That prof sounds smart.
Great stuff here, Arif. It’s easy to get bogged down in metrics and ROI and all that stuff — cause it matters, a lot, when you’re trying to drive change or make money. But art for art’s sake has intrinsic value too.
It’s a weird bit of cognitive dissonance for me too; as a marketing/comms guy I am compelled to measure everything. As a writer, I found that process of quantification to be… a bummer. So I stopped worrying about it. Gave up my paid writing gig and went back to writing for the sake of writing.
Make your art, man. Create something. And revel in the joy of creating something that moves someone. If you can turn it into a career (or at least a job), awesome. If not, take pride in the fact that you did what a lot of people never get past talking about doing.
My good friend Bob wrote something that might resonate: https://medium.com/@bobledrew/don-t-cry-for-bowie-d1c59bb3c861#.vx2r3ylgo