Artist motivation and thrust, keys to business success by T. Casillas

The condition of the artist and the businessman do not usually go hand in hand. Sometimes separated or distant by a barrier of distrust, the fact is that artists and bussinesmen are condemned to understand each other.

Artist Motivation and Trusth - Thierry Casillas

We approach to seek the professional and business look of the artistis world with the help of Thierry Casillas, responsible for the Creation and Consolidation of Business Programmes, School of Industrial Organisation (EOI) of Madrid. Casillas has grown among brushes, sculptures and ceramics. Art has also been part of his day to day, which he now dedicates exclusively to business training.

There are many artists who look with suspicion at the business and nevertheless want to live from the sale of his works. Is the world of art and business world have always been at odds?

I would say it depends on the artists. Although, it is true there have been many artists, who have not known, or cannot commercialize their work; there have been others, who have been expert merchants and I would also say that they have had a reputation of expert negotiators; people, such as Picasso and Dali to name two of the best known of the past century. Then you have modern artists such as Hirst, the British, who has very well known to commercialize his works.

However, this does not mean they have an entrepreneurial vein, they have a business vein. When it comes to selling their products, they know how to do it well. One thing is to know how to commercialize, and another is to be an entrepreneur. The artists as a general rule are not usually good businessmen.

Marketing or spiritual management?

Artists like the ones I quoted above have been excellent businessmen. They have managed to explicit their name, or brand, to put it technically, but perhaps they have lacked a more business vision, when it comes to maximizing returns. However, nowadays, it is more common in people, who gravitate around the art world and are able to take advantage of it. I am thinking, for example, how to commercialize the work of Andy Warhol. All merchandising that is made of his work from towels to bowls, cups, and posters… That is to say, is this an exhaustive exploitation of the image rights?

The artist himself is often the one, who delegates the business task in other hands…

Yes, there is the figure of the dealer or agent, who is the one responsible for the most commercial and mercantile. In some cases, especially in famous names, it has managed to bring the artist into the first ranks of the artistic world and at the end; it is something that feeds back. As is well known, it sells very well, and as it sells very well, it is well known. The difficulty for many artists is to reach that point where the product almost sells itself because it is behind a prestigious name and an important sales force.

From a business perspective, can the young artists or even none consecrated veterans live it?

To live off the art is complicated, my father was a painter, sculptor, ceramist, etc; and managed to get 50% of its revenues to come from there, but could not live from that. I know from experience that it is very complicated and difficult. Especially, when there is no total dedication, for there to be an important result; there has to be a total involvement of the artist with his work. A person, who has it as a complementary activity, is very difficult for him to get to make a living from it. The motivation and thrust are often keys in business success and of course, also in the artistic.

What do you think has characterized the artists who have been successful over time?

Quality above all, then we could enumerate factors such as self-esteem, ego, contacts, experience, training, innovation, creativity, membership of a movement or ordinary cultural, social or political capacity to do and return favours, a good merchant (This is more modern). The list is long, often given with additional combinations of several factors, but without the former, it is impossible to succeed. Quality, as well as necessary, is not sufficient as shown by painters such as Van Gogh.

Do you think that social networks also operate in areas such as artistic?

All people are suspicious of what we do not know. Moreover, unless the artist is born under a digital design basis, he is usually a person very distant from the new technologies. Like so many, artists do not know the world of business, and are even afraid of it, I believe that, with the new technologies, same thing will happen. While, it is true that people already exist, who handle social networks with ease and have been able to use them to make themselves known and earn their personal goal.

With Plastiké, we initiate ourselves in a challenge, creating an art gallery on line only; risky from the mercantile sphere?

The idea of Plastiké, I liked it from the beginning and found it novel. Obviously, there are precedents, overall at international level of that kind of art portals, with the idea of marketing, but I understand that is a sector that is not saturated. There are still multiple options. On the one hand, it is the key to use the technology to position the page and afterwards obtain artists, who can have a clear international projection.

The importance of getting ahead of the market…

On one hand, it is difficult because it is an unknown market, but otherwise all the doors are opened and it is important to get a name. It is a very careful idea and a website from the technical point of view of high quality. The foundations are laid.

As a person, that is not directly linked to the world of art; what is your reflection on the situation of the sector?

If you listen to the artists with whom I spoke to, it is certain that everyone tells you that there is a crisis, but then you read the figures in the international art auctions and see that the sales are triggered for years.

We go back to what we talked about at the beginning, there is a clear dichotomy. On one hand, there are the first swords, the recognized artists, who already have a lot of notoriety and, therefore, are in great demand and sell at very high prices.

On the other hand, the ordinary of the mortals, the artists, who are little known, has little demand. However, there are still doing orders and important orders.

The great artists are well paid. This is the case of Antonio López; who is one of the great Spanish painters today, but 190,000 euros for the portrait of Headsets seem exorbitant. The difficulty is achieving that initial notoriety because afterwards, if you have quality once you embark on the wave, the wave will take you forward.

The art is a market where premiums much to have been quoted and named in determined sites. If you manage that to take place, you pass onto the first division.

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