art as business

Posted on by tyler

why is it that creatives in general, and artists in particular, are always encouraged to "get serious" with their careers by treating it as a business? why is business a more legitimate concern in our society, indeed in our entire world, than artmaking and creative activity? where, in the evolution of humankind, did we go wrong with all the emphasis on economic standing through acquisition of material goods as an indicator of success? i think everyone knows that is a hollow pursuit, resulting in no true contentment or peace. in fact it does the opposite. but the evidence is all around us in the creative realm -- classes, tools, and advisors abound for helping us get more business-like with our art-making concerns. as if that is some indicator of how serious we are about our passions.

what if the opposite were true? what if creative output were the driving force and all the money/material were relegated to the status of "necessary evil"? what would this poor world look like if everyone were encouraged to pursue their passion with creative zeal (and why does that question sound so idealistically crazy)? what if business got serious by getting creative? perhaps they do, to some extent. perhaps that's where we're headed, albeit slowly, as people like daniel pink and richard florida help business realize the value of creativity. but it ultimately is in service of economy, as i cynically see it anyway.

i don't pretend that any of this thinking is anything more than me thinking out loud, but i take the questions as serious provocations. worth putting out there into the ether of the internets, anyway.