Leaders of innovation in the art market

By Portafolia Studio,

People in the art world sit on vast amounts of knowledge, expertise, and passion. But their weak business foundations, make it difficult for them to make a positive impact on this field.

On the contrary, business people enter the art market attracted by art´s growing reputation of a luxury good, the market of which moves millions of pounds. They know how to execute business and make innovation happen, but their commercial approach often irritates people in the art world. None of these two ways is fully benefitting the art world. So, what if more art people could unlock their potential to drive innovation in the art market?

Art world insiders are uniquely qualified to develop a business that caters to the specific needs of stakeholders in the art market. Their potential to become leaders in innovation in this field thrives through their unique insights, a good network of contacts and peer recognition. The competitive advantage of those art professionals looking to develop their own businesses is that they can, like no other, bridge the gap between art and business.

However, a key challenge that many self-starters in the art world face is the poor understanding of business and management. Access to funding is challenging in any sector, but art people struggle more to pitch their projects in a business-like manner. Yet a major obstacle that separates them from what they would like to achieve is simply fear of failing. Without robust business preparation, the failure rate in the art world can be brutal (the 5-year survival rate of all UK businesses is just over 40% according to the Office for National Statistics).  Luckily, we can all learn to do business over time and acquire business skills through advisors and friends; but a true understanding of the idiosyncrasy of the art world will ultimately set you apart.

An artist myself – I hold a BA in Fine Arts and an MA in Art Business (a life-changing course though not an MBA) –, I have spent years learning and understanding how business works.  Like most people in the art world, I may not have started my entrepreneurial journey with a solid business background, but I have learned that my unique insight into the art market represents one of my key advantages.

This is the first post of Art Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a platform that provides insightful commentary on various aspects of innovation and entrepreneurship in the art market. Over the following weeks, we are going to have two brilliant contributors delivering valuable information to help you advance your projects. Nick Bowie, Registered Trade Mark Attorney at Keltie will tell us about the value of trademarks, how to conduct searches prior to filing (so you can save a little bit of money) and how to get funding for it! Thanks to Nick, the EU and US trademarks of one of my projects were fully funded by a third party. Anders Petterson, Managing Director of ArtTactic, will provide useful advice on how to research your business idea and get your new business off to a great start!  Thanks for reading. I hope this initiative is enjoyable to all its readers.


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