Life as a Project: Business Model for a Modern Artist

How can you not betray your inspiration and still become commercially successful? Some people say that art is a chaotic process, but British artist Shantell Martin destroys this stereotype. She is confident that an artist has to create an original but personal business model if he or she wants to become a part of the art world.

Go out a window”

After Martin had removed to New York, she chose a traditional way of promoting her art. In other words, she applied to galleries. But after failures, she decided to take another way out of galleries’ control. “I like to say, if there are no doors, go out a window,” Martin says. She initiated her own art events and spoke at conferences. Today, the artist makes money from commissions and teaching.


Working with different projects can be an important part of a business strategy because it is a possible to explore unexpected sides of creativity. But even in this case you need to make decisions depending on your interests and intuition. The artist should have a personal voice when he or she chooses partners. Martin compares it to the main line in drawings, because it helps to preserve identity and one’s own approach towards influences. It should be the core of the business model.

Away from comfort

The main thing is to know who you are. Difficult tasks and travels will help you to understand yourself. Martin says that it is only outside the comfort zones that an artist takes on new challenges and battles for success. Participation in residences also provides new stimulus because of the changing environment. And the most important thing is to live your life without focusing only on art and instead try to be a better person every day.

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