The Magic Frame – Creativity & Money



This is a rather short post, and it relates to the argument that my wife and I were having, about creativity and money. At one point, she burst out – ‘creativity needs money’.

Since she is my wife, I did not dare to completely disagree. However, I do disagree partially. The part where I agree, is the part where, as a responsible husband and parent, I need to provide for the family, and so the work needs to start paying back.

When you work for a client, you exercise a limited amount of creativity, because you need to execute a brief. This does not mean that you are to do work that is bland and boring.

However, the importance of your own personal work cannot be underscored enough. There needs to be work that you do for yourself, else your creative brain cells will frazzle and die away.

Where do you strike the balance?




  1. I wish I knew! Creativity becomes pinched – forced – in the absence of some form of livelihood. One tends to compromise in order to eat. But, creativity demands to be unfettered. It is a conundrum.

  2. Money is sometimes a nice after effect of creativity.
    Creativity needs inspiration, not money.
    Money can be an incentive, but not the source of creativity, but if money is the incentive, creativity is reined in, as you may have boundaries.
    True creativity knows no bounds, and jumps up and hits you on the head!

  3. When I worked as “professional” artist the galleries used to impinge on my creativity by dictating what they wanted. Now that I am not earning I can be creative and poor.

  4. This is the precariousness of the arts. Few artists are able to make a solid living at it. It does tend to be a matter of marketing. With the right marketing you can become famous and have the money to pursue your art. Picasso was a great classical artist and became famous for his avant guard work. Did he sell out his sole for fame? Who knows. Your wife is right of course. You need resources to sustain your family. That is why so many people have other jobs to cover these issues and they do their art on the side.

    1. Yeah. Marketing is the tough one. This is the one I am trying to learn…. Which, is strange, because I was in ‘marketing’ for many years. But, that is more the ‘traditional’ marketing

  5. Hmmm…a way to balance creativity and money for me is working at my friend’s jewelry cart. I get to learn about jewelry, make commission, and when there’s no traffic we talk or I read or do other work. Don’t forget to visit my blog today!

  6. I hate to say this .. But it is about the brief and what the client wants. But if you are a good client you can push the boundaries .. This is my advertising head talking 😄

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