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Business Smarts for the Creative Arts (October 2014): Home

By Caley Cannon

Issue

This bibliographic essay first appeared in the October 2014 issue of Choice (volume 52 | number 2).

Abstract and Introduction

The rise of the creative industries is leading to a growing awareness of the need to incorporate business and professional skills and resources into the college curriculum to better equip students for careers in arts-focused fields.  This increased emphasis stems in part from worldwide economic developments and changes to higher education and the workforce.  Many colleges are responding by integrating topics such as law, finance, networking, and marketing into the arts curriculum to prepare students for success in the business of art and design.  This bibliographic essay reviews some fifty books, journals, and websites that address business aspects of the creative industries and that support both students and practicing professionals in the development of their art and design careers.  Although the works included are not a definitive list, they offer a representative sampling of the many and varied resources that support these industries.

The creative industries are growing in importance worldwide.  In Creative Industries: Critical Readings, editors Brian Moeran and Ana AlaovskaĨ define these industries as “based on individual creativity, skill and talent, and that include an element of design.”  The rise of the creative industries is leading to a growing awareness of the need to incorporate business and professional skills and resources into the college curriculum to better prepare students for careers in arts-focused fields.  This increased emphasis results from worldwide economic developments and changes to higher education and the workforce.  The notion of combining art and design skills with business acumen is increasingly important as companies recognize the need for employees with creative thinking and problem-solving skills—skills that artists and designers spend years cultivating.  Many colleges are responding by incorporating topics such as law, finance, networking, and marketing into the arts curriculum to prepare students for success in the business of art and design.  Authors and publishers that recognize this trend are responding with publications to address practical business concerns from the arts perspective.

This bibliographic essay reviews some fifty books (the vast majority published since 2010), journals, and websites that address business aspects of the creative industries and that should support both students and practicing professionals in the development of their art and design careers.  Resources discussed represent a wide range of business knowledge and skills applicable to the creative industries.  Following this introduction, readers will find an “Overview” section discussing important reference volumes, followed by sections titled “Career Planning,” “Business Strategies,” “Entrepreneurship,” “Personal Effectiveness,” “Marketing and Social Media,” “Economic Aspects,” “The Art Market,” “Legal Aspects,” and “Conclusion.”

Caley Cannon is the reference librarian for the ACA Library, Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta, Georgia.

Overview

Creative industries include architecture, art, design, performing arts, game design, fashion, and others that are connected to creativity and the development of intellectual property.  The previously mentioned Creative Industries: Critical Readings provides an excellent introduction to the subject of this essay.  Encompassing four broad themes—concepts, economy, organization, and work—this four-volume set is an in-depth study of the structure and function of creative industries in the economy.  Volume 1 addresses issues of creativity and the increasing interest in the creative industries, as well as the effects of public policies on the creative industries in both Western and Eastern countries.  Volume 2 focuses on the economic impact of the creative industries and the commercialization of culture and the fine arts, including developments in the art market that drive the value of creative work.  Volume 3 examines the organization of the art world and the production of culture.  Finally, volume 4 offers insights into labor issues and career development for creative professionals.  Together these volumes provide a useful and enlightening context for the role of artists and designers within society.  The set’s international perspective highlights the global impact of creative work contributed by artists and designers.