Our community thrives with art and artists, and their roles in contemporary society should not be down- played. Fundamentally, the arts are “critical to our economy” as they create more “...public programs and private nonprofits—corporations formed to help meet critical needs that cannot be supported by the com- mercial marketplace” (Cristofori 150). Art does not only have the ability to speak to us on individual levels through either songs, plays, or paintings; art allows for public and private corporations to creatively expand and help our economy flourish. On a larger scale, the arts have become a language of creative expression, used to evoke feelings and messages by means that no one else can replicate. Today’s art and artists are visionaries, who function to reinforce a sense of originality and in- novation not only in workplaces, but in greater society. Even as media may quantify the arts as unprofitable in some instances, holistically, “...painters, sculptors and artisans, the last remaining craftsworkers, embody and perpetuate the idea of personal satisfaction by affirm - ing the basic human need for identification and pride in one’s work” (Andre et al. 330). Artists set a great ex- ample for people of all job and career fields, since they
continuously strive to create work which is emblematic of who they are, while remaining aware of the greater messages they would like to express to greater society. Artists and artistry are full of purpose. Despite studying Economics in college, in both personal and professional senses, I have been able to utilize the irreplaceable skills the arts have taught me to find my greater purpose. My artwork has given me an edge in employment situations, where employers may ask to see my arts portfolio or published artwork just to get a little taste of my creative capacities. Simultaneously, my artwork has allowed me to express my inner emotions in ways that simple, spoken words cannot capture. Truly, the arts stand to create more passionate and developed individuals for the future. And, the arts stand to create opportunities for growth in the future.
Since the turn of the millennium, the main alteration occurring in the arts is the changed operational function of artists. Although artists are no longer seen as ‘genius creators,’ they are now able to carry the rewarding title of being “creative entrepreneurs” (Novak-Leonard 5). Globally, artists and craftspeople are facing “...the pro- cess of reshaping what artists are: how they work, train, trade, collaborate....” (Deresiewicz, “The Death of the Artist”). Globally, the number of artists now taking on creative entrepreneurial roles is on the rise. This is due to the fact that, “increasingly, higher education has called upon arts entrepreneurship to prepare artists for sustainable careers, and to provide a platform for research on art- ist professional development” (Toscher 3). In response to the shift in higher education’s approach to teaching artists, “entrepreneurship and arts entrepreneurship education has grown significantly over the past few decades” (Toscher 3). With a rising number of artists equipped with background knowledge in not just the arts, but business and economics, the “artists make no money and live on the streets” stigma is being displaced
by the innovative, businesses-minded artists infiltrating the market to make the most out of their talents.
Artists are becoming increasingly knowledgeable on how to market their talents, and ultimately themselves, in a highly competitive world. Just look at all of the young creative entrepreneurial talent around us—we have entrepreneur Ben Francis, who at age 19, turned his garage-made design prints into the world renown athletic apparel brand, GymShark. We also have teenage entrepreneur, Kheris Rogers, who became a designer for New York Fashion Week at the age of 11. As an Economics major and an artist at heart, the con - cept of meshing together entrepreneurial practices and creative practices to yield more successful artists in today’s world makes me hopeful for the future of the arts. The intersection of entrepreneurial practices and the arts also gives creative-yet-rational individuals (like myself) more opportunities to showcase any creative abilities they may possess in business-like industries, all while making highly marketable contributions to the world around us.
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