Exploring the Digitalization Needs, Practices, and Concerns of the Visual and Creative Sector: Insights from Stakeholder Interviews

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship - Study the business of art

Caoimbhe Molly Crowe 

Pre-Master Thesis


Title: Exploring the Digitalization Needs, Practices, and Concerns of the Visual and Creative Sector: Insights from Stakeholder Interviews

Keywords: cultural sector, the art market, networks, trust, disadvantages and opportunities, AI, digitalization, digital transformation, marketing,


This thesis explores the key topics gathered from stakeholder interviews conducted in the creative sector. These include individual needs towards digitalization and illustrate how digital tools have changed the creative practice. Further, what role do alliances with external partners play to create career opportunities. We learn how collaborations can support creative production, and how networks are developed in the digital era. It will investigate the shift of the traditional art market towards the decentralized community and how these can support an artist's career. Stakeholder interviews will provide insight into the worries and success stories of creative workers from the field. The study focuses on the need for creatives for digitalization by focusing on those with academic backgrounds that are seeking professions in the creative industry. The cases are discussed in a diverse way to create a dialogue around the topics of the need of going digital and the entrepreneurial skills that are required for creative work and how advancing technology such as AI creates a new discourse around the intellectual properties of creative workers. Advanced technology can support artistic practice and opens the dialogue about how the artists of the future will be perceived. The conclusions are divided into three main categories, starting with an in-depth investigation of the overall need for digitalization. In the section that follows, this paper investigates different tools that creative professionals are using, illustrating how they each approach digital practices individually. The research further explores marketing methods, focusing on the key branding and message strategies used by artists and designers. Overall, marketing strategies are developed individually as each creator has the need to communicate their work to their target audience. Through this study, the research aims to put light on the worries and concerns that different artists and creators have as they explore the digital realm. Furthermore, it will end with a recommendation for the academic curriculum of autonomous artists and designers. It will provide insight into the worries and goals of creative workers towards a shifting market for creative business. The case study speculates on future scenarios of the sectors and debates the role of the creator in times of digitalization. 


This research is dedicated to all the emerging, and dedicated artists and designers who have been striving, surviving, and embracing during the covid pandemic. The goal is to create a perspective that explores the possibilities of offline and online spaces for the creative field. I am humbled to have had the chance to spend time with talented researchers, educators, and creative minds during this unprecedented time and that these people have shared their time, resources, and knowledge with me. Your contribution shaped the way I approach my personal artistic and entrepreneurial practice and has given me the opportunity to explore the endless possibilities of engaging in community building within the digital sphere that broadens new network relationships. With your guidance and mentorship, I hope to further explore the speculative futures together in a decentralized landscape that may shape the future of art.

1. Introduction 

In recent times the world is experiencing the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the Lockdown measures, many industries such as the cultural sector were forced to restructure their services and business models according to the circumstances. Turning physical presence into a digital format was one of many approaches for businesses to stay connected to their audience. Fragerberg (2005) defines innovation as the implementation of new advanced methods and tools. Such key tools can be technological advancements toward digitalization. According to Fragerberg, continued training in innovation approaches is based on prior knowledge and experience. This concept and framework support the understanding of how innovations happen and what supports innovation. Further, we can investigate different indicators and factors contributing to innovation, such as the supply side, the demand side, and the institutional context. His concept of innovation provides a tool for understanding what contributes to the growth of digitalization and what continually shapes it to reevaluate and predict the future of implemented approaches.

In this thesis paper, I want to fully understand the current ecosystems of art and learn what factors influence the success of artists' businesses within the art market. This research addresses the following question: How has the adoption of digital tools in the art industry impacted artists' business success from 2019 to 2023, considering the pre-COVID era?

         First, this research paper will first describe the necessary terms and definitions following economic theories of the cultural industries. To understand the current state of research this paper will provide some insight into the recent academic agenda by reviewing suitable literature. Recent economic reports and studies will illustrate some of the relevant indicators that influence how businesses operate toward digitalization and uncover insight from stakeholder interviews. Findings gained from this will help specify the research agenda and focus on the following sub-questions: How can digitalization tools accelerate an artist's career and practice? Further, what are the most effective digital marketing strategies adopted by creative workers to develop their audience in the post-pandemic era, and how have these strategies overall impacted the artist's career?

It would be important to do research on the implementation of digitalization technologies in the cultural sector, including their effects on the development and distribution of art as well as their effects on their practice. This asks for an in-depth analysis of stakeholder insights to come closer to answering these questions.

The literature review provides insight into the ecosystems and the indicators that influence the art market. Economic reports from several pieces of research are cited to give an overview which will be added to by a qualitative case study of emerging and established creative workers that produce, trade, educate and showcase their work. The goal is to understand the need for knowledge and the success of digitalization tools in establishing and maintaining and encouraging an artist's career. The focus group of this study is emerging and established creative workers residing in the UK and the Netherlands. Overall, this paper aims to reveal how digital tools create a new market for creative workers.

2. Theoretical Framework 

Investigating the tools of digital innovation helps to understand the terms to avoid what Francis Bacon describes as Idols of the Marketplace. It is important to understand that each term used by a specialist of a different profession is semantically different. (Hall, 1983) For instance, the term digitization refers to converting analog information or physical objects into digital format. Secondly, the term digitalization describes the approach of using digital technologies to transform business processes. Finally, digital transformation as a term may refer to the process of using digital technologies to create or adjust business processes, customer experiences, and culture. (Rogers, 2016)

Now, how does this relate to the art market? The traditional artist practice consists of artworks produced, displayed, and distributed in a physical form. A traditional artist career would rely on their network for exposure, collaborations, career opportunities, support, and feedback. In many cases the artists would have to partner with a mediator, manager, and art dealer to advocate a substantial career within their network. These mediators would operate as gatekeepers for the art market. Those gatekeepers would ensure the quality of the work and may influence the perception of collectors by promoting selected artists. Rather than support this might also create a barrier for an artist to enter the art market.

Nowadays, artists can advocate for themselves on social media to create their own global community. This allows the artist to create their own market and catchment pool, which ultimately offers new opportunities within a global network. The same applies to art institutions, museum galleries, and showcase spaces. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, these cultural institutions would create physical spaces for engagement with their audience.

The paper by Petrides and Fernandes (2020) suggests that marketing businesses can support artists by providing the essential tools and knowledge to develop their entrepreneurial marketing skills that help an artist identify potential markets for their work that connect them with gatekeepers of the art world. It also provides new financial resources that support artists in their creative endeavors. Nowadays artists conduct several jobs at the same time. They are usually self-employed and need to develop entrepreneurial skills to earn a living and create a market for themselves. That implicates self-branding and positioning themselves within the art market. Thus, artists must develop a unique brand identity that reflects their artistic vision that eventually resonates with potential collectors. As well as, a marketing strategy, which faces overall challenges and potential barriers set by gatekeepers to the art market. They, in turn, will have to be able to assess and evaluate the artistic quality and the importance of the network recommendations. A marketing strategy implies usually must include social media platforms as they support artists in advocating their brand and creating an online community which is essential for reaching a wider audience. Online channels can increase visibility which can strengthen network effects such as reaching new potential collectors or creating career. Furthermore, its visibility can lead to cooperation opportunities with gatekeepers of the art world. Gatekeepers of the art world are usually curators, gallery owners, and collectors but can also be influential private people that support an artist's career. Those gatekeepers can help identify potential markets and creating opportunities within the art world.

The innovative and integrating concept of convergence was developed by Gillian Doyle (2011) who investigated the regulation in media economics. The described process of convergence is postulated to encouraged by changing consumer behavior and technological advancements. In the art market, we experience a shift from the traditional practice such as the development of physical work towards the integration of new media art forms that are expressed in digital formats that engage with digital tools and processes such as augmented reality AR, virtual reality VR and recently the metaverse as can be observed within the fields of photography and filmmaking.

The use of technological and digital tools has changed the way art is produced, distributed, and consumed. One can assume that it contributes to change in the art market. As to the effect of the pandemic, people continued to consume and purchase art but advanced to many different shapes and formats.

Kowalsky (2015) calls digitalization the fourth industrial revolution, consisting of a change in information technologies, automatization, and the shift from offline to online services. For industries open to these changes, new opportunities for growth are arising, and these are to be fully met.

Since the early 1990s, the primary and secondary markets have undergone a digital transformation that has accelerated during the pandemic. This results in digital sellers, buyers, and intermediaries now transacting online as in an offline market. “Internet has turned from an art-marketing instrument to an apart-standing art market segment with its unique features and development patterns” (Sidorova, 2019). Jensen et al. (2021) estimate that online sales doubled between 2019 and 2020 because of the global pandemic. Furthermore, dealers report an increase in the share of online sales from 13% to 39% between 2019 and 2020 (McAndrew, 2021).

In van der Schaaf (2017), websites and email remained the most important tool for the galleries surveyed, ahead of social media, while 20% of the galleries surveyed did not use third-party platforms. The difficulty of conducting in-person exhibitions and sales during the pandemic may have caused gallery owners to rethink their digital strategy. In addition to the so-called old media tools, and those adopted since the digital revolution of the 1990s (the website, the newsletter, or email), the pandemic may have increased the use of more co-instruments (social media, third-party platforms, digital fair, online viewing room). The pandemic has changed the hierarchy of priorities in the use of digital instruments by art galleries in favor of more recent tools (Von Gunten, 2014).

Taking on a commercial perspective on the move from digital to new media art, the study investigates the transition of the art market from traditional forms to digital and new media art. It examines the economic, social, and cultural changes brought about to new media art and offers a market perspective on developing art forms. The paper addresses the potential and opportunities that result from adopting a more technologically driven approach to art, as well as the obstacles to it the art market in adjusting to the new media landscape (Gunten, 2014).

There is a visible attempt to respond to the digitalization trend not just by modernizing products and services, but also by completely reinventing core business models. This development is a one-of-a-kind and game-changing progression from which organizations in other sectors may learn and adapt in order to improve their performance. Companies are seeking innovative ideas to better meet the demands of their customers, especially in the face of ongoing digitalization. Developing hybrid business models, which encompass novel combinations of aspects that satisfy consumers' evolving wants, is a viable strategic strategy for generating even more value for customers and businesses (Brown, 2008). As a result, innovative business models are a critical condition for a company's success, exceeding ordinary product and service advances (Gassmann et al., 2010). Hybridizing their existing business models helps companies of any industry to remain competitive in a changing world (Endres et al, 2019).

The paper of Krapkova (2017) provides an assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the strategies and outcomes of art galleries in Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands. The study focuses on three business areas: demand, digitalization, and online art fairs. The data was collected through an email survey sent to 420 galleries with 60 valid responses. The report discusses the changes that have occurred during the pandemic and assesses what changes will remain as a definitive deconfinement begins, driven by vaccination. The report also introduces a new method to assess the subjective impact of the pandemic on art galleries. Overall, this paper provides valuable insights into how art galleries have adapted to the challenges posed by the pandemic and how they may continue to evolve.

Related to the research question how the use of digitalization tools in the cultural sector affected revenue generation in the art market from 2019 to 2022, this paper can provide some insights. According to the report, there has been a significant increase in online sales by dealers between 2019 and 2020 (primary and secondary markets combined). The report also suggests that the health crisis has had a lasting impact on embedding the use of digital technologies in the profession on a sustainable basis. However, it is important to note that this report focuses on three specific countries (Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands) and only includes data up until June 2020. Therefore, it may not provide a complete picture of how digitalization tools have affected revenue generation in the art market from 2019 to 2022.

The Hiscox online art trade report 2021 additionally focuses on current trends and numbers in the online art market. It exploits customer behavior and preferences as well as the reasons and motivations of collectors on online art platforms. The report provides data on the growth of online art sales and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the art market. It also discusses how galleries and auction houses have adapted to the challenges posed by the pandemic by increasing their use of digital technologies. This information can be used to assess how digitalization tools have affected revenue generation in the art market during this time. However, it is important to note that this report focuses specifically on online art sales and does not provide a complete picture on how digitalization tools have affected the creative business in other areas of the cultural sector.

     After gaining insight into current art market trends that influence the customers' choice and certain indicators that impact revenue generation during the time of 2019-2022. The question arises: What are the economic impacts of digitalization tools on the art market from 2019 to 2022, we learn that the circumstances such as the COVID pandemic, change the way that the art market operates and broaden their external services to reach their audience.

Investigating the way artist, dealers, and collectors have adapted to the digitalization of the creative business, leads to my research question: What are the most effective digitalization strategies adopted by creative workers to generate revenue in the post-pandemic era, and how have these strategies impacted the overall career growth in the art market from 2019 to 2022?

                   We can assume that the hybridization of art businesses encouraged by the COVID-19 pandemic led to a relocation of the budget management. Elena Kirpu (2021) authored a research paper titled "How do Artech startups enter the art Market, and how do they position themselves?" exploring their approaches in comparison to conventional art institutions.

To understand their reasons for joining the art market, difficulties they encountered, and their industry navigating tactics, the research entailed interviewing 10 ArTech startup founders and assessing their comments. The study also examined the positioning techniques employed by ArTech companies to conventional art institutions and pinpointed the crucial elements that affect their commercial success.

The COVID-19 effects pandemic on businesses and technology adoption are discussed in some detail in some of the cited current research, but they do not directly address the issue of the most successful digitalization strategies used by museums, galleries, and other art institutions to generate income in the post-pandemic era and how they have affected the overall revenue growth of the art market from 2019 to 2022. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technology, and businesses that have performed so are better positioned to handle the crisis, according to the study.

To completely address the research question of this paper, it might be necessary to conduct more case studies and industry reports specific to the art market in order to deliver an in-depth answer to the question. This also touches on additional indicators, such as governmental regulations and cultural aids, that can have an impact on the art business during the covid pandemic.

In the paper Banks and O’Connor (2020) provide an example of how the UK's arts and cultural sector has adapted to the pandemic. They note that while some of the UK's neighbors had begun to identify specific measures of support for the art and cultural sector during March and April, in the UK seemed to be mostly indifferent and silent at first. However, they also note that by May 2020, several initiatives had emerged in the UK to support artists and cultural institutions, including emergency funding schemes, online performances and exhibitions, and collaborations between artists and healthcare workers (Banks and O’Connor, 2021, p. 6).

Further, Germany's response to the pandemic regarding its support for the cultural sector is briefly mentioned in the report. It specifically mentions that Germany developed a substantial aid scheme in March 2020 to ensure the survival of cultural institutions, employment, and remuneration for artists. The report, however, offers no more details on this approach or its effectiveness (Banks and O’Connor, 2021, p. 5).

3. Methodology

For this study, I chose to follow a qualitative research design adapted to the study objectives and research questions. Based on in-depth literature generating unstructured interview questions. The unstructured interview was split into subtopics following demographic questions. The developed interview guide worked as a research framework built upon the literature review and its concepts and theories. It marketing branding and approaches applied by the respondents. Further questions dived into the aspect of creatives going digital and lead to specific indicators such as the pandemic related and funding that may have had an influence on their creative practice and approach toward digital skills. Finally, the interview concluded with questions regarding asking about concerns and dangers that may arise while approaching a digital presence. See the appendix for the interview guide that describes the concepts derived from the literature review and the arising questions.

For the collection process, I operated with a purposive sample that meet the criterion I targeted a group of creative workers from Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK that works or is striving to maintain a career in the creative and art industries. For the collection procedure, I approached creative workers from my personal network. Further, I used an email campaign to reach out to a total of 348 recipients within my mailing list. Overall, 168 people read this e-mail campaign. Eight people asked for further information by clicking on implemented weblinks. A total of 15 responses resulted in 3 conducted interviews. Additionally, WhatsApp was used for recruitment leading to successful responses when using personal means to contact rather than public posts. Some of the people contacted took longer to respond and clarify their appointments for the interview, we were not able to conduct the interview within the timeframe for this study.

Further, the selection and access led me to be able to speak to eight creative workers with a broad range of experience and background to deliver an overview of the education, practice, and business of creative workers that approach digital methods for their business. The interview took place online via Zoom, Teams, and WhatsApp and was audio recorded and later transcribed for documentation purposes. The duration of the interview varied from 30 minutes to 2 hours. I began each interview with clarifying terms and concepts that are relevant to the interview question.

Initially, I was looking into the research question of, the most effective digitalization strategies adopted by creative workers to generate revenue in the post-pandemic era, and how these strategies impacted the overall career growth in the art market from 2019 to 2022. I was interested in the economic benefit that can arise for artists by adopting digital strategies. Throughout the conversation, it became clear that this is harder to quantify as each creator showed an individual need for digitalization. Furthermore, within the concept of art for art's sake, none of the Informants were creating their work purely for economic benefit. Their practice and career seemed to be more about the vocational aspects of their practice. This makes it difficult to quantify and understand the economic impacts of a mainly subjective practice. Overall, it became more central to investigate the worries and needs of creators regarding digitalization and the impact it has on their practice.

The analysis of this study started with the findings structured in a discursive way. Aiming for a diversity of the opinions of each of the informants in the context of each interview topic. Finally, ended in a discussion of personal reflections on the implications of each conservation including particularities of the artist’s sector or topic regarding digitalization. Within some topics, the discussion may end in what may be particular for the cultural creative sector or the art market for creatives that are potentially considering or are in the verve of digitalizing.

The following chapter summarizes and discusses the findings leading toward the concluding chapter of this study, where personal expertise is used to form an overview of the needs and worries of creative workers going digital and give recommendations to the cultural sector.

4. Unveiling the Key Findings: Exploring the Individual Approach and Digitalization Needs in the Creative Sector

4.1. Introduction

In this chapter, the most relevant findings that arose during the interviews are illustrated. As mentioned in the methodology, this qualitative study reached out to various stakeholders of the creative sectors each with an academic background who are pursuing a career in the creative industry. It became clear that there is an individual approach and need for digitalization. This chapter is divided into three main categories: a general overview of the need for digitalization. Following a platform discussion showcasing the individual approach toward creative practice with some examples of effective marketing methods. Including what the typical marketing agency can do for the creative worker, the need for collaboration regarding promotion, and showcasing a body of work. As well as the main messaging and branding techniques practiced by creative workers. Relationships and collaboration that will be examined lead to the emotional and intellectual bond that creatives are looking for in support and creation of their work. The role and importance of the creative network in creative practice. The third topic is diving into the worries and needs of a speculative technological-driven future of the art world.

In its conclusion, this study will illustrate the needs of the visual and creative sector of the individual artist as well as the creators' concerns and worries while going digital. This thesis aims at drafting future visions and needs for education and training within a technological-driven future of the art world as well as the role and practice of creative workers.

4.2. Exploring Communication Requirements: Unveiling How Messaging Reflects Specific Needs

In terms of branding and positioning, the informants demonstrate an individual approach to their marketing methods. Respondent 4 states. “You really must know yourself really well. And you must be yourself.” Trying to explain how he implements this approach elaborates. “I mean, you can come up with this kind of brand idea. That is not yourself. And it's kind of a reflection of it, maybe, or just part of it. But then, in the end, people will eventually see that it's not you. Yeah, and I think it's also a term that is used too much and maybe it didn't have this value anymore, but you need to be authentic. But I think it's, it's important and that's also why I always when I get kind of an offer, for example, I always think okay, should I do this or not? Is this something that kind of resonates with me, and with kind of the brand that I've made of myself or not? And I think that's really important, especially for me, because I have this kind of name in the art market, you could say, but it's kind of a really niche name.” He further explains: “It's much more kind of a thing that you always are always in kind of a transition. … and you also have to embrace that, I think because otherwise you'll end up and well and that's also okay, but then you will that will end up in this kind of static art space where people exactly know who you are. But you will not grow, or you will not be able to grow to the other spaces that are there to be opened.” Once you established this idea for yourself it is a good thing to use social media he explains: “It can be used to reach a certain audience. But on the other hand, I think we really have to look for the social media platforms or platforms that are really resonating with the things that you are doing, (…)”

He reflects on today's society and how new generations have a natural approach toward going digital: “Maybe they are already grown up in a world where there is no kind of clear distinction between digital or analog because everything is kind of happening at the same time. Yeah. So, I think it's really important to have a digital strategy of course, as an artist, because while everything is of course happening the on the internet, so you have to be there, and you have to use it as a platform to show your work. But also, maybe to engage with people and maybe also experiment with the things you were doing.”

     Respondent 3 is in a situation in which his practice is changing and developing alongside technological advances. He is repositioning this brand and emphasizes the importance of knowing oneself, one’s work, and what it is about before stepping out and communicating this with his audience. “I really want to make use more use of the network that I already have. So online for me, it's just kind of like a way to make more from the network that I already have.  So, it's not so I'm not going to in that sense, start marketing strategies that actively approach a certain group or try to partner with certain institutions. It's really in that sense online. For me, what I need to do is really just recraft my online presence with the materials that better represent the work that I'm doing right now. And then it will be a matter of like, first, building it out from in from into out just so first again, like if the people around me don't know exactly what I'm doing, then how am I supposed to communicate it with a broader audience, right? So, it's like working from inside out.

Further, he explains the role of his audience in shaping the work and its process. He states to thrive upon this engagement that inspires and shifts the process of thinking within the development of a concept. Although he also shared bad experiences in sharing ideas he continuously believe in the enthusiasm and empowerment of working within think-tanks. “I don't see like how there's like, gatekeepers that would prevent me or that I would need to avoid in that process. (...) I think sharing more is actually better. The more that I could share and like get people, people's enthusiasm and support. That would be a better strategy for me than, like, developing it completely isolated. Even though like the idea might be stolen, (…), even if I'm not the first but latch on to it because there's like movements in you know, robots and in translation stuff right, so that I kind of like unaware of that space, but to both ride that wave and make it something that is uniquely me, right that is that comes from my work (…)

So how can the current technological development support artists in creating their branding? Traditional marketing would include a person, whether this is the traditional artists' gatekeeper or a marketing agency. A current art student uses neither of those and turns to AI to develop her brand.

I started to work with Chat GPT a lot. Like also like it when I got some texts that I really not that interested in. Of course, you can just put them in, they write you stuff about it. It's also nice. Not that often but I tried to like I told Chat GTP stuff about me and now I let AI create a portfolio and like, portray, and stuff about me so I look up what AI thinks of me. So, I gave them information. And now they make pictures of me and portraits and like a CV and stuff like that. And then I will look if the AI need fits into my surrounding as I. (…) It's really funny too, to be honest.”

The communicative needs of the visual and creative sectors are the subject of this chapter. It explores how individuals in the sector use massage techniques to address their individual needs. The chapter looks at issues including creative professionals' use of branding, positioning, and marketing strategies. Additionally, it covers the significance of authenticity in communication and how it affects how others view artists and their work. We learn that their branding starts within their practice and that their messaging should operate from the inside out, in terms of knowing what your work is about and then sharing this message with your audience. Further, this process of reflection can be enhanced when working with AI technology to receive objective feedback.

4.3. Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your Digital Campaign: Strategies for Targeting the Ideal Audience

When looking at what creative workers are looking into when going digital there are individual needs. Some respondents are mainly offline and use the online sphere for their research or outreach. Developing career opportunities was one common interest for all my respondents. Respondent 2 shares some disadvantages of platforms such as Instagram: “I haven't used social media enough. Or effectively enough by myself at least to like really have that pay off as opposed to doing face-to-face things, but at the same time, it is because of those online spheres that I'm also notified of like open calls and such which I then respond to and that has or is really interesting, and important as well. The only thing that I wished is that there was more of a central space in which you can see more open calls instead of just flying by Instagram because you don't know disorganized that is.

In the conversation with respondent 4 it becomes clear that curated and pre-selected content resonates with your audience rather than spamming them with daily content: “So you have to find this kind of silver lining between using your network but not overusing it, of course.” Overusing your network can lead to a kind of bad marketing that can result in your audience not feeling engaged and rather being randomly bombarded with content: “But the interesting thing is that the invitations that I get for example, listen to new music or to go to a gallery that is really personalized, that is really addressed to me. And I can see that it's kind of somebody that is writing from the idea, okay. This is somebody that likes this. I'm going to also focus on this that works best.” Furthermore, he suggests that a qualitative pre-selection of your niche audience works better than spreading your content quantitatively to the masses: “So, I think okay, why send it to me? It's, no use, just kind of put the effort into finding the people that are really interested in your art and are really already did step in that field. I think that works way better than just sending everybody just an email and hoping that it will get a result.

Respondent 7 gives a great example of how effective outreach on social media can add to the creative business. She uses Instagram that links to her website, she gives suggestions on how to use hashtags and location tags to reach a defined audience. In recent times even business networks such as LinkedIn became more interesting to many of my respondents as they can support creative workers to find content-related topics and projects that accelerate business opportunities.

         So I got a massive contract for the Mercure and the Ibis hotels and that is through one comment, a general comment on some stranger's post on LinkedIn. ... so, I put on a post, and I was scrolling through, and this guy called Martin Rogers, saying that actually, they were investing 138 million, building two hotels in Paignton. And I've got I read it and I was like, oh my goodness, that's amazing that someone is actually investing 138 million in Torbay into hotels, so I literally wrote with no motive, no agenda. It was a thank you so much for your investment in Torbay. It's much appreciated. Good luck with your project. It was just gratitude because I live in Paignton. I was like okay; we've got a Mercure hotel coming here. This is really good news. We need a bit of panache in Paignton. We need it. And he got back to me obviously LinkedIn with me. We started a conversation you came into my studio. Love the studio. You then contracted me as a local artist to work with the Fragrance Hotel Group, which has 58,000 properties around the world. And they contracted me to put 161 pieces in the bedrooms and 16 public pieces in the public areas. And it was a contract worth a lot of money. That was one post on LinkedIn.”

The methods used by creative workers in the visual and creative sectors to enhance the efficacy of their digital campaigns are covered in this chapter. The chapter examines several possible approaches to achieve this objective and emphasizes the importance of choosing the right niche audience. It draws attention to creative workers' unique requirements and preferences in terms of online outreach and business development. This chapter discusses the benefits and drawbacks of using social media and other internet platforms for networking and career opportunities in the creative sector. We learn that the right platform can reach the right audience and the right message to the right person can lead to career opportunities. On the other hand, not using targeted approaches can even be a disadvantage when it comes to outreach. This is especially important when using Email campaigns and operating platforms such as Instagram.

4.4. Navigating Collaborative Relationships and Strategic Alliances: Unveiling Diverse Expectations and Trust in the Creative Sector

Respondent 4 sees himself positioned between the stakeholder and the gatekeepers of the art world: “I kind of embody both the gatekeeper and the artist who could say in what I do, and mostly gatekeepers are also my audience. (…) I chose to also be the gatekeeper instead of only being the artist that does. Expect speculative design things.” He continues: “So I'm more working for the gatekeepers that are essentially bringing something to the masses, then that I'm working for the masses, you could say, yeah, maybe my audience is much more if you look at the model of the diffusion of innovation by Rochus if you know it, but my audience is much more the early adopters than the majority. “Further, he acknowledges that marketing agencies can accelerate an artist's career and explains: “I think that's also the problematic thing of being an artist that your main audience is not a majority, and that means that the audience you have is an audience that doesn't really have a lot of financial bases. So, you're always kind of working for people that don't have those kinds of massive financial opportunities to pay you. So that also means that you really have to find your niche. Definitely. (…) I also had this kind of coaching practice where I helped artists to find out their well potential so and they use kind of this story scaping method where you kind of translate your mission and vision and also the way your kind of your own values to your audience and then turn it into a really good kind of marketing strategy. So, I think I'm I've always been on the other side and have been kind of the market marketing agency myself, you could say. " Essentially, he concludes: “So there is no artwork without the exposure of the artwork in a specific way. So it's all kind of connected.”

Throughout the research, respondents were questioned on their needs and their experiences in working with marketing agencies. As respondent 4 emphasizes the potential need and support that can result from such a relationship lead to one experience of rather being exposed to economic benefits and future career opportunities as an aftermath of collaborating with a marketing agency.

“I collaborated with a marketing agency last year. And so, I had artist management and (…) they tried to make public relations, write texts and made the communications and also the develop contracts were platforms like Twitch and a few platforms. But the thing is that I didn't sell more NFTs was the agency. So, I sold more NFTs when I worked alone. And as well, this agency made a contract with Misa.Art - Johann König Gallery, and I made a sale of about $1,000 sold eight pieces, and the worst was $1,000 and I got zero from it because they booked a flight and there was a manager taking care of me. And then when I was asking for 50% of the $1,000, they just sent me an Excel table with all the costs that they had, and that the cost was like about $3,000 or something that's even more because of the payment of the manager and that they don't want to share the income from this. So, they got paid for directly they got to the 1000 dollars and like, they took it from me because they invested in me and that's the result when you work with a marketing agency in Cologne. (…) Boulevard Influence Cologne.”

He adds: “A curator is much more effective than my marketing agency or something. But I think when you want to proceed with an art you need to like intellectual support and a marketing agency is the opposite of this. And, if you want to sell NFTs you need a marketing agency. And it's, it's you should have a balance between. But I think when you are a good artist, your art will sell itself. So, you don't really need the public relations from a marketing agency. And when your art is good and you're on several platforms. I think it's better to cooperate with the bigger platforms and they will make the marketing for you. Like when Sotheby's takes your art. You don't need a marketing agency. … And you will never get to Sotheby's just with the help of a marketing agency. Because they are looking for quality and not the noise.”

When dealing with gatekeepers there is a need to be clear on how to protect your artistic signature. Respondent 7 shared an experience in which it is not only the marketing agency but also the commercial partner that may not have pushing your career in mind. To this day, gatekeepers of the traditional market are a potential barrier for creatives to enter the market. Respondent 7 shared how even successful partnerships can misuse the knowledge and skills that creative workers can offer to their audience. “It's actually quite common, but there are two galleries where I've taught both of the gallerists so both persons that run both people that run the gallery, two different completely different towns don't know each other. They both come to me for classes. I've taught them how to paint and typically they're not trained, but they want you to, explore their practice. They've been doing crafts, things they've been doing all right that, but they want to not sure they come to me I've taught them they then start painting like me and then start selling their work. And one gallery in particular in Hope Cove. She represented me as a gallery as well. She whittled down my collection in order to put more of her own collection, which looks like really bad copies of mine. So, there are good gatekeepers. There’re bad gatekeepers. I've still unmade in my mind, what to do about that situation. Because I shouldn't feel a threat to it.”

When discussing collaboration with agencies, another Informant speaks from an experience in which the additional person that is dedicated to the task can be beneficial to the entire project. We learn that the need in this case to say the right person for the task is more beneficial than a generic unspecified person. It also adds to being clear on what task needs to be addressed.

So, for actually for the vintage startup, we did collaborate with a marketing agency. So, they helped us actually on Instagram with our campaigns and to see like okay, what's the right time to actually release a message? What's the engagement that your message is getting? Are there different wordings or keywords? Like kind of see, like, how are those performing? So, we did partner with an agency at the time to help us work on that. I would say that we learned a bit but maybe also, like if we would have done our homework we would have also learned about these things. But then it's sometimes it is useful if you're already a small team and you're already having to think about so many things. Then it's super nice if you have the financial room to actually get someone working with you on that. So, I was on that topic I was thinking of maybe creating some kind of AI agents for myself that unload some of the marketing work for me. And of course, there are tools out there that do that. Right. They're like these kinds of dashboarding tools. I think in the end, what's really useful is if you have like a person that you can bounce ideas off of, right, like an actual, an actual person that is like an extra brain and extra someone that's looking with you at specifically that task of like, how are the marketing efforts performing?

     Navigating individual needs is essential when working with creative minds. Involving outside resources is not always possible in order to achieve the necessary funding required for expert services which makes sense in the light of other than economic goals many artists aim at.

     The chapter explored the range of expectations and the importance of trust when developing collaborative relationships with marketing agencies. The advantages and disadvantages that the respondents experienced were described. When collaborating with marketing agencies it is important to set clear expectations prior to the project. Also, it is recommended that selecting the right partner can enhance the results. To collaborate with marketing agencies the necessary funds are required. Therefore when young professionals start their careers it is possible to develop certain skill sets which will make it easier to communicate the needs and expectations of a partnership is most important. The economic benefit seems to be less important to most respondents than an additional view or place to pitch discourse and curate artistic practice.


4.5. Balancing Economic Benefits and Artistic Vision: Empowering Individual Artists and Creators in the Visual and Creative Sector

When talking to creative workers it becomes obvious that the focus of their business is their artistic practice itself. Their work becomes the message rather than the big campaign or an unessential product. The artist is the creator of their piece. Art theorists are continuously discussing the value of the artwork and its  relationship to its surrounding, which becomes more debatable within the white cube. What can be said for sure about the artwork is, that without the viewer there is nothing. This theory is debated by many artists and critics from Marcel Duchamp to Olafur Eliasson, but especially when thinking about the artist who wants to showcase their work and aims at this interaction with the audience. Marketing can help deliver the artist’s support for the message. However, artists also create independently of their audience, which leads to the next topic individual needs in collaboration.

Respondent 6 who has been working with a creative agency for years now to promote his work, explained neatly and clearly: “I would like to just do art like produce it, and everything else. Like bringing it to the place, hanging it, inviting people. I would be glad if someone else would take that task. Like it would be a cooperation, but still, I'm fine with doing art and I would like to rely on somebody else to put it out into the world. (…) you have to trust the person. And also, it should be like a teamwork, where you discuss decisions and where the like the artists should be the one in charge like make the major decisions and the other person should more be like a service, like supporting the artist.”

     One common idea is that you can measure an artist's career by their economic success the discourse around their work or the listing of institutional solo exhibitions on an their vita. These are not every artist’s or creator’s goals. Throughout the conversations, goals and values were quite personal to each creator, their diverse opinions translated in different ways. One respondent was working towards defining her artistic practice which used to be impacted by guidance. She started and pushing her practice in an autonomous way without being influenced by mentors, investors, or potential clients. Although her work has had institutional success in recent times she states: “I got quite a nice sum from my previous art price, … while the money itself was a really nice bonus and like allows me to be able to like to invest in higher quality paints and all of that. The main reason why I applied to these things was less because of the money that it brought me and more because of the connections that I can make through that because that I feel is super important to your work as well. It's going to lead to a better stop more than like, a couple of 1000 euros. It maybe depends on how you will use it. If you're using all of the money to like, make some solo gallery solo exhibitions happen in a place that would be super expensive to move your work towards that is different and commutes most of the materials. So, I always see the money that I get from those prizes as a nice plus. And everything else to be able to fund my everyday stuff is just literally from my job. I work three or four days a week, depending on what we know. Yeah, three, two, sometimes three days, sometimes four, and the rest of the time and I feel Yeah. And I balanced it like that. And it allows me to be able to work independently, and freely without feeling like I have to work towards a specific thing because your investors want to expect certain things from you. And that doesn't always have to be a bad thing. Sometimes that is exactly what you want for a project. But that hasn't been the case for my work. So that independence that really gives me peace of mind.

On the other hand, Respondent 7 who has worked successfully as a painter in the past 20 years became quite emotional when discussing the importance of economic benefit to create their art. In opposition to the romantic narrative of the deranged suffering artist that does not fit in and has this need to create but not to make money. “But commercially, I mean anybody that says (…) the artist shouldn't think about money (…) I mean they're just not in the real world. (…). I mean for an artist to take themselves seriously, who is that common actually aimed at? Is that aimed at someone that can actually be financially supported by somebody else in order to be creative? Or is that common aimed at (…), someone hundreds of years ago, very bourgeois kind of Bush was say, (…), kind of, I'll just be a painter, just be an artist, (…), and that person has patrons and they're supported, in that, and then the respect and the patronage that comes along with that. It's fantastic to allow you to be this artist that doesn't think about money. But an artist has always had to think about money if they're professional artists. I mean, you go back to some of the masters, and you go back to Leonardo or Michelangelo or who, Gainsborough, whoever, and they were commissioned and they were supported either by the church or by wealthy landowners. That they were contracted into that there was always a financial element to it. (…)  people like to have this idea of artists suffering for their art and not thinking about money, but you know, fuck that. (…) We've got houses and bills and mortgages and kids to get to school and everything else. (…) people that may be doing it as a hobby. They don't need to financially support themselves. Maybe they've got the liberty to be able to create what they want how they want, but then what happens is, is they might not necessarily think about the selling element, in which case they then end up with a shitload of work stuffed in a spare room that they can't move in.”

This chapter focused on the challenges that individual creative workers face when balancing their earn their living. It explores the need to provide the flexibility to focus on their artistic practices while simultaneously taking into consideration the financial aspects of their business. It explores the dynamic between creating art for art's sake and the need to generate revenue and get financial support for their business. In this chapter, the respondents discuss diverse topics such as the value of art, the relationship between creators and their audience, and the impact of marketing their body of work through the relationship with a trustworthy partner. We learn that many artists would love to mainly focus on their practice, but the reality is that being a creator is a job just like any other occupation that needs to face the reality of paying bills and taxes.  

4.6. Empowering Networks: Catalyzing Creative Work

In the upcoming chapter, the study discusses the role and impact of the creative network on the creative process. In the theoretical framework, it states that the network can benefit the career and enhance business development and opportunities.

One respondent studied and graduated during the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently working on recreating her practice and developing her business. She is facing certain myths within the art world, such as that you need to be engaged with everyone within the art world to be successful. She described her experience as follows: “If there's one thing that I really learned after my time at the academy is like just having a network isn't really enough for itself. You have to build a network that is right for your art because if you do not if you kind of stick to you know, of course it's nice to have like people you get along with but if that isn't automatically going to actually help your career as well. If they're doing completely different things and you can support each other you can like each other's work and all but always going to lead to a place to places that are right for your career, (…) “

This niche group within the art world is traditionally known as an elite group of people that gatekeep the art world and are rather excluding than inclusive. One respondent changed this dynamic for himself as he is, as he describes a digital painter, who operates on a decentralized art market. Respondent 8 shares how this new development had the opposite effect on his career: “I would say the most important thing is to take shows and like always some NFT projects where it's a very community-driven space. So, it's very important to involve and interact with the community. And this is the kind of marketing I do so when a guy speaks about you and is recommending you, to like as a gallerist. And this is how I make one step after the other. And yeah, this is what I also observed only in the NFT space, because the traditional art environment is a lot of gatekeeping so everybody's keeping this gate, and nobody wants to collaborate with anyone. And this is a difference in the digital community. We all like to share our work and to share our success. (…) this is the idea of decentralization. So, it's the kind of decentralized marketing that we are making and it’s community driven.

When talking about the value of the network in their practice, respondent 3 emphasizes how the surrounding was finding its way into his practice. Conservation of the work and the sharing of ideas within a think-tank is what drives him to create. “So, I think I try to be inspired by what's going on around me and kind of try to see the synergies that are possible. So yeah, I get my ideas definitely from my direct environments. (…) So, the value of my network and that sense is like inspiration and, and support. And then I think like when (…) I'm convinced of the work that I'm making, and I'm completely motivated for it, then things will fly again. I think there's the most the thing that's most holding me back is not being confident or not being fully sure that you know, this is it you know, like this is what I want to share with the world.

According to respondent 4: “It's, I think one of the most important things. So, the network that you have on social media or on the platform is so important. And that also means having to engage with your network. Also, if you don't have art at that moment, so keeping the kind of the network running, also, for example, on Instagram, also looking at what other people are doing that are kind of doing some of the stuff of people that you've worked with trying to get that network and that network doesn't fall apart. (…) and also in the practical sense, the people that are surrounding you, or are in your neighborhood also, once in a while, get a coffee with them or just meet up with them. (…) Meet up with somebody that is in your network, and once you've seen them and you drink coffee with them and talk to them, it's way easier to work together or to maybe use somebody might use in a not in a negative way. (…) So, the quality is always the most important. And that's also because we may be in the 2000s. We still have this idea of the massive kind of audience, and that you wouldn't be able to reach that kind of totally big audience. But I think that has changed into the idea that you could rather focus on a niche instead of everybody.

Intellectual support means a lot to the creators. In my conversations, there was a repetitive emphasis on the creator community that supports each other and inspires each other to create more. Respondent 8 observed an even deeper relationship within the NFT community that is more open to collaboration rather than the traditional art market. His network not only delivers the drive for his practice but overall is essential for this work which leads to further project opportunities. “Network has given me the opportunities and the network is also my form of advertising. So, when I share information with the network, they pop up, and they posted so I have a multiplicator effect and the network is dynamic. So, people are leaving people like coming inside but the network is open. Because it's decentralized and so without the network, there wouldn't be a Respondent 8 so it's but it's maybe also the base of everything.

This chapter investigates the role and importance of the network in the artistic process of the creative worker. It illustrates how beneficial networks can be for the creative worker in terms of career opportunities, business development, and overall creative growth. This chapter investigates topics such as the power of networking, collaboration within the network of the creative worker, and the potential for inspiration and innovation that arises from being involved in a supportive creative community. We learn that we are experiencing a shift within the traditional art market that is known to be excluding and elite to a decentralized community that is inclusive and supportive of the creative process. This further emphasizes the importance of the niche audience that creative career opportunities within personal relationships.

4.7. Fostering Collaboration and Entrepreneurship: Exploring the Shift in Art Education and Artists' Perspectives

Respondent 4 seems to hold quite an agreeable point of view: “I think the collaboration thing is really interesting. So, I also made the decision to remain kind of a company with just one employee - it's me because that gives me the opportunity to kind of always construct new kinds of networks when I'm doing a specific project or doing a specific thing, so I always kind of team up with other people that I need in a certain kind of environment. And that kind of is, is really successful, to find people that kind of have skills that you don't have, and then you're able to do stuff that you can't do on your own of course. And I think that's also one of the futures of the art world. Yeah, to really use each other. And I think bottom-up works as well. That's kind of the bottom-up approach.

Traditionally we see that the art academy trains the creator to work by themselves in their studio on their own. This does not always work out well in creating the best work. This is a shared experience that current art students such as Christina Berg and established professionals such as Respondent 7 who studied 20 years ago has experienced. This phenomenon seems to be present in art academies throughout Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. Respondent 4 argues: “For a lot of artists that could be difficult because, as you also said, they are kind of educated in a way that they should be autonomous, but they should not put together blah, blah, blah. So, I think that's a shame that a lot of kinds of art schools are still based on that notion.

A current student addresses briefly her worries about the future in terms of her post-graduation. She feels prepared in terms of having to be flexible and ready for things to change last minute and therefore this creates a sense of autonomous and nomadic work ethic. On the other hand, she thinks she might rather be asked to work as an entrepreneur and the challenges of running a business which is another side of creation and production. “I think the way how they act around us and how they treat the students in the fine arts program, you get kind of prepared in the sense of you're never sure what happens next, and that you will never find any place properly without chaos and an organization. So, you're really well prepared in that sense, but talking about like the whole money situation, how you can make funds and stuff. Maybe it will come in the fourth year because every time before tours, or yeah, probably not. Right? You're looking like it wouldn't have no but like now they also have like a fun thing where they collect money for their exhibition. But no, actually I don't feel well prepared for it. It's I think it's all for a lot of people like early, like anxiety point, that you're really not well prepared for that. But you're prepared, how like, I don't know, like workshop works and stuff like that. Like the easy stuff.”

And where would entrepreneurial skills trained be empowering you to ownership of your process and production? Most of the respondents trained themselves in the skillsets of being business developers and stakeholder managers and branding agents. They learn to grow with technological development and take control of the communication of their work and practice.

The chapter illustrated the need for change within art academia according to new ways of communicating art. There is a need to look into the future of art education in terms of creating a shift in the curriculum to engage future creative workers in collaborative projects. A current student speaks for others within the training that they feel anxious and unprepared for their entrepreneurial path. It is necessary and possible to encourage institutions to support collaboration and develop entrepreneurship skills that can have a positive impact on the development of creative workers' careers and the larger art market.


4.8. Safeguarding Artists' Concerns in the Digital Era: Navigating the Challenges of the Digital Landscape and Protecting Creative Works against AI-Driven Theft

As technological advantage changes the way we operate and use it, worries about misuse of new technologies arise. Currently, the discourse mainly revolves around the use of AI and copyright law. When talking to respondent 2 this new territory in the online sphere causes them to carefully select the content shared on various platforms. Respondent 2 states: “One thing that I see that has made me a little bit more careful with like sharing my work all casually on stuff other than like my own website, where I can put my own safety protocols in or like Instagram or whatever is. (…) I won’t really share my work on other social media outside of that even when I do have them because of because the privacy laws when it comes to AI things are still so murky, you know, on one hand, that is way less relevant for me as an as a very expressionist painter. And maybe way more too, for instance, illustrators who, for instance, like some really”                   

On the other hand, respondent 4 shared this idea about AI: “There was also another many kinds of talk about a new kind of things. That is happening. It's kind of so strange that it's still kind of seen as something maybe that is out there in the world, but it's not important or it's kind of a threat or those kinds of things like now with AI which is seen as an enormous threat for us and (…) there are people in my network that are so negative about AI. And then I'm trying to kind of understand why and how they kind of perceive the tool and my answer is, no, no, there are no dangers. And that's maybe because I see, technology may be different than a thing outside of me. This is kind of the classic philosophical way of looking at technology as ‘das Ding an sich’ which is the idea of Emanuel Kant everything outside of us, where everything is outside of us, tools, other sentient beings there are objects and we will never fully understand them because they aren't things in itself. I think Kant was wrong. And a lot of new kinds of philosophers also think that that's a model of reality that doesn't really work. I think it's much more like you and technology kind of planned and that if you use technology, there is this kind of totally new entity that exists for the time that you are working with the technology itself. I think that's a much more fruitful way. of thinking about this and using it so that there is always you in the technology. So now there is no danger. There was only me maybe the danger that I'm kind of posing to myself because I'm using technology maybe in a in a way that is not fruitful for me. So no, no, I don't think that there is but I always see kind of opportunities instead of kind of disadvantages.

     Talking about disadvantages, informants answered the following question: Hixcox online art trade report 2021 suggests that the COVID pandemic has changed the way the art market operates and broadens external services to reach an audience. How has the pandemic affected your artistic practice? And has your body of work become more popular during this period and has the digitalization of the art market helped you?

Respondent 7 was caught on an Island and used this situation to deepen her artistic practice. Furthermore, she explains how the perception of the artistic practice has changed and related this to the current technological developments towards AI. “Everything shut down for me, so I had to reinvent it. (…) I was alone on an island except for five other people. I was a recluse. (…) And I was determined to keep painting (…) And I got to grips with social media. But what I did see on social media as I was scrolling through and saying, people started taking up people at home and they were getting paid to be at home or they had to be at home and then teach their children and everyone had to reinvent it, didn't they? (…) but I think a lot of people took up, it took up painting and actually, they realized, how good it is for you and how enjoyable it is and be actually is not as easy as it looks. I think there's now a newfound respect for artists and the value that art and creativity have in your mental well-being. (…) And before the pandemic, it was getting quite concerning, you were seeing music, music, and art being shut down in school quite a lot. That was quite alarming for me because I actually think if you learn music if you learn anything creative, anything creative. What it does is it teaches you problem-solving, and creative thinking. It takes discipline and tenacity. But creative thinking is what sets us apart from AI. Yeah, it's what sets us apart. And it puts us in a completely different bracket. And I think lockdown really showed, actually, for a lot of people that you know, they could really zone into doing something creative and they really enjoyed it. They could be very mindful and they take their mind off things.“

When talking to respondent 8 he was asked how the digital transformation influenced their artistic practice and how they developed their body of work. He responds, “Yeah, digital progress impacts me heavily. So, the outcome of AI technology influenced my art very much but I tried to adapt by learning every day, something new about new technologies, and I try to implement it into my process. And I have the luck that I'm working with Apple, and that they provide me with devices. So, I always get the latest devices from Apple, so I can use new technologies. And this is the most important thing is to be technologically equipped, to use new technologies. And yeah, but I'm not really planning it. It's just my attitude. So, if there's something new, I just want to have it and I can't really do anything else.

On the other hand, in the context of the relevance of the artists network Respondent 8 speculated about the future of the art world within the development of AI and stated: “It's always I was also thinking future like when everything is developing like this with AI and decentralization. Maybe we don't care about the artists anymore. And the app itself is more interesting. That is, the input is important. And the network where the artwork is placed.

This could mean that there is a need for a better solution regarding education on how to use AI for your processes. Further, there is a potential need for the creative sector to protect artists' signatures regarding the misuse of AI in AI-created artwork. Additionally, it is questionable what kind of discourse this development sparks within theories of art and what role art will uphold in the future.

This chapter explored the potential dangers posed by AI-driven creative work theft and discussed the challenges that creative workers face in the digital era. This chapter looked at the best practices for creative workers to utilize online platforms and approached ideas used to protect their intellectual property from misuse and copying. It is recommended that as technology advances it is necessary to create policies to protect creative workers and their artistic work. This chapter also emphasizes building trust within partnerships that can accelerate an artist's career, rather than the misuse of guidance and shared knowledge.

According to respondent 4: “That's also about gatekeeping and keeping people close to really trust and have this spark with then the chance that they will kind of take a chance of us also lower”

5. Conclusion: Recommendations for the Creative Sector

This study comes to a conclusion rooted within Cave’s theory on artists creating art for art's sake. In times of technological developments that shift from analog to digitization to digitalization that now has reached a decentralized community, we need to think about how we can protect the artist's practice. The idea is that the artist creates not only with the intention of economic benefit but mostly in the sense of a vocational practice, in which we can allow the creator to be purely true to their work without being highly influenced by the economic aspects. At the same time, artists who wish to pursue a business and want to convey their message, and also display their work have a need for a growing audience. This does not aim at merely financial growth. We learn that the motivations for creators who are going digital are individual and tailored to their practice. Developing their practice, and knowing their skills and positioning are essential for the creative worker when sharing their work with their niche audience. In addition, it seems to be important to know whom to target and whom to trust, and whom to engage with to share their message or to develop career opportunities.

We learn that the creative network is an essential part of the creative practice as a source of engagement, inspiration, and exploration. This can be experienced in think tanks that support their practice. It is necessary to form trusting partnerships and to know how a potential partner can support their practice and career. Moreover, it is recommended to specifically define this relationship to protect artists’ signatures and their creative business. Thus, it is recommended to prepare the future generation with collaborative skillsets and involve technological expertise in the education of future generations of the creative sector to develop the skillset needed for their entrepreneurial endeavors.

As technology advances it is also highly necessary to create policies to protect creative workers and their artistic work. 


Art Basel. (2021). Art Market Report 2021. Retrieved from



Banks, M., & O'Connor, J. (2021). "A plague upon your howling": Art and culture in the viral

emergency. Cultural Trends, 30(1), 3-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/09548963.2020.1827931


Doyle, G. (2011). Media economics and regulation. In R. Towse (Ed.), Handbook of Cultural

Economics (2nd ed., pp. 273-281). Edward Elgar Publishing.

Endres, H., Stoiber, K., & Wenzl, N. M. (2019). Managing digital transformation through hybrid

business models. Journal of Business Strategy, 40(6), 21-30. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBS-06-2018-0114


Fagerberg, J. (2005). Innovation: A guide to the literature. In J. Fagerberg & D. C. Mowery

(Eds.),The Oxford Handbook of Innovation (pp. 1-26). Oxford University Press.

Gunten, L. (2014). From digital to new media art: A market perspective.

Hall, M. P. (1983). The four idols of Francis Bacon & the new instrument of Knowledge. Journal

of Historical Review, 4(1), 69-87. 

Jensen, K. L., Yenerall, J., Chen, X. R., & Yu, T. (2021). US Consumers’ Online Shopping

Behaviors and Intentions During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 53(3), 416–434. https://doi.org/10.1017/aae.2021.15

Kirpu, E. (2021, June 20). How do ArtTech startups enter the art market, and how do they position

themselves? https://thesis.eur.nl/pub/61000

Kowalsky, W. (2015, July 6). The European Digital Agenda: Unambitious and Too Narrow.

Social Europe. https://www.socialeurope.eu/european-digital-agenda-unambitious-narrow

Krapkova, L. (2017). The Impact of Cultural Globalization on International Contemporary Art

Fairs (ICAFs) (Master's thesis). Erasmus School of History, Culture, and Communication, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

McAndrew, C. (2021). The art market 2021. Art Basel & UBS.

Rogers, D. L. (2016). The digital transformation playbook: Rethink your business for the digital

age. Columbia University Press.


Sidorova, E. (2019). Internet as a new segment of the art market. Art, Design, and Education:

Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 8(2), 4-12.


van der Schaaf, H. (2017, December 6). Digital strategies for galleries: Website, newsletter,

email, social media, fairs, platforms. Artdependence Magazine. https://www.artdependence.com/articles/digital-strategies-for-galleries-website-newsletter-email-social-media-fairs-platforms/