August 2023 – How to make business with art?

"Am I Ready?" Starting My Own Art Business – Leila Ajjawi

On the 19th of August 2023 at 4 pm, a unique event was held at the “Connect Academy” in Amman. Leila Ajjawi, a local graffiti artist and social justice activist, was the keynote speaker of this event. The topic was “How to Make Money in the Art Field.” Leila started her talk by pointing out the difficult position young artists find themselves in when they try to achieve financial independence with their art. Art, as a form, is not valued highly, making it difficult to find a place in the market. However, Leila shared words of encouragement with all participants interested in starting their own businesses, emphasizing that a mindset shift needs to occur and young artists should embrace the idea that art can be a path to achieving economic independence.

In a very analytical manner, Leila discussed the various fields that facilitate artistic work, whether it’s architecture, animation, interior design, and so on. Alongside this, she also explained to the participants how the art market operates in Jordan. Artists must be aware of the specific type of art service they want to provide in order to understand the opportunities, chances, as well as the difficulties and risks of the market. Leila emphasized that there’s one crucial question artists need to answer before entering the market: “Am I ready?”

Leila offered several useful pieces of advice to the participants. For instance, she highlighted the advantages of having one’s own portfolio, the importance of referrals for artists, and how to evaluate one’s artistic skills in relation to the market. Furthermore, she provided guidance on how to create a business plan and what aspects to consider while writing one. Drawing from her extensive experience in the freelance field of artists, she provided invaluable advice to all the young artists who attended the event.

The event concluded with a question and answer session, followed by a leisurely post-event gathering for all participants to network with each other. URI MENA extends its gratitude to Leila Ajjawi and all participants who contributed to the success of this event.