“I know that it’s not easy to pursue the business and the art simultaneously”

emma fasler

Some of the business elements of pursuing a career in the arts can be pretty exciting. Finding solid representation, seeing your work showcased on professional platforms, creating a totally on-brand website, formalizing your business bank account – all of those things can feel satisfactory and validating. Those business pieces are indeed integral parts of the career pursuit, and sometimes they take up a lot of space along the path of the creative hustle.

But there’s another piece of the puzzle I’ve been reminded of over the last few months at Mischief Managed: don’t forget the art part.

It’s my pleasure and privilege to have one-on-one chats with our Mischief Managed clients about the projects they’re working on. Sometimes those projects are business-based (getting their taxes in order or building their email lists), but sometimes those projects are creative. They’re writing new material, they’re designing a self-portrait series, they’re creating a one-woman show.

Those conversations are always a thrill, and they always inspire me to carve out more time for my own creative pursuits.

Oh boy, do I know that it’s not easy to pursue the business and the art simultaneously, but those creative projects are where the business moves will be rooted. In order to have something to pitch, something to sell, or something to promote, we have to make the dang thing in the first place, right? Even more crucially, by continuing to make/do/create, we allow our work to change and shift. As our perspectives naturally evolve over time, our art will become more specific and more personal. And as the definitions of our creative statements become more clearly defined, so too will our mission statements on the business end. But, again, we have to make the art in order to let it grow and to clarify. So... we must let it! Make, shape, listen, re-shoot, make another one, craft, fine tune, edit, make another one.

And while you’re doing all that, know that I am not only enthusiastically cheering you on, but I am truly trying to join you there at the drawing board / on the blank page / in the studio. Even while we’re learning how to approach our creative pursuits with that necessary entrepreneurial spirit, let’s not forget the art part.

Thoughts from the Field by Emma Fassler, Project Coordinator