A Week in My Life: Patrick McCrae, CEO of ARTIQ
Founded in 2009, ARTIQ’s mission is to ensure fair pay for artists and to bridge the divide between the art and business worlds.
Through intelligent art curation, ARTIQ enables businesses to utilise the art collections and programming to improve wellbeing, communicate brand and enhance guest experience. Patrick McCrae, CEO of ARTIQ, talks us through his working week…
I wake up and go straight to yoga. It’s such a great way to start the day - good for fitness and really helps set and focus my mind. On Mondays I make sure I am in the office for most of the day to get a good jump on the week ahead. About half the team get together and have a business development meeting to report on priorities, sales and any help needed for ongoing projects.
I then sit down with my fabulous PA to look at the week ahead, set agenda for specific meetings and see to any urgent tasks. These can range from board papers to numerous client meetings. In the afternoon, I will have a string of client meetings, this week it is a meeting about a huge project I am leading with my COO Katie and the arts team for a renowned 5* hotel.
Bit of an addict in terms of yoga, do it almost every morning, so am at the studio first thing then straight into the office for a day of interviewing! We are currently hiring five people and I prefer to batch the interviews so I can get into the mindset and give people my full attention. The interview process is as much about us selling ARTIQ as it is the candidate impressing us.
I think interviewing is a really important part of my job. I don’t sit through every one but like to meet everyone we hire. Having spent lots of my career building a great culture at ARTIQ and it is important we add to, build and develop on this culture with every new hire; we are currently around 30 people and growing quickly!
I have a “do not disturb” morning most Wednesdays, I think it’s important for me to take time in my work week to think about new opportunities for the business, growth areas and innovations. I think it’s good to balance being present in the business, a positive and creative work culture, and to think about the direction we are going in and reflect.
At lunch I meet a couple of friends who are entrepreneurs, we catch up and chat about their businesses, share stories and brainstorm ideas to problems.
My afternoon will usually be back to back client meetings. One is an awesome new project I am working on with our Commercial Director Tazie. A brand-new corporate office is looking to rent an art collection. It’s a great part of my job to help clients like these realise the importance of art and how fun it can be also when starting with a blank canvas.
In the evening, I take a trusted client to dinner at the ever fantastic Evelyn’s Table. Face time in the digital age is only becoming increasingly important and developing those relationships over dinner or a glass of wine is key to our work, it’s also a fun part of the job!
In the morning I sit down with my Marketing department to go through new initiatives, ideas and opportunities in the near future to promote the business.
Then in the afternoon I am due to visit an artist who we’ve been working with for years; I’ll sit down with her and talk revenue streams and how we can continue to support her. I also wanted to buy a piece of her work as I just love it and have been meaning to for ages!
After this, back to the office for a Board Meeting and Townhall preparation for the following week. We publish all our financials for the team and review the previous quarter at these meetings. Trust and transparency are a huge part of our culture at ARTIQ.
In the evening, I usually will take a group of clients and friends to either a gallery opening, a show, or something cultural, I recently became a young patron at The English National Opera and the Royal Academy of Arts, they often have great things to do.
Near the end of the week, I will have a couple of early morning conference calls about big international projects we are delivering. The work we are doing internationally is exciting and making sure we deliver and build our profile is a key part of that process.
After that, an art committee meeting with one of our key fund manager clients, where they’ve assembled a group of around eight people to select an art collection. Then it’s back across town to the office for the afternoon as part of my office hours to be there for the team and be present at our “Innovation Friday” gathering.
This is a new initiative where members of the team can present ideas to everyone and we can have a discussion as to their merits within the business. Recently we’ve talked about new marketing angles, a Work Experience initiative to help the next generation get involved in the Creative Industries, an office seating move around and our own sustainability. It’s a great opportunity for us to reflect on our values and what’s important to ARTIQ.
Then I like to take time to sit with the senior management team and review the week quickly before we whisk away for the weekend to see family and friends.