From the time he was little, Andrew has always been one part business and one part music. Growing up in Utah he remembers playing in rock bands but being equally interested in figuring out the business side of it – making and selling albums, marketing, booking gigs.
It probably came as no surprise when he decided to pursue an undergraduate degree in music with a business minor. At BYU, Andrew wrote and produced music while serving as marketing assistant at Tantara Records. “At the end of the day I’m interested in the audience reaction. This is where the music intersects with the market.”
After graduating from BYU, Andrew learned about the Bolz Center and Weinert Center and decided to continue his education at Wisconsin. True to form, during the two years of his MBA he combined his passions and completed Celebrating Wendell Berry in Music. Waking up very early to compose before school, he then spent time between classes focusing on the business side of the project. Andrew worked on this project during the WAVE class and said the experience taught him lessons he uses today. “Dan was as supportive as any mentor I’ve ever met.”
During his time in Madison, Andrew also created a course that he describes as a “small business toolbox for creative types.” Arts Enterprise has been offered at Wisconsin and Andrew even went on to teach the class at BYU. “Every artist is a small business, and the ones that know that and embrace it fare better than those that don’t.”
After finishing his MBA at Wisconsin, Andrew spent time consulting with non-profits, working at a tech startup, and developing product for at corporate training company. During this time, he was also creating a contemporary ballet and managing a rock band. He decided he wanted to spend his time working on large choral and orchestral projects and has been doing this full time in recent years.
Pivoting into full-time creative work has not been straightforward, easy, or obvious. It has required a patient, collaborative spouse and family. Andrew has worked one day at time, building and iterating a business model along the way. He has clarified his intentions so he can spend time creating. Part of his time is spent with his business hat on, networking and marketing. “Every project will be a collaboration, so all the relationships need to be in place before a project starts.” The other half of his work is writing music. His most recent project, They All Saw a Cat, is currently being performed around the country.
When asked what advice he would give to students: “Sooner rather than later, figure out how to listen to your own inner compass rather than external definitions of success.” Andrew also cites the importance of a network by saying that “people that succeed don’t do it alone.”
Stay up to date with all of Andrew’s projects at http://www.andrewmaxfield.org!