The Creative Mind
Published in

The Creative Mind

Tattooed lady looking at an elephant photograph for article by Larry G. Maguire
Photo by Thiago Barletta on Unsplash


Can Creativity And Business Coexist?

In short, yes, of course, they can. And they do, but for many creative people, turning their labour of love into cold hard cash is a struggle if not an impossibility. And if you are introverted like me, then selling yourself may have more than a tinge of yucky about it.

I first started in business in 2001, and despite my opinions on certain questionable aspects of the business world, I managed to build something reasonably substantial. Nevertheless, I held myself to particular standards of what constituted proper business ethics. I worked in the trades, with construction companies, engineers, private businesses etc. And although perhaps it would not have been considered a creative endeavour, I didn’t see it that way. On the contrary, creative integrity was high on my agenda and doing my best work was primary. The hands-on technical work is what I enjoyed most. It was my creative outlet.

I despised attending networking events and seminars, but I forced myself to go. Someone told me it was necessary. Everywhere in the room, business people were selling a story, a fib, a half-truth. They painted a picture they believed would help them sell more stuff that people didn’t need. In business to business circles, this translates into a vicious circle where companies buy from each other in a vain attempt to maintain the spoof. When you’re inside it, it doesn’t feel like that — it feels honest, right and proper. Maybe it was only me, but I hated the counterfeit nature of it all.

You see in my book, marketing is simply the manipulation of people and conditions by those who pursue arbitrary concepts of wealth. Marketing departments know more about what makes you and me tick than we do ourselves, and they take full advantage of that. For corporations, bottom line is primary, and they are prepared to take whatever measures necessary within the “law” to get you to buy. As such, they pretend, and we are hypnotised by the bright shininess of it all.

Is there no one real any more?

Is there nobody in business prepared to tell the truth?

The entire concept of marketing is built on deliberately selling to people’s emotions, and it’s the capitalist model for success. Manipulation and dishonesty have become normalised. No wonder then the solo creative like you and me, holding to a high degree of integrity, shies away from marketing’s pretentious rituals.

So what to do?

How can we sell with integrity and not become lost in the bullshit?

The reality is there’s nothing we can do about everyone else. There will always be those who wish to manipulate others for profit. So the only thing we can do is remain centred and focused on the work. Once it’s made, we show people — it’s that simple. Show them as often as possible and trust that the work will speak for itself.

Eventually, we begin to figure out the best places to show our work and the best people who have the money to support us. It’s not easy; it’s not supposed to be. So get stuck in, trust the process and build a sustainable business of one around your creative work.

Want To Write For The Creative Mind?

I’m seeking writers for the publication, so if you are a professional creative, artist, writer, therapist, scientist or other experienced creative, I’d like to hear from you.

Read The Submission Guidelines

That’s all I’ve got,

See you folks next week




Articles on The Art & Science of Creative Expression. Learn how to nurture and maintain your creative abilities with science backed articles and personal essays on creativity

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Larry G. Maguire

Work & Org Psychologist writing on the human relationship with work | Slight Perfectionist | Introverted | Humanist Socialist |