Artistry is all about conveying information in creative ways. Bad artistry does this without evoking much emotion, while great artistry shortcuts its way into our minds by provoking fiery emotional responses in us. It's no coincidence that deviant arts have always scared people in power. Today, we still have countries where "dangerous" types of music and other artistic expressions are outlawed. The most powerful leaders in history, both in politics and business, have also understood and leveraged the power of great artistry to reach their goals. For better or for worse, they have been great artists.
Suppose I break down my work into essential pieces. In that case, 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-provoking texts and rendering invisibly functional designs; all 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, and convey, I realize that many people have access to the same information I do. Much more so today than, say, 50 years ago. Fewer, albeit a decent number of people, probably see the same patterns and make the same connections I do. Perhaps 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 most potent emotional response.
While this might sound like a depressing concept, that "it's not about the product but about the salesman", I think it's really not. An idea is only useful when conveyed, built upon, or realized, and that takes inspiration and energy. And I think we often need to hear ideas many times – much like we can’t go to the gym once and consider ourselves done with our physique – and from different angles to illuminate it fully.
If this is the case, 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 leave their chairs and hit the dance floor.
I'm an artist. There. I said it. And so perhaps are you.