When I ordered this book, I was absolutely excited. I am a young professional looking to start my own art business, so I thought, "'The Right-Brain Business Plan'? That sounds perfect for me!" But as soon as I had a chance to look through the book when it came to my door, I realized that it was cheesy, condescending, and not at all what I had imagined.
First of all: The majority of the visual exercises involve going through magazines and clipping out pictures that the reader is then encouraged to paste onto a sheet of paper to create a business plan. Are you serious? This takes me back to high school French class, when I had to create a poster about my favorite foods and activities. Magazines were an insufficient source of self-expression when I was 16, and they certainly are now.
Secondly: On a purely aesthetically driven note, I thought the book was poorly designed. And I know, I know, that's kind of superficial of me to say, but come on, people. If you are trying to sell a book to visually-minded people about being visually-minded, it sure as hell better look pretty. As a graphic designer, I found myself cringing when I flipped the page and saw some of the layouts in this book.
Third: I've always disliked the idea that artists struggle with numbers and big words. I am an artist who tutors physics and calculus on the side to make extra money, and I know plenty of artists who are intelligent, hardworking, and (mostly) organized. Unfortunately, this author tends to go with the view that, to cater to the creative, she should use cool catch phrases and appeal to our "hip" side. A direct quote from the book: "Typically a business plan has yawn-inducing sub-heads such as 'Executive Summary,' 'Company Overview,' 'Competitive Analysis,' 'Target Market,' 'Financial Plan,' and 'Marketing and Sales Plan.' (By the way, to prevent your eyes from glazing over as you read oh-so-boring terms like these, I've taken the liberty of coming up with catchier phrases, which you'll see in a bit."
Really? I mean, I'm all for "catchy phrases" and being hip, but I bought this book because I am thinking about starting a business. A creative business, yes, but also a serious business. And if I want to roll into the bank looking for financing for my business, or if I want to be taken seriously, I'm going to have to use those "oh-so-boring terms" on a daily basis, especially in my business plan.
So I guess that about sums it up. I know this review probably sounded super negative, but I do think this book could work for someone who: 1) Likes the idea of making collages from magazines, 2) Is completely new to business terminology, and has a hard time with big words, 3) Enjoys perpetuating stereotypes about artists that lead non-creatives to not take us seriously in the first place. It just really wasn't for me, and I can't think of any craftsperson or artist in my life who would benefit from it.
I will add that, at the same time that I purchased this book, I purchased Kari Chapin's Grow Your Handmade Business, and I am loving it thus far. It has plenty of actually useful creative exercises, but it is a book that takes itself, and its reader, seriously.