On Becoming a CEO of My Artistic Ventures

I am currently “reading” Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Sometime during my first year as a student at CGU working on my MFA in visual arts the book came highly recommended. This summer I picked it up. Actually, I drive so much while living in the LA area that I have become accustomed to books on CD – this one is 20 disks, a commitment to listening for sure.

As I listen and think about building my career as an artist I feel inspired, and also humbled. Steve Jobs worked like a crazy man. Or as the Mad Hatter, from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, would say: a mad man or a person gone bonkers.

While I do not embrace the concept of crazy artist I am beginning to realize that the drive, perseverance, and commitment it takes to be an artist is misunderstood by many. Jobs followed all of the advice I recently read about in Alyson B. Stanfield’s blog:

Artist CEOs Are In Charge

Artist CEOs Seek Counsel from Trusted Sources

Artist CEOs Delegate

Artist CEOs Understand and Follow the Bottom Line

Artist CEOs Adapt to the Environment

Five seemingly simple steps we can take to be in charge of our future as an artist. Alyson fleshes out these ideas more, so in order to not steal her content please visit her post. With inspiration from Steve Jobs and advice from Alyson Stanfield I am beginning to feel prepared to go back into the institution called: CGU. Classes start in just over two weeks. I am looking forward to listening to the rest of the Steve Jobs book and I am ready to head Alyson’s advice:

You are the CEO of your art business. Are you acting like it?

I am constantly trying to act like I am in charge of my future as an artist, but the process of going back to school in my late 40’s has me questioning everything. I am like a sponge and I’d like to find out where the best me fits. Steve Jobs did not think about how to fit in–he forced others to see the world his way. People who knew Jobs called his visions a “reality distortion field.”

Steve Jobs was a visionary and an artist, even wildly changing paths when necessary to make his core ideas become reality. As an artist myself, working on my MFA and deeply questioning my core ideas and values as an artist and a person, I feel fortunate to have time to read great books and have social media friends that help me to reinforce my path and quest.

6 thoughts on “On Becoming a CEO of My Artistic Ventures

    1. Suz

      Alyson, At parts it’s a bit repetitive, but at the same time so full of great information. I lived in Mountain View from 1987-1994 a key time when so much was happening at Apple and I know some of the characters personally, so that makes it even more fun to read. I KNOW you’ll learn from it!

  1. Kesha Bruce

    I keep hearing about this book! I’m really looking forward to “reading” it too.
    (I’m a audio book fanatic!)

    Thanks for sharing your take on it. I’d love to read a follow up post when you finish!

  2. Frances Clements Fawcett

    Hi Suzanne – I’m adding Jobs’ book to my audio list – thanks for the nudge to bump it up to the top of the heap!

    And bravo to you for pursuing your MFA and stepping further along your artist path.



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