Creatives ACADEMY

Turning your passion into a livelihood

Creatives are a different breed in the working world. They have boundless imagination, astounding products and services, and often, few business skills to ensure that their work is valued, monetized and protected.

This academy was developed to give creatives the tools they need to turn their passion into a business, one that they can be built into a thriving, lasting source of enjoyment and revenue. 


Comedian Rodney Dangerfield used to always say, “I don’t get no respect around here.”  It could be a big seller as a t-shirt for the creative crowd.

That’s why the Washington State Department of Commerce built the Creatives Academy, to help creatives learn the skills needed to be taken seriously in the business world, to increase their earning potential and get rid of that famous question others ask when you tell them what you do for a living: “No, what do you really do?”


Running a successful business is one of the most creative, rewarding things you can do. The lessons in the academy are meant to teach you the essential skills of running the business side of what you like to do and is a great companion to our Entrepreneur Academy and The Small Business Playbook.

The Creatives Academy was written by a fellow creative, someone who managed to turn his talents into a business that’s been around for more than 20 years now. We’re confident that he learned something along the way, since he oversees small business programming here at the state.


The lessons contained in this series cover a wide swath of business skills, from protecting your intellectual property to reading a balance sheet. Feel free to jump around, skip stuff you already know or revisit sections from time to time as you build your business.


Meet the folks behind the Creatives Academy who have walked in your shoes and learned a thing or two about running a successful business while pursuing their passion to create.