Entrepreneurship as a Creative Practice: NGLCC's Takeaways
On May 6, as part of NGLCC’s Webinar Wednesday series, artist and entrepreneur Peter Krask presented on the importance of creative entrepreneurship for LGBT business owners and businesspeople. Krask, who has a wide variety of entrepreneurial and creative experience, is also the owner and creative director of PMK Creativity Guide, where he helps guide clients through creative issues or clients. Here are some of our main takeaways from this presentation.
1. What is creative entrepreneurship?
The concept of creative entrepreneurship is intended to collapse distinctions between artists and businesspeople. The idea that artists aren’t practical and businesspeople aren’t creative is false; art is inherent in business and vice versa. Entrepreneurs are, at their core, creative because they must produce something out of nothing in order to be recognized as an entrepreneur. Especially during the time of COVID-19, businesspeople everywhere are undergoing significant everyday transitions, which requires creative decisions to be made in the workplace.
2. Why is the intersection between creativity and the LGBTQ+ community significant?
LGBTQ+ people are often labeled as “artistic” or “creative” in a judgmental sense, which can create unnecessary stigma around the terms. However, the intersection between these words and our community should be recognized as a superpower. In a way, all LGBTQ+ individuals are the creative entrepreneurs of their own lives. As Krask puts it, many of us have had to make the decision to come out, which allowed us to realize that there was more in store for us. At the core of our community is a strong imagination. We have spent decades imagining ourselves into predominantly heterosexual media and storytelling, which is a creative process in itself. The question springing from this process should not be asking why we had to do that, but what we can imagine next.
3. How can we overcome creative roadblocks?
Not knowing the solution to a creative problem can be immensely stressful. However, it is important to keep in mind that all creatives run into this issue; it is not a personal setback. One of the most successful ways to overcome this roadblock is to become quiet and comfortable with not knowing so that the big idea can come to you. Letting the question settle in your mind gives the answer space to grow. It is also important to ask questions about your own work and business to fully clarify what exactly you seek to accomplish and what you can offer. Take one step up from the classic business mission statement to ask who you’re serving, and why. This functions to clarify present and future business relationships and emphasizes their reciprocal nature. Finally, focus on projects that you really believe in.
4. How can people who don’t identify as creatives tap into their own creativity?
Many businesses are strictly structure-driven and hierarchical in nature, which is a mold into which entrepreneurs can have difficulty fitting. For those who may fit more easily into that mold and may resist the idea that they are creative, the first step to recognizing the creativity inherent in all of us is acknowledging it. Remember that starting a business itself is a creative act, and we all have unique, creative input to offer in different areas and projects.
5. What are Peter’s main takeaways, especially for encountering creative roadblocks during COVID-19?
Keep going! These are difficult times, and it’s ok that things are hard right now. The solution will come with time and work. We all have creativity that we can tap into, no matter how we perceive ourselves. There is an astounding amount of queer creativity in the world.
For additional ways to help you, your business, and the LGBT community during this time, visit the NGLCC COVID-19 Resource Hub for the LGBT Business Community.