Conflicting Values, the Balancing Act of Artists

Carey, Charlotte (2021) Conflicting Values, the Balancing Act of Artists. In: Exploring Cultural Value: Contemporary Issues for Theory and Practice. Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 119-132. ISBN 9781789735161

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This chapter explores the role of entrepreneurship within the careers of fine artists. This is positioned within the context of the discourse of cultural value. How artists manage their artistic and, sometimes conflicting, entrepreneurial identities is explored. The fields of entrepreneurship, and more recently the creative industries, have received much attention from both policy makers and researchers. Fine artists are perhaps one of the least employable, and arguably most entrepreneurial (by necessity), as Higgs et al. suggest ‘some occupations naturally have substantially higher numbers of self-employed people such as “Artists” with 91% self-employment’ (Higgs, Cunningham, & Bakhshi, 2008, p. 94). The study captures the career histories of a cohort of fine art graduates, all of whom had graduated at the same time (1994), from the same institution. Taking a narrative approach, detailed career stories were obtained. The relationship to and tensions surrounding entrepreneurship and artistic practice were explored in detail. While artistic identity emerges as a strong force for this group, artistic identity and entrepreneurial identity are sometimes at odds with each other. The practicalities of making a living as an artist, arguably, call for entrepreneurial activity. However, the findings suggest that this presents a conflict for some artists, both aesthetically and emotionally. This chapter explores what this means in the context of cultural value, and cultural value as a ‘lens’ for understanding an artist’s career.

Item Type: Book Section
21 January 2021Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: Artists; creative industries; identity; entrepreneurship; cultural value; artist careers
Subjects: CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-02 - business studies
CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-04 - management studies
CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-01 - creative arts and design > CAH25-01-02 - art
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > Birmingham City Business School
Depositing User: Charlotte Carey
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2021 11:55
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2023 11:48

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