Value: Inner and Outer

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Artists must concern themselves with value, just as any other type of entrepreneur.
However, for the artist, they are not judging their creation by how much money they make alone (usually), but the impact their work has in their own lives (as an expression) and the lives of others (how it makes others think, feel, act). Artists must concern themselves with intrinsic value.

Intrinsic value is how a painting makes someone feel. It is a form of value that one can’t necessarily be held one’s hand and shown. One cannot necessarily hold it up and say, “There. There is the value!” Rather, intrinsic value is typically felt or experienced as as thought. Someone may buy a painting so they can feel what it evokes within them and can do so again and again. Same is true for a book, a designed piece, film, a piece of music. Audiences pay for a live performance, not because of what the production is monetarily worth (extrinsic value), but because of what experience it affords them. They pay for goosebumps on their skin, a racing heart, memories that drift through their consciousness as they dreamily watch a ballet performance or reflect upon their own childhood.

When an artist is engaging with a loyal fan base (true fans) and selling or creating works for those fans, if the artist wishes to make money from their work and profit, they must consider both intrinsic and extrinsic value creation. Like other entrepreneurs, one goal is to make more money than one spends. But the artist also clearly and insightfully attempts to realize their impulses, their creative vision and, through this expression, impact the lives of their audience.

Jim Hart

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