To read this content please select one of the options below:

The Creative Business Model Canvas

Michelle Carter (Department of Work Integrated Learning, Faculty of Creative Industries, School of Communication, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Chris Carter (Department of Film, Screen and Animation, Faculty of Creative Industries, School of Creative Practice, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)

Social Enterprise Journal

ISSN: 1750-8614

Article publication date: 9 March 2020

Issue publication date: 5 May 2020




Creative and cultural producers, like social enterprises, operate in a complex business environment where the value proposition is difficult to define, and the organisational motivations are not always financially driven. In the case of Australian visual artists, low incomes and limited access to government funding magnify the importance of developing sustainable business models. This paper aims to present the Creative Business Model Canvas (CBMC), a reinterpretation of Osterwalder and Pigneur’s CBMC (2010), for the benefit of a visual artist’s business planning.


This qualitative study uses data from semi-structured interviews to analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of the Osterwalder and Pigneur’s BMC (2010) for use by creative artists to understand the value of their artwork beyond traditional profit-driven business models. A modified canvas is presented to capture a clearer snapshot of creative arts practice with a focus on value propositions that possess dimensions of symbolic value.


This study found that the symbolic value of an artist’s practice is difficult to capture using Osterwalder and Pigneur’s CBMC (2010). An artist value proposition is composed of the artifact, artistic services and the artist’s identity. The creative CBMC, as a modified CBMC, captures aspects of the artistic identity such as professional achievements, personal life and the artist’s authenticity.


This study builds on Osterwalder and Pigneur’s CBMC and reimagines it for use by visual artists and art-based social enterprise organisations where the notion of value can be challenging to articulate.



The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of Associate Professor Christy Collis.


Carter, M. and Carter, C. (2020), "The Creative Business Model Canvas", Social Enterprise Journal, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 141-158.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles