QUIET SPACES (from the art of business series)

For a time, I helped artists sell their work and had a studio in the Georgetown section of Seattle. There I learned much about both art and business. One of my favorite clients, a painter, seemed to effortlessly turn urban landscapes into bold abstract paintings. Ones that restaurants and hotels sought for decor. 

I marveled at how he could produce his works, asking myself if artists simply see things differently. Through discussions with him and research, I found that they do. A talent with important applications in both the art and business world. 

Artists either have a natural or learned ability in abstract thinking and composition. Where we see a city scape, they see objects and shapes. Ones they can move around using color theory, composition and other techniques to create art. Their final work always bringing the best elements together.

My painter went a step further. He added a quiet space in the painting for the eye to rest. It separated his art from the bold abstract work that overwhelms you senses. The quiet space he added drew the viewer in, allowing time for them to relate and become involved with the work. His clients loved this.

Talented business people have the same ability. They don’t deliver a completely canned solution to their employees or customers. They leave space for collaboration, insights and alternatives to the final product. The equivalent to my painter’s quiet space for the eye to rest. In business, space allowed creates buy-ins, calls to action and success.

I used the insights learned from my painter to restructure how I made business proposals to clients. I discarded trying to make a perfect complete proposal. Instead, I started breaking it into components, pricing each one separately. And importantly, leaving enough undecideds for discussion. It resulted in higher sales and more involved clients. It was all about making business an art form.

Art is not just for the viewing, there are things we can learn. Employing the way artist sees the world can lead to greater business success. This is especially true in the ever changing world of today. 

David Young