The Art of Business Plan (not a tutorial)

Last weekend I was invited to a birthday party of a Gallerist Friend, apart from the lovely scenery and the fact that it was the first time since my youngest daughters joined us that I could go to such an event it was an uplifting event.

But mainly for one specific talk with a fellow artist, after me, telling him that “I plan to keep my path of art and focus on social topics”, bluntly provoked me by saying that an artist needs to challenge himself to reach a new limit every time, to boldly go where he had never been before. It wasn’t a great revelation and I wanted to diminish it. But there and then I realized that this time around I’m already doing it differently.

For the first time in my artistic career, I sat for the two weeks prior to this talk and (drum roll) wrote a business plan for an art project.

Writing a business plan for an art project was never on my mind before that, it was something I hoped would get sorted in the end and sometimes it even did. To some extent for a long time, I thought that I was doing one but it was all in my head. I didn’t know it doesn’t count until at one point during the last part of Lipstick Leaders the sensei/guru herself Georgette Vun shouted at me – “You didn’t write a business plan?!?”.

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100 Portraits 100 Leader 100 Women – “Lipstick Leaders” premier, June1.2018, Zurich

Even then it took me way too long till I dared myself to do one, so the one that I did do was in retrospect a few weeks after the initial show (1.6.2018). Let me tell you it was gloomier than you might expect. It was depressing I was in enormous debt after this project and if had to pay myself a salary it would have been much more significant.

But this time from my own device I set down in advance, like an adult, and did a “business plan”!

Since it was more intuitive than intentional, I had to ask myself why am I doing it this time so differently. At first, I thought, I had done it because I’m of “growing up” (which is also true) but then I realized that it all has to do with what I aim to follow with this new Art project.

In short; in my past projects, I focused on parts of society and created a space where these parts can be included too. This time I’m focusing from the start on society as a whole. I want to build a community with Art.

The first set of numbers I crunched showed me that on its own this project is out of my financial league. I had to take a break only to overcome the idea that I couldn’t do it. But then I realized that I only wrote the costs of the Project but not how I wanted to finance it.

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Mix Technique (Oil Pastels, Aquarelle, Graphite) on Paper 21x29cm 2016

This process required also a few days as I wanted to be realistic but not without hope or ambition. Which proved itself much harder than you might imagine (When was the last time you bought original Art?).

But in addition to that it was actually a very big personal transformational step for me. It was the first time that included a salary for myself and a realistic profit margin that when achieved I could invest in future projects.

Through writing these lines I realized, that through working on the business plan I started to create this future community with a clear and clean intention, with no illusions.

Truth. 

I want to create a “Truth” based community.

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Out of the concept of my new Art project “Das Abendmahl” that will follow the creation of a Community

Since by now you are probably asking yourself what this project I am talking about, here is a small taste :

“Imagine a large hall with 10-12 large pictures framed in dark, heavy wooden frames on the walls. The images differ in color and style but unite in theme and story. They show 13 people who had come together to break bread with strangers and to share communion. 12 stories of encounters and discussions, one story of a supper that brought them together. – a community. ”    

      let me know what you think