Business and Art: Not Really An Odd Couple

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Can free-thinking artist really combine forces with economically-driven business people to share in a positive joint venture?  It might seem strange, but this combination is showing up more and more frequently in the marketplace. How can these two entities that seem so radically different actually work together?  They both have the same goal; both want to leave the world a changed place by the work they create.

Joint Ventures

Both parties really have to trust each other to make a joint endeavor. Because they are both so fiercely protective of their image, artists and business leaders must both understand and embrace the potential risks and then allow something really impressive to happen. The artist and the business owner need to meet; not their “people,” but the actual key players must meet.

Knowing themselves is the most important part of working together. This knowledge allows both the artist and the business leader to come at the collaboration with an understanding of what they represent and what they stand for; this leads to the ability to reach common ground. By building on the common ground, each person is then able to utilize the experience and knowledge of the other to grow their enterprise and make their dreams come to fruition.

David “Lebo” Le Batard:  Yoga Mats

According to this blog post from Park West Gallery, “For Miami-based artist David “Lebo” Le Batard, it wasn’t much of a stretch to lend his artistic talents to yoga-inspired athletic apparel company Lululemon Athletica.”  Lebo, who is known for his post-modern cartoon expressionism, was asked by Lululemon to create a painting that reads, “inhale the pure salt air,” which is part of the company’s manifesto. He also created special yoga mats for Lululemon.

That was not his first experience with yoga mats. In 2012, he made a one-of-a-kind mat for YogArt. That mat was auctioned off and all of the proceeds went to benefit the Design Architecture Senior High in South Florida.

The artist, who works out regularly and says that is what helps him with his rigorous work as an artist, loves yoga. He usually spends five to ten hours per week working out; he also likes hand balancing, bodyweight training, skating and stand-up paddling.

Lebo has worked with other businesses before working with Lululemon. He’s partnered in the past with Microsoft, Macy’s Inc, Adidas, Google, ESPN, and Harley Davidson. He’s even painted the hull of a cruiseliner.

Romero Britto: Art Cars

Clearly Romero Britto loves cars. His art cars are fun and bright. The Brazilian-American Neo-pop artist loves to create. He’s also a sculptor, serigrapher and painter. Champion Motorsport commissioned his work on a Porsche 911. Clearly it shows Britto’s love of color and bold design. BMW’s Mini Cooper seems like the perfect canvas for his designs. Britto has also painted a taxi that works in Berlin, London and Paris. Volvo and Bentley have also had him create for them.

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