You could define artistry as “conveying information in creative ways”. Bad artistry does this without evoking much emotion, while great artistry shortcuts its way into our minds by provoking powerful emotional responses in us. It’s no coincidence that deviant art has always scared people in power. To this day we still have countries in the world where “dangerous” types of music and other artistic expressions are outlawed. The most powerful leaders in history, both political and in business, have also understood and utilized the power of great artistry to reach their goals. For better or for worse, they have all been great artists.
If I break down my own work into basic pieces, it consists of collecting information from many walks of life (with technology being a particular favorite walk), connecting this information into patterns (aka ideas) and conveying these patterns in artistic ways that include speaking from the stage, writing thought provocing texts and delivering different kinds of live presentations; all in an effort to inspire people to take action (and, on a good day, pay me money out of gratitude).
When looking at these three C’s of collect, connect, convey; I realize that many people have access to precisely the same information I do. Much more so today than, say, 50 years ago. Fewer, but still a decent number of people probably see the same patterns and make the same connections I do. Perhaps then, the key differentiating factor whenever I’ve fared well in my ventures, has been in the artistry of presenting these ideas so that they have triggered the strongest emotional response?
While this might sound like a depressing concept, that “it’s not about the product but about the salesman”, I think that it’s really not. An idea is only useful when realized, and that takes inspiration and energy. If I can conjure that out of thin air, it’s nothing short of magic.
And if this is the case, then I’m not an ad guy, a technology nerd or even an entrepreneur first. I’m an artist. On a stage. In the spotlight. Getting business leaders and marketing managers to get out of their chairs and hit the dance floor.
I’m an artist. There. I said it.