Innovating Through Artistry

Contestant #2 Donna Kemmetmueller

In ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, The Entrepreneurial Artist Competition on August 21, 2009 at 7:23 am

Entry to the Entrepreneurial Artist Competition, Round II

“Are you going to be an artist when you grow up?” I remember distinctly these words, spoken to me by a classmate in the first grade as we hung our crayon self-portraits on the wall of the classroom.

Art has always played an important role in my life…

As a child, my mother instilled in my siblings and me the value of creativity, and led us in play that was dependent upon our imaginations. During my teen years, I began to explore and develop skills in fine art and craft, and opted to study art at the university level. As a form of human expression, art fascinated me, it helped me to better know myself, and it linked me to others. I discovered that its capacity to evoke powerful emotions – from a calm stillness elicited from the beautiful, to a shudder at injustice conveyed — make art a powerful tool. I learned and experienced personally that those who come to ponder a work of art bring with them portions of themselves that contribute to its interpretation and meaning. As I grew, so did my appreciation for the richness of art, this creative expression that has always played an important role in my life…

…As has community.

My hopes of communicating goodness and a message of hope in a broad way were cultivated in the various positions to which I was assigned during a period spent in a religious community of Catholic sisters. Working in the design department of a publishing house owned and operated by the sisters allowed me to apply and build upon the skills of my education. As a graphic designer, I communicated with other artists from across the country to formulate a message that was distributed just as widely through the printed material. Connected to these artists and to the members of the religious community, my creativity was engaged in complementing the editorial text and communicating visually its message. As a team, the sisters, other artists and I, worked to reach out to the broader community with images and words that inspired faith and hope, justice and peace. I realized that my creativity, in this role that ignited my passion to serve the broader community, is a great source of energy that makes me happy and alive. Its force comes from within, and from beyond, the source of Life itself.

In my current job I am connected to local artists that are striving to build and maintain creative and viable businesses. Their eagerness to contribute their treasures to the community, not without personal risk, have attracted my attention, as have their struggles to survive financially. Realizing the mutual benefit art is to artists and to the general public, I have begun seeking a way to be a bridge between these two worlds.

I have an idea…


I’ve started job searching. Currently, I am looking for a company or organization that helps artists be creative with their marketing, while assisting corporations in expanding their markets to a broader portion of the population: art, with its innate capacity to connect people in human experience, is a powerful marketing tool! My graphic design skills, backed by a degree in fine art, are a toolbox with which I will serve my community. I will put my design skills to work for the cause of bridging the artist world and the general public. I present here my business idea, springboard to a potential career.

Here is my plan: with business training provided by a community organization in my area, I will develop a business plan that articulates my mission of bridging local artists and the broader community. I will explore areas of the market within which each artist I work for would like to expand, and seek out companies that wish to expand their markets with the nuances of creativity. I will offer marketing packages to local artists: a survey of what artists need will come first, as well as free services for a few artist friends in exchange for the time given to help me develop my business. I will imagine and assess potential areas for artistic contribution in the corporate world: marketing divisions of companies will be targeted with proposals to integrate local artistry into product lines and services. Appreciating the value and importance of those on both “shores,” I will work as a bridge builder between them, connecting the artist world and the corporate world with my own artistic and creative skills. This is my idea…

…And I could really use some help.

My business is still in idea form. I hope to deepen my connections in the artistic world, and form relationships within the corporate world so to be an effective bridge that truly supports an exchange of mutual benefit. In the process, I intend to develop a business that is affordable for local artists, attractive to corporations, and self-sustaining – so as not to fall prey to the very thing (financial struggle) it intends to work against. The resources (prizes) awarded to the winning contestant are a dream opportunity that would allow me to bound ahead with my entrepreneurial venture.

Art and community are positive and powerful themes in my life, and I believe this business idea is a logical result of my desire to be engaged in both. If you agree that the work of such a business venture is important and needed, I welcome your comments, ideas, and assistance. In developing the business skills necessary to reach my goal, for the benefit of artists and the broader community alike, I am certain that I, too, will enjoy a mutual benefit.

Written by Donna Kemmetmueller

  1. Dear Donna,
    It is a good idea to pool artistic talent and have a venue for artists to express their ideas in a finacially viable way. Big and small businesses as well as non-profits too can take advantage of such a resource to get their message to the wider community. May you be awarded the top prize, and all the capitol and input to make this venture fly! Blessings on the project. Mary P. Martin

  2. Hi, Donna,

    Your business plans sounds very sound to me and the energy of your passion for this work is tangible through the text. I wish you much success and hope that you will be selected for this prize as it will serve as a much needed boost to your efforts. Keep in touch and let me know if there is any way I can assist.

    Lisa Burke

  3. Hi Donna,

    I appreciate the desire to be a tool, a bridge, of hope and peace to a world that is weary with so much advertising that says, “You need this.” Those messages drain hope and peace as they remind us that we never have enough. I hope that your venture will build a community of individuals that share a similar dream.
    – Fr. Kurtis Gunwall

  4. If only I were an artist I could work with you on such a meaningful project. While my skills may not lie with creating art, I am an art advocate and would appreciate the results your project will provide, as well as many others I know. We need more innovative and compassionate thinkers such as yourself.

  5. Kudos for business development that creates a win-win-win for the producer, consumer and community at large. This business model warrants further development for a largely untapped and unfilled market need. Best of luck in your passion to create value!

  6. Greetings Donna …You have great potential… and gifts to share with the community and the world. May you continue to be…all that God created you to be….for His glory! You go…girl!!!

  7. I believe this is an important need. You have the skills, passion, and ability to see the cohesive theme(s)needed to build the bridges you described. Good Luck!

  8. Hello Donna,
    I’m sure that you’re a great artist and you’ll always be.Keep going lady, you have a great talent in this field. Good luck to you and hoping that you win.


  9. Hello Donna,
    I add my very best wishes that you take the prize for your innovative business plan. Connecting artists and businesses takes marketing to a whole new level. Your energy and enthusiasm for this project is infectious. All the very best to you!

  10. Donna,
    The concept sounds exciting and engaging. During this time of financial upheaval, keeping the lines of communication open and with an end benefit to all involved, sounds like a solid path to follow. It will be great to have someone explore an avenue that is focused on mutual growth and community building. Best wishes and luck to you in your venture!

  11. With your generous spirit of giving, I know that you will find “success” in this path. 🙂 I know of a nonprofit or two who would gladly work with artists to develop their skills. 😉

  12. Artists are always in need of ways to get known. tTis is a great idea Donna! I’ve seen your work on this so far and look forward to seeing you realize this into what could be a great business model. You have the talent and skills; now you just need the opportunity. I hope you win!

  13. Dear Donna,
    All the best! With your talent and generosity, you can do so much. May you find your heart’s desire and a niche where your talent can best be appreciated!

  14. I really like the (personal and societal) historical perspective on creativity that Donna proposes to explore. Very interesting hypothesis that I am interested to see examined.

  15. I know the kind of art you create and I would hire you in a flash! I remember the video you made about the chair and the tree…. You see beauty in a unique way and then capture our gaze so we, too, can see, savor, contemplate. Thank you.

  16. You have the gift for the written word, art that speaks a thousand words and the smile to mesh them into an amazing masterpiece! I will sponsor your venture just as soon as I win the BIG ONE! For now, I give you my prayers and love!

  17. I love the idea of creating bridges between artists, corporations and the community at large. I would suggest also looking at institutions such as university art and marketing departments, with a possibility of internships etc. Check out this local endeavor here in NH :

  18. Dear Donna,
    You did a marvelous write-up. Having lived with you for an extended period in community, I know personally how talented, creative and determined you are. My prayers and best wishes are yours that you will take the top prize so that you can bring your dream and the dreams of many other artists into being.

  19. Best of luck to you, Donna! I know firsthand how talented and committed you are. Sending you best wishes and lots of prayers.

  20. I have known you as bridge builder and excellent communicator, Donna. This sounds like a great use of your talents. When your talents are coupled with your capacity for hard work and tenacity…everyone wins!

  21. What we need are more artists, creative thinkers and community builders. You are all of the above. I am excited for you just by what your idea and passion to help others develop, expand and use their talents. You are calling out the best in each person! Thank you for your courage to dream and create!

  22. Dear Donna,
    It is so good to see you working toward using the talents that God has blessed you with. You always put others before yourself and I can see you still have that desire to serve. Thanks for sharing this with me.

  23. I also believe this is a very important need. You have the skills, passion, and ability to see what is needed to build the bridges you described. We need a venue for artists to express their ideas in a finacially viable way. I know you can make this work!

  24. Donna,
    Your enthusiasm for this venture is infectious; I find myself wanting to find organizations to connect with artists through you! I believe you have not only the passion but the determination to make your plan succeed, and I look forward to seeing the idea grow and blossom!

  25. Hi Donna,
    Your idea is wonderful, it reminds me of the graffiti artist that ended up designing for Obama’s campaign. With your energy and abilities, I’m sure you will be successful.

  26. I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks,

    A definite great read.. 🙂


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