Artist vs. Businessman (part 2)

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(The original post is right here)

Despite my hideous pen-and-paper art, often I feel I am pulled in two different directions whenever I’m trying to make a name for myself online:

  • Do I hang out on social media or write another article?
  • Do I cold-email people to guest blog or do I edit a chapter in my book?
  • Do I pay to advertise what I’m doing or spend that money on new tools?
  • Do I add a link to that tweet or craft something funny?

I imagine all current artists struggle with this. How far is too far when it comes to reading and responding to trends? How do we stay true to our voice while still getting the attention we need? Is it even okay to think of a headline that will get clicks first and then write the article?

These are a lot of questions I don’t know the answer to. The conclusion I’ve come to, at least for the moment is this:

If I think of a really good concept — that’s art.
But when I consider headlines for it which will grab people’s eyeballs — that’s business.

When I compose a message because I feel it will truly make people feel something — that’s art.
But when I strategically place links to my own work within that message — that’s business.

The reason that picture up there is a guy on a tightrope is because there are no hard rules for how artists should play this game.

Too many times we yell at each other for being sellouts. Do guys like Benjamin P. Hardy and Jon Westenberg create art? I don’t know. But if their whole purpose was to create awareness and a business, who am I to just them by an artist’s standard anyway?

Written by

An optimist who writes.

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