor, I get into all kinds of facets of business, especially in the realm of venture capital. People are always looking for opportunities to invest in something new and exciting that will take them down the path to profits. They avoid the tried and true as many businesses are traditional and the market is already saturated. Instead, venture capitalists like to take risks. This bodes well for inventors who are looking for backers. You see this every week on TV on the popular show, Shark Tank. It is a perfect example of capitalism in operation. Yes, it is also entertaining.

I tell people with new ideas to get in touch with supporters and perhaps they have a winner that will take them to the top. Even artists can be part of the process believe it or not. You usually think of them as more independent, but frankly it is hard to make a living at art these days unless you are in the computer graphics mode. I told a young artist who consulted me that he was, in fact, a candidate for venture capitalism. He had to get his work out there to attract the money. He realized, through my counsel, that venture capitalism is an overlooked opportunity. They rely instead on grands to fund their work, but these are few and far between.

My artist client uses a spray gun to make airbrushed images on canvas. They are quite compelling. They would appeal to the corporate world. I can see them populating a large office building. Sure, he can use the services of an interior decorator to place his work in offices and hotels, but first it takes money to buy the paints and other supplies. He always needs spray guns to apply lacquer. Otherwise, he would spend what should be his creative life cleaning the nozzles.

I put the artist in touch with a few venture capitalists, one of whom I knew was an avid art collector. Thus, the two would be kindred spirits. Not only did the businessman buy a painting, but he agreed to support the artist financially for a period of five years. If he got commissions such as a big corporate project, the investor would get a percentage of the purchase profits. If a company elected to rent the paintings, there would be an income stream for the venture capitalist to share with the artist. It is a very good, practical way for an artist to survive in a tough, competitive world. Artists can make a go of it since the world is full of people who want to make a profit from their investments. They don’t limit themselves to putting their money in stocks and bonds and other traditional vehicles since they want to diversify and enjoy a different perspective.

The artist has a good story to tell now that is encouraging for his artist friends. He is trying to put together an artists’ coop. When it comes to venture capitalism, there is always a happy ending.