We need to listen to artists. If you’re an artist this isn’t news. But it is, apparently, a fully baffling notion to the non-art world.
It’s clear that the non-art world needs artists more than artists need it. Since the non-art world has gone out of its way over the years to make itself a downright despicable place for artists, artists have had to find (and have found, thank you very much) plenty of creative ways to survive in and around the non-art world. So at a time when the non-art world is in desperate need for the kind of proclivity that a creative mind or two can bring to bear in solving the challenges of our times, the last place many artists want to spend their time is in the non-art world.
To make things worse, the non-art world, operating under rules established and maintained with a significant left-brain unbalance, has un-arted itself away from any kind of perspective on the matter. Just like the study that shows incompetent people are double-burdened because they’re both incompetent and too incompetent to know they’re incompetent.
The non-art world has become too left-brained to realize it’s too left-brained.
Artists don’t owe the non-art world anything. But the world needs artists. So here’s some thoughts on how an artist might convince the non-art world to listen. If an artist is so inclined.
Here’s hoping they are.
Our work is deeply and personally passionate, so we know what it’s like to believe in something. Something you all call throwing yourself into your work.
We make our passions come alive with mediums and in spaces and industries that require quite a lot of outside involvement. Perhaps you all could use some help with the concept of compromise.
Our passions often come alive with the help of groups (bands, troupes, studios, orchestras, lines, ensembles, casts, companies). So we understand what you all wring your hands about when developing leadership and teams.
Since we’re typically underfunded, we can help you with your bootstrapping and entrepreneurship.
Since our work often deals with both large and small topics, we are, as you all say, as strategic as we are tactical.
Since we set a goal and practice and practice and practice and practice then practice more and then a little more, we understand what we’ve heard you refer to as planning your work and working your plan.
Since our work never quite articulates itself exactly as our mind’s eye originally envisioned it, we understand what you call executing. Or launching. Even if (or especially when) it isn’t perfect.
Since we do what we do baldly in front of anyone and everyone, almost all of whom have no idea what it is we’re after and yet are more than happy to tell us what they think, we can offer a perspective or two about graciousness.
Since almost all of us have had a mentor at one point or another, we know what it takes to grow and improve. And, someday, to give back to someone else.
Since we try to explain the unexplainable, we aren’t afraid of complex problems. (Many of you call this working in gray areas, but that’s kind of banal.)
Since we use an a-typical language, we understand how to find innovative solutions to complex problems. (If the words “box” and “outside of” came to mind just now, you’re dangerously close to forever remaining in the depths of the problem you’ve helped create.)