“I may not understand it. I may not even necessarily agree with it. But I’ll tell you what I’ve accepted: just sort of glide along. You want to keep things on an even key, this is what I’m saying. You want to go with the flow. The sea refuses no river. The idea is to remain in a state of constant departure while always arriving.” . . . Boat Car Guy — Waking Life
This scene has currently engaged my mind as I implement new business strategies in a market that keeps shifting, more like a dance than anything else. In the Age of the Constant Paradigm Shifts, the traditional way of doing business, great for a stable economy, has become outdated and inefficient. Just when I finally felt I was adjusted to the flow of one market, it shifts or evolves into a different market. Today’s businesses have to constantly adjust to the flows of currency that act like indecisive rivers choosing the best way to an indecisive sea unsettled upon its bed that it shares with an earth suffering from insomnia. I am beginning to think of business more as a vessel to travel the flows of currency through micro economies, rather than a port that is fixed and dependent upon what flows flow there. And in doing this. I have to re-think, re-design, and re-structure my business model and strategies.
This Winter, I have cleaned EVERYTHING. Streamlined my health, my body, my direction, all the things, removing anything that may be an unwanted anchor. I have also drawn up new blueprints for my new business vessel.
As an artist, business is a bit tough to grok. For me, I have to create visual metaphors in my mind to explain the logical flows of money through business structures. My new metaphor is to think of my art business as an Airship that I travel in. A portable gallery and studio that I can take my story from one location to another sharing my dreams and journeys within the Collective Imagination. The hard part for me has been trying to substantiate and quantify my imagination without selling out or losing control of my vision.
Today’s economies can be very turbulent, especially for the Arts. Funding can disappear within an instant, typically right before you are about to finish, leaving the artist high and dry, stranded and alone. You need to establish a business model free of such dependency on funding, and only work within your means. Following more so the path of the organic over the cancerous path of fame and desire. That is if you want to keep your practice thriving until you pass beyond the sunset. This is where I find myself now. My life, my professional career is all about my work and my story and the production of the Great Work I wish to leave behind. I have a good 40 years left or so of painting in me, and unless I adjust my way of being to be more efficient, I am not going to get it all out, and I do not want to pass having my Great Work 75% completed. It is for the most part, why I am here. I have a story to tell. So, I have to suck it up, and surrender and commit to the business that is my work, or suffer in old age with a sense of being incomplete.
I am now running within a marathon mentality and not a sprint mentality. Which brings me to the moral of this story:
“The idea is to remain in a state of constant departure while always arriving.”
There is a Universe of Universes that it takes to explain the different corridors this ‘koan’ travels. But basically it is one of the core engines that are directing the design of Keith Prossick Arts and the design comes straight out of the many experiences and mistakes I have encountered thus far. You basically need to be ready for anything, even the collapse of the economy your business calls home, but that can be exhausting. A Taoistic approach better suits the 21st Century sea of micro-economies. Commerce flows through currents within the World Wide Web that can change in an instant and you may find yourself pointed in a new direction. But the change can also be with function. You have to be fully and completely aware of who you are and what you want that person to be within the community you call home.
One other way this is relevant to an Art Business is that our work relies upon our imaginations, and we need to have a fresh connection to the source of our ideas and in our minds, traveling through it. I love the excitement of new places. I love getting that fresh breath of air at a new port as you breathe in its personality. Arriving is always exciting and a great source for new ideas and thoughts. To keep your imagination active and flowing, this is the state you must maintain in as an artist, a state of departure while always arriving . . . the only way to drink from the source.
And to the Artist, this source must be respected in the sense of the sacred, and the business that envelops the Artist’s fount must match that intention. Art flows best when flowing through the mindset of Sacred Economics.
It is here, as I continue to build this new Airship called Keith Prossick Arts, I hope to be able to lay out the groundwork and path and explore this new ideal and let it be the home to my Practice . . . what needs to be re-adjusted . . . Mindset, Perspective, and Superstructure as a means to develop Practice, Process, Production and Prosperity.
The Art of the Business of Art Business . . . all the things I wish someone told me about . . .
Follow Along . . .