The Clark Hulings Foundation is providing an extraordinary series of educational modules to assist artists in building their businesses. The artist’s voice is inspirational and allows an individual to share their observations and hopes for the future. Our lives are complex and the artist’s creativity feeds the soul—just as academics feed the mind, and athletes remind us of the potential of the body. Not every athlete will attend the Olympics, not every academic will rise to the top of their class, and not every artist will create earth-shattering work. The athlete, the academic, and the artist provide balance in our everyday lives. But let’s look at the bigger picture.
What would happen if the average adult did not know how to “fit into” society and share themselves with others? Our economy would not grow, our science would not advance, and our societies would be fraught with despair. Education is needed to improve the world in which we live, and to make sure that everyone has a chance to contribute to the best of their abilities.
Becoming a business person allows the athlete, the academic, and the artist to remain self-sufficient as they contribute the product of their work and share their voices. However, many adults do not know how to be entrepreneurs. The athlete, the academic, and the artist are very disciplined with specialized skill sets, but generally have no idea how to contribute those skills to society. Many mid-career artists have no idea how to be businesspeople: to exchange goods and services for financial gain.
The Clark Hulings Foundation offers a series of workshops to build working artists’ business acumen. CHF teaches the fundamentals of entrepreneurship in the hopes that the individual will learn how to support themselves by selling their artworks and their art services. CHF is unique in this regard, and fills an important gap in the education sector. (See The Report on The Working Artist for statistics that speak to the need for this kind of education.) CHF is not about creating artists, academics, or athletes. CHF is not promoting the art services or products of an individual. CHF is not an art school, it is not a museum, it is not a curator, collector, or consumer.
So what is CHF? The Clark Hulings Foundation is a business school for creatives. Its students learn how to communicate in the art world, they learn about merchandising, they learn about packaging, shipping, and insurance. They learn about copyright protections, they learn about cyber-communication, distribution channels, product pricing and presentation, they learn how to listen, they learn how to contribute to society. They learn how others have been judged, how other work products are valued and they use these skills to improve their lives, to create a livelihood and to share themselves with their communities.
CHF artists may start new businesses, they might invent new techniques, or they might inspire others with their work. This has very little to do with an artist’s fame, critical success, or “best in class.” CHF students learn how to make a sustainable living so they can use their creativity to improve the world in which we live.