What Inspires You To Make Art?

I was fortunate to find myself in Miami this weekend for the incredible Art Basel show featuring works by more than 2,000 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. It was an a unique opportunity for me to reunite with the entrepreneur, athlete and artist in an environment where the the world’s creative community comes together to connect, collaborate, contribute and celebrate art.

Making great art is incredibly hard work.  A blank canvas doesn’t come with a set of instructions. Working when there are no rules is difficult for most of us because we have simply been conditioned to color inside the lines for so long. Do what we are told.  Hand in our homework. Follow the formula.  Finish our TPS Reports.

There are valuable business and leadership lessons to be learned from the professional artist, particularly in a time where work increasingly resembles art.

Seth Godin explored this topic in more detail in his NY Times Bestseller, Linchpin.  Defining an Artist this way:  “An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo.  An artist takes it personally.  He further defines art as “A personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn’t matter.  The intent does.  Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does to change another.”

What inspires you to make your art?

The artist needs to tap into the source that inspires creativity.  Increasingly, so does the Sales Professional, HR Manager and Chief Marketing Officer.   The rules have changed and almost every leader and manager is being required to solve new and increasingly more complex problems that mandate creativity.

A likely source of inspiration are the people around you.  Friends.  Family.  Colleagues. Co-Workers.  Collaborators. Working and spending time with people that are inspired, creating, contributing and taking bold steps forward is essential to my own personal and professional growth.  The people around us have enormous impact on our being.  How we think, act and experience the world around us. I was also fortunate to spend this past weekend with a very talented, emerging artist who drew incredible inspiration and ideas from the Art Basel experience. I always get inspired watching people I care about get switched on.

The artist has an advantage. Most people prefer to play it safe. Work in the confines of comfort. Minimize risk. Continue the familiar. Playing it safe provides a feeling of security. Unfortunately, in the new economy, it’s dangerously false. The best ideas and breakthrough moments often remain elusive in the safety zone. Those that are willing to take a risk, venture into uncharted territory, color outside the lines and create what is next and new have an increasing opportunity to thrive.

Those skills are necessary. They are deeply coveted by progressive organizations. They move us forward. They make business happen.

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