Have you ever looked at artists in wonder or maybe even been a little jealous at how freely and easily they seem to create things out of thin air and find satisfaction and great success in it?
As business people, we tend to think that there is a clear line between the world of artistry and entrepreneurship. One seems to serve the fabulous and imagination-driven right side of the mind that is full of wonder and experimentation. While the other is embedded in the cold and rational left side of the mind where precise data and computational reason informs our decisions.
Luckily, as human beings we don’t have to restrain ourselves from either world. We actually have a strong choice to make that will impact EVERYTHING about our work. Are we going to use our work for craftsmanship or for artistry?
Craftsmen are fine people. They work with great experience and knowledge according to the guiding rules and laws they have been taught. They run their operations with great rationale. Their main focus is the creation and replication of the final piece to conclude a transactional obligation.
Artists, on the other hand, have a solid knowledge of their craft, but they abandon the “normal way of doing things” to serve a bigger mission. They seek to explore in their own way how they can create something unique that serves a purpose. If you are an entrepreneur who is hungry to bring betterment, this is a unique path that only art can cover. The art of understanding human problems and finding solutions based on human value. This requires completely different tools and approaches that craftsmanship cannot offer. As an artist, you need to question the standards, break the rules, throw away tried and tested tools and build your own.
Serving human needs cannot happen with off-the-shelf equipment or knowledge that was passed on to you. It requires the total exposure and risk only an artist is willing to take, because they are not in this to play it safe, but to make a difference.
There is nothing wrong with impeccable craftsmanship. We all rely on it daily: we get our cars fixed, houses built, our food grown. There are plenty of fine ice cream parlors out there that get the job done, that is: they sell tasty ice cream. They are all exemplary craftsmen of their trade. But, every now and then an artist appears. They don’t sell ice cream… they make someone’s life better by the means of it. They turn it into art. You can cure heartbreak with a cup of frozen solace, or uplift someone’s day with a scoop of happiness, or remind someone of their childhood with a cup of nostalgia. It’s about reframing that which is common into a whole new context. When this happens, you leave the path of tried and tested craftsmanship and enter the curvy, dangerous and steep path of artistry, where everything is possible and the rewards are infinite.