In the art world, words like “career” and “management” are widely seen as suspect. We believe that works of art exist in the realm of spirit, but we forget that artists do not. Painters, sculptors, photographers, poets, songwriters, and other art professionals create their works and build their creative careers in the face of real socio-economic challenges.

Ekaterina Korneva (Katrin), a junior at W. P. Carey School of Business, believes that the art industry can benefit from the entrepreneurial mindset. For this reason, in the Entrepreneurship + Value Creation course, Katrin developed an idea for Through Art, a search engine designed for emerging artists to search and apply for professional opportunities in the writing, music, and visual art industries. 

The digital age has opened up many opportunities for professional artists to construct their own careers. However, the competition is fierce, and it is increasingly difficult for artists to succeed without support. For this reason, many of them are looking to gain access to industry agents who can provide financial resources, industry connections, and marketing channels, such as gallery curators, magazine publishers, and venue managers.

Emerging artists establish these relationships by applying for grants and residencies, submitting their stories and poems for publishing considerations, getting into music shows, festivals, and so forth. However, the existing application process is cumbersome, time-consuming, and often requires upfront expenses. Opportunity-seekers feel overwhelmed when comparing various postings, requirements, and entry fees across dozens of disorganized web pages. As a result, artists get little reward for their effort or abandon this career development strategy altogether.

Through Art would use web scraping tools to aggregate postings from sources across the Internet, allowing users to easily access writing competitions, performance gigs, and commission jobs. Unlike various existing websites that publish similar information, Through Art is a search engine that would provide a comprehensive and up-to-date list of opportunities to meet the professional goals of the artist. In addition, users could improve their application with the learning resources and community support readily available on the platform. Through Art would enable artists to advance their careers with minimum stress and anxiety, so that they could focus on creating art. 

Through Art is an ongoing project, where Katrin seeks ways to use her business education to tackle challenges in the arts industry. “Entrepreneurship requires not only a great idea but also a capacity to make a difference,” says Katrin. The Entrepreneurship + Value Creation course, with its time and resource constraints, motivated her to overcome the fear of change and take the first steps on her entrepreneurial journey: “For this project, I practiced how to work a problem, take risks, and learn from failure, so now I feel better equipped to achieve my goals.” Katrin believes that arts play a significant role in community development and wants to ensure that aspiring visual artists, creative writers, and performers have the tools to build sustainable careers and keep making art. She will further develop Through Art in her senior year at ASU as her Barrett thesis.

Click here to watch Ekaterina’s pitch.