Sunday, March 20, 2011

Art =/= Business (IGES Part 4)

At PAX East I was lucky enough to catch a speech by Scott Macmillian entitled "Death of an Indie Studio." This presentation was easily the most memorable one, spoken from the heart of an indie veteran recounting his experiences of a war-torn battle between his creative drive and the omnipotent pressure of finance.

During his slide-show, he made one very interesting point.

True Art is not Business.

This point, albeit not a very obvious one, is a powerful idea that I wholeheartedly agree with. In his presentation he had a line segment, with Art on one end of the spectrum, and Business at the other end.


To have a piece of true art, of complete artistic expression, is to expel all notions of profit, of revenue, of financial restraints and limitations.

The example of "true art" that Scott used in his presentation is that of a man named Henry Darger. In short, during a posthumous inspection of his Chicago-based studio apartment, a myriad of artwork (including novels and crafted images) were discovered, something he never revealed to the outside world.

He did this for himself. He created true art.

He was a janitor.

This is relevant to the presentation because Scott had a vision of an indie game he wanted to do and he started an indie studio to do so. The start of a studio though, is turning the key in the ignition for business.

I do not want to rehash his speech on here, so I will  post a link to his slides once they are available.

To create art, is to lie as far left on the spectrum as possible, if not completely left. Only begin sacrificing Art for Business when it is completely necessary to continue the production of your art. Do not fall into a catch 22 of sacrificing Art for Business only to find yourself lying face first in a pile of bureaucratic waste.

Here's an activity: Take the time to produce a piece of music, a drawing, a rendering, or a short story that you are proud of. Put it away. Do not show this to anyone.


No comments:

Post a Comment