Group shot artist biz model canvas 9.14

Rujeko, Burgy, Steph and Christy @ArtSpark Business Model Canvas for Artists workshop 9/14 Photo by Andrew Fearnside


Six amazing artists came together for two evenings in September, creating a “Business Model Canvas” to think about how their creative work could produce income.  ArtSpark discovered the “Business Model Canvas” during the Start Up Weekend in Albuquerque last year.  After working intensely with a start-up team using the model all weekend, I quickly realized that it was the PERFECT approach for artists, artisans, designers and other creatives.  Yes, it needed to be modified so that it made sense to artists who often don’t relate to business terms like “customer segments” and “value proposition.”  Yet, the short and sweet approach was user-friendly and offered a fairly painless opportunity for artists to map out how they could boost their income and careers.  Plus the word “canvas” appeals to many artists 🙂

Christy and Steph

Steph and Christy @ArtSpark Business Model Canvas for Artists workshop Photo by Andrew Fearnside

Here’s the original nine-sectioned Business Model Canvas (by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur):

business-model-canvasWe took this basic canvas and spent several months modifying it for artists, artisans, designers and other creatives with input and ideas from artist friends and colleagues.  For example, we translated “Customer Segments” into “Who Is Your Audience?” with several sub-categories of potential audiences.  For “Value Proposition” we substituted “What needs and/or problems does your creative work solve for your audiences/customers?” in addition to three other value proposition dimensions.  The process was fun, engaging and brought up lots of questions that the group helped each other answer, like “Which customer segment/audience should I focus on when I have several to choose from?” and “What income goals should I set and what’s reasonable?”

Each participant left with a large, laminated “Business Model Canvas for Artists” covered with sticky notes and handwritten ideas.  Feedback after the event was really positive, and the group has already moved forward together with a meet-up to review their process while asking questions and offering support.

We’ll continue to develop, share and facilitate our “Business Model Canvas for Artists” so stay tuned!  If you’re interested in participating in a workshop, please visit the Workshops part of ArtSpark’s website and and you can also contact us anytime!