My New Year’s Resolution: The Artist as an Entrepreneur

In contemplating New Year’s resolutions, this year I was determined to follow through, which was to build a Blog where I could share and engage art conversations with the community, and to begin my practicum as a writer!  I am also excited to share with you that my blog is active and this is my first blog so I apologize in advance to the experts out there for my junior skills as a writer. I would like to begin this piece by reflecting briefly on my family vacation. During the holidays, my family and I went to Disney World resort in Orlando.  The vacation was amazing and tiresome, as we tried to experience all of the theme parks. Do you know if you stay in the resort, you’re allowed to play during magic hours or extended hours until 1:00 a.m. or 3:00 a.m. and so we did!

While in the theme parks at Disney World, I couldn’t stop thinking about the empire that Walter Elias Disney (a cartoonist, producer, film maker, director, animator, entrepreneur, etc.) built. And pondering on how one artist’s dream can touch the life of others. As a matter of fact, how one artist can change the world to a better and a happy place, filled with family fun and entertainment. I am aware that many critics think of Disney World solely as a massive consumer enterprise, and indeed it is. In Disney parks, following every ride you enjoy, you end up in a store for your shopping convenience!  By the way, isn’t the entire world based on consumerism and by extension, capitalism?  But this is no the topic for today. This posting is not intended to promote Disney World resort; it is aimed to begin the art talk. The art talk on the artist, Walter Elias Disney, and his vision for the arts and the community. Disney shows that the role of the artists was more than having technical skills and passion. In order to succeed in the arts, it was always required that the artists became entrepreneurs, and Walter Disney is known for that. Indeed, there are numerous books written about Disney’s life and times, and he’s frequently seen as more of an entrepreneur than an artist. Moreover, learning from his biographical path and my experiences in Disney theme parks, made me realize that there is much more than entrepreneurial skills, the artists first ought to have a dream and then assume those multiple roles that would allow them to follow their dreams. It is no longer enough to have an idea and technical skills; artists need multiple skills to assume those multiple roles. Disney’s vision ignited change by not being afraid of assuming multiple roles in order to follow a dream—the dream of an artist. Becoming an innovator, Walter Disney created the first sound and all colour cartoon, and the first animated feature length motion picture.  From a career as a cartoonist and life as a family man (Disney decided to open his first theme park for his daughters because he couldn’t find a proper family entertainment), Disney became a real estate developer (identified property investments for the parks), innovator (gave rise to animation) and eventually the king of fantasy. In fact, he was one of the greatest dreamers of our time. Not only was he not afraid to dream, but he was not afraid to take risks to make those dreams into reality.

On that note, what are your dreams for 2012? Perhaps we all need to make resolutions to accomplish things…

If you can dream it, you can do it ~ Walter Disney

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