What Does "Artist" Mean?

You're in the catharsis business

One of the best drama critics of all time wrote:

Catharsis is the ability to bring intellectual clarity to emotional chaos.

Say emotions are running high and things are fraught in a TV show, play, or movie. When a character or event brings that chaos to a point where things can move forward, we all feel catharsis. 

Sought-after creatives are in the catharsis business.

Ask yourself: Why are they hiring me? The simple answer is because they like your work and want you to do that for them.

But why are they really hiring you? They feel a pain point. They want you to bring clarity to their purpose, the way they operate, the way their customers experience their brand, product, service.

There's a big difference between "what" they're hiring you to do, "why" they picked you, and "how" they want the partnership to go.

Artists do more than paint

Why is this funny, you think? My knee jerk thought in spite of knowing better, “MlLLIONAIRE and ARTIST? Opposing ideas? Ha!”

Society has conditioned us to think:

  1. artists are poor, if not “starving”
  2. millionaires don’t make art
  3. money and art are somehow in opposition
  4. art looks like X, Y, or Z

The lizard brain is old, strong, fast, and concrete. Every big shift forward we’ve made as a human race entailed developing superior control over the lizard brain so that the prefrontal cortex — where we think creativity lives — can rub some ideas together to spark something. 

The definition of art has been expanding rapidly. Traditional-looking art can be found in museums, and we can learn much from close, slow study of these. Just don't limit your definition of art to "well-lit objects that can sit still in a building". Giving people a way to file their taxes more enjoyably can be art too.