Art and Business

And so the formerly greedy businessman bids “good riddance!” to Wall Street and takes up trying to illustrate the lives of the less fortunate though photography.

Or perhaps the starving artist, grappling with existential crises and profound writer’s block, takes a magic pill and realizes that books aren’t good enough – Wall Street is where it’s at.

Ah, stereotypes. Refreshing.

In literature (and, surprisingly, in popular culture), art is a regular contrast to the pursuit of capital. Where the former glitters as the epitome of classic creative expression and cultural refinement, the latter hides murkily in underhanded dealings and the cutthroat tactics of powerful competition.

This distaste is not one-sided, however. The two deride each other with equivalent viciousness:

“Every time Hollywood depicts an industry, it depicts a conspiracy of knaves […] Many businesspeople, for their part, assume that artists are a bunch of pretentious wastrels.”

Wastrels and knaves, eh?

Such pejorative and vaguely Shakespearean condemnations of either end of the professional spectrum is unfair at best and cruelly self-perpetuating at worst. Businesspeople and artists operate under the same paradigm, after all: absolute pursuit of something to achieve some result.

Why the contempt? Surely such impressive willpower is worthy of praise, regardless of the value judgments others cast upon it. Neither end is fruitless or misguided, and the two can be reconciled, or even intertwined: business can be artful, and art can be businesslike. The two are slowly soldering together in today’s highly digitized economy, from the self-promotion and forced concision of a Tweet:

To the artistic entrepreneurship that is indie game development:

 

and the range between. Mutual respect will better both areas of expertise; thank goodness we are headed that direction now.

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