Accessing Financial Potential: Strategies for Monetizing Creativity in the Arts


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A look back in time reveals that the artists with creativity were generally regarded as avant-gardists, the torchbearers of the dawn. The best artworks show the nations’ power, riches, and wealth. Moreover, the people who inhabit the countries that possess such exemplary artworks are held in high esteem.

Today, more than ever, the arts are expected to offer a general view of things to come. Yet, many artists are starving because they cannot generate sufficient annual artwork revenues. Most artists facing this challenge are compelled to work from nine to five (9-5). Instead of doing what they love, they end up at jobs they hate.

So far, the solution to the financial risk that prevents investment in the art has not been found. The promise of economic benefits for artists from Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) in the fine arts market is unsubstantiated.

Nonetheless, the arts confer an advantage in the economy to the extent that the goods, products, and services the artists bring to the market could not have been created without creativity. “Given this edge, the creativity and collaboration of the arts have been woven into the free-market economy to create work and wealth, in what is called the creative economy”.

The creative economy was first referenced as an independent discipline within economics in the 1960s. In 2001, John Howkins brought the term to life in his book The Creative Economy: How People Make Money from Ideas. International organizations such as the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), American for the Arts, and the World Intellectual Property Organization “have developed different criteria to classify the creative sectors.”

Industries include those whose major outputs have symbolic values, mainly advertising, architecture, books and newspapers/magazines, gaming and movies, music and performing arts, radio, TV, and the visual arts. The creative economy contributes just over 6.1% to the global gross domestic product (GDP), averaging between 2% and 7% of national GDPs around the world.

According to UN estimates, the creative economy industries generate annual revenues of over $2 trillion and account for nearly 50 million jobs worldwide. About half of these workers are women, and these industries employ more people ages fifteen to twenty-nine (15-29) than any other sector. Television and the visual arts make up the largest industries of the creative economy in terms of revenue, while visual arts and music are the largest industries in terms of employment.

There are industries like advertising, architecture and design, digital media, education, film and entertainment, publishing, and tourism that seek the services the artists offer. The artists can also provide general business services, such as financial management and chasing overdue payments.

According to Samareign Hassan, “The opportunity exists for artists to monetize their creativity, winning clients by proving their unique value, which can be done through a range of tools, such as artistic examples of past work, pitches that show how they would multi-solve a business problem, creative output reflected in website, logo, and other marketing materials, and specialities that set them apart from others”.

At this phase, it must be pointed out that this article is written to help visual artists generate earned income from their art and craft. Toward this end, it provides resources that the artists can access to increase annual revenues to two hundred fifty thousand dollars and/or more. These means are as follows:

Business Plan

The Start-up School is a free online course on how you can start a business ( It is for anyone at the early stages of building a startup, turning a side project into a company, or anyone curious to learn about becoming a founder. Every ambitious startup founder gets the essential advice taught by Y Combinator partners and industry leaders.

The founder can go at own pace. It will take approximately seven weeks if a founder spends one to two (1-2) hours per week. By joining Start-up School, founders can create a profile to let other founders know their preferences for interests, skills, location, and more; see potential co-founders best suited based on requirements and preferences; connect with matches by sending invitations to founders that seem like a good fit and explore the possibility of working together.


Patreon allows you to build a lasting business outside of the ad-based ecosystem, with revenue streams ranging from membership to offering ongoing benefits to online shops to sell individual videos, podcast episodes, and more. Patreon is not just for creative growth; it is also for professional growth.

Creators can access in-depth analytics about their fans, use powerful relationship management tools, and tap into a growing creator community. Hundreds of thousands of creators use Patreon to share videos, podcasts, writing, art, music, recipes, and more with their most passionate fans.

Through real-time group chats, comments, DMs, and even directly over email, businesses can connect more deeply and directly with their communities on Patreon than anywhere else. Moreover, it can be used to obtain investment from individuals involved in alternative financing, who then receive interest and future payment of principal backed by art with a market value subject to market fluctuations.

Read an article by the Tanzania Startup Association on Crowdfunding: A Deep Dive: Crowdfunding as Tanzania’s Answer to Startups & SMEs’ Financing Challenges.

Intellectual Property Rights

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. WIPO develops a balanced and effective global intellectual property (IP) ecosystem to promote innovation and creativity for a better and more sustainable future.

Intellectual property is improving the lives of everyone everywhere. Creators and innovators worldwide use IP to translate their ideas into assets. These properties create economic and social benefits that improve the lives of people everywhere. IP empowers people. It is a powerful tool for growth and sustainable development.

READ RELATED: Navigating the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Landscape for Tanzanian Emerging Ventures.

It is an enabler that provides the means to create jobs, grow enterprises, develop economies, and add social vibrancy. WIPO sets IP norms and standards and serves as a global forum for exchanging ideas and best practices. Together with its partners, it addresses complex global challenges in which IP plays an important role and helps its Member States use IP to grow and develop.

In conclusion, the information contained in this short essay is not intended to be definite. This means the discussion on income must continue because it is the lever to lift people out of poverty. Interestingly, the artists are well-positioned to contribute to the goal of a higher standard of living. “This is despite artificial intelligence (AI), which is expected to lead to layoffs, except among the creative class” (Hsu, 2022).

Dumas F. Lafontant is a system thinker, with a particular focus on planning. He has written several articles books, and essays on human condition. Currently, he is fiscal officer for eWATER governance research project at the Mzumbe University, Tanzania.

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