Mad Men: The Business of Art

I was watching Mad Men the other day, and it was interesting to see the evolution of the character Midge Daniels who is a struggling bohemian artist. In one of the early episodes, her friends lash out at Don Draper (a high-level, marketing executive) because he works in the corporate world, and creates wants and desires for products with enticing campaigns, slogans and artistic diction. And it got me thinking about The Business of Art…

Well, plain and simple, art is when applied skill and perspective of one person invoke an emotional interpretation through observation from others. It doesn’t matter how skillful someone is at their craft if there is no creativity and risk involved.  It doesn’t matter how creative someone is if they don’t understand how to apply their knowledge and application toward deriving an audience response. And it definitely doesn’t matter how emotionally driven a piece is, if there is a loss of perspective and a lack of craft for expression. Art is only art when its creator can vividly describe a sentiment or depiction of a particular moment or group of moments, and yet, still be able to connect to his audience.

This leads me to my point that a successful artist understands business. In other words, if any artist were able to successfully connect with their audience members to the point of invoking want and desire in a multitude of fans; wouldn’t they be considered a prominent artist? Unlike the current contemporary and modern art, the visual art periods of past times related success solely to exclusivity of a particular person’s skill and perspective…the tortured artist role. Only when a painter or sculptor died or became incapable of creation did his work return full circle, and become entirely evaluated for its artistic sentiment. Yet, music was appreciated not only for exclusivity of talent and perspective, but also for reproducibility. It was not enough to be able to create a successful musical piece, but it was necessary to be able to perform it for many different audience members in various venues. Fine dining, scents, etc can also be viewed in some form or another as a particular art form because they, too, have the ability to generate a given interpretation from its audience members, while being created in some specific form by their creator.

Contemporary artists understand that exclusivity, originality and perspective are important for creating incredible art, whether it is architectural landscapes or spoken word, and the ability to connect to a vast audience is what makes art incredibly unique. However, the business of art needs reproducibility. And reproducibility has become a staple for many artists for successfully connecting with a broader audience.

The bohemian thoughts of the past about art should not dictate the path anymore because being an artist is one thing, but being a successful artist means taking advantage of one’s special talents, and branding oneself around that image to make it seem as if the entire package is unique and relatable.

So, the next time someone says that being a sell-out or being mainstream is a bad thing, just remember that art is interpretive. And if there are a mass amount of people who could possibly connect with a particular person’s art, then it would be a shame not to share it with the world.

Be Successful. LOVE your art. But understand the business of it.

Thanks for listening to just another guy trying to tell his story…

Souttz, SK!

Posted in Gibberish | Leave a comment

Bubbles! Bubbles! Bubbles!

That fish from Finding Nemo cracks me up. You know, the one named Bubbles who kept chasing all the bubbles in the fish tank every time it appeared “out of nowhere”.  He went absolutely berserk for those bubbles. And it made me wonder about financial and stock market related bubbles. Housing bubbles; commodities bubbles; financial bubbles; tech bubbles. All of the reactions that people had for skyrocketing bubbles were ever so similar to this fishes’ reaction.

The amounting anticipation as you’re wondering when they will spout next. Almost, unlike, old faithful who explodes on cue, market bubbles tend to erupt unexpectedly not because of anything more than pressure. The short term nature of the bubbles is like the short term swings in the financial markets. And finally, when it bursts the seal, any fish waiting there is trying to catch just about any point of the rise up, only to realize that after all of the bubbles have vaporized and dissipated, you’re left holding nothing but perhaps a little extra gas and a memory of what seemed like an illusion.

So many tech companies got lost in the bubble dissipation back in the early 2000s, and those who survived, only did because they picked a niche that would luckily propel them into the next evolving step of worldwide internet technology. Yet, what makes them any different than the thousands of companies that went bankrupt was nothing more than a few extra pennies on the balance sheet and the luck of picking the right alignment to weather the storm. After the bubble burst, all online companies were viewed upon as shady, and they all had to find a way to claw back into the positive view of the public eye. Companies like Big Word who at one point thought that they, too, would weather the storm are only now picking up the pieces and starting again.

But this time, companies like Big Word have a better chance at succeeding in this new app tech bubble because: (1) people are more familiar with online and mobile technology (2) there are a few big corporations unifying and consolidating most apps and technology that are being produced. In other words, consumers are not as risk aversed as the previous tech bubble and there is no new technology being introduced at this point that could change peoples’ perception. Furthermore, the availability of materials is easily attainable and there are very few barriers to entry into this market.

So, even though domestic and European debt issues may cloud the near term future of our overall stock market, app-space company valuations should smooth out closer to perfect competition rules rather than ending in obliteration. So, maybe just this one time, its okay to be one of those goofy fish trying to catch your bubble.

Thanks for listening to just another guy trying to tell his story…

Souttz, SK!



Posted in Gibberish | Leave a comment

Institutionalized: The Proof Of Uncertainty…

Proofs. I loathe them. If it wasn’t for every math professor who outdueled me, I would have ignored the whole premise. Not because I think they are useless, but because they are a structural confinement of life. As if I needed one more way to be surrounded by a wall. Rules. Laws. Math. Proofs. I’ll get back to proofs in a moment, but first a quick digression into the history of math.

At the current state, mathematics is divided into purists and application-ists, those who teach and those who do. The purists believe that math should be derived independent of science and observation, while application-ists believe that most or all math should be ascertained through some middle-ground of ideality and reality. Mathematics should have some practical usefulness or application to which a problem is ascribed and a solution developed.  From Kant’s philosophical musings to Euclidean geometry to Maxwell’s Equations, there is an artistic beauty to the language of mathematics. However, to prove something so pure in form is impossible for the human brain because there are just certain things that we cannot comprehend even if we observe certain nuances of the system.

Proofs are just that. They are a structural setup for the best possible way to explain the system.

  • Initial assumptions or lemmas. Check!
  • Structural consistency of more basic proven points or axioms. Check!
  • Establishing a logically consistent interpretation using axioms and abiding by lemmas to validate the next principle. Check!

There’s your proof! Whether it’s an exhaustive, direct, mathematically inductive or contradictive proof (which are imho the only 4 categories of proofs that exist even though people might say otherwise), all of them abide by the structure above. But yet it does nothing more than setup a case for the success or failure of a particular mathematical hypothesis.

This is the same way that scientists attack the problems of the universe.

This is the same way that engineers design, troubleshoot and verify a particular system.

This is the same way that lawyers create a case to win a lawsuit.

And yet, the aforementioned parties have been wrong on numerous occasions even if abiding by the apropos system that was developed. So, how is it that a mathematical proof evades being shackled down by its adherence to its own man-made, mathematical rhetoric while being supported by a similar “proof structure”? Simple.


Outside of modern mathematics, most geometric, arithmetic, combinatoric, algebraic and even probabilistic math has stood the test of time. Most have even been around since the Greek Empire, and even though no proofs have definitely changed throughout the testament time, the language of math stayed eerily similar. Obviously, there were some changes, but most of the basic math from centuries ago stemmed from philosophical debate, which stemmed from observation, reason and rhetoric.

And as Red would say, ” I’m telling you, these walls are funny. First you hate them. Then you get used to them. Enough time passes, it gets so you depend on them. That’s institutionalized.”

Maybe that’s just it. We’ve been institutionalized. Maybe just thinking outside the confines of mathematics would be like moving to a foreign planet and trying to assimilate to their culture and language.  It’s easier to uphold tradition, not because we want to, but because the unification of our entire planet and population revolves around the single language of unity. Logic. Rhetoric. Math.

Q.E.D. for now…

Thanks for listening to just another guy trying to tell his story…


(Some information in this post is courtesy of Morris Klines Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty)

Posted in Gibberish | Leave a comment

What Is a Junkie’s Junkie?

If you came here for drugs, then you’re in the right place. But not that kinda drugs. We’re talking about the pure adrenaline rush you get from watching your favorite sports team on a Sunday afternoon, or the bliss of pure exhaustion after you swim 2 miles, or perhaps its the rush of pure emotion after you take a bite of that incredible new chocolate chip, shortbread cookies recipe you’ve been dying to make for months.

Sweet and simple, junkie’s junkie covers my hobbies. Everything from the rush of carving my initials thru powder on the first run of the morning to coming up with a new workout regiment to make life a little more interesting! From playing my guitar to climbing a mountain. I’d like to cover it all.

Thanks for listening to just another guy trying to tell his story…

Posted in Gibberish | Leave a comment

What Is Cynical Insanity?

The theory of relativity was probably the most influential philosophical as well as physical theory in observational existence. The reason? Simple. Point of view. Reference points. And even though the theory of relativity wasn’t exactly 100% spot on, it was incredibly insightful. You see, whether you’re talking about numbers or abstract concepts, everything is relative. 1+1 = 2, until you add in units of measurement. Understandably so, in the absolute sense, 1+1=2, but almost nothing is absolute. Every incident depends upon a previous incident. Everything is intertwined. To be absolutely certain about a fact in itself is a contradiction, and thus, cannot be utilized in such an argument. But it is almost always arguable in some sense of the terms because logical fallacies need only occur once. Michael Phelps won 22 Olympic medals is a true statement. It’s true today. It’s true yesterday. But if we were basing it off the observation from a star that was a million light years away, Phelps wouldn’t even be born yet, and thus, could not have won 22 Olympic medals.

Yes. That is a ludicrous argument to make. It wouldn’t stand up in the court of law. It wouldn’t stand up even in my own brain. However, I just had to make the point that even the most existential, seemingly absolute realities can still fall prey to a simple change in perspective…reference point. And something that you believed in so desperately, could be entirely upside down from someone else’s point of view.

And here lies the cynical insanity. The twist of the world that breaths false positives and illogical truths. It’s enough to make a grown man go crazy. And yet, sometimes, a little perspective can go a long way…

Thanks for listening to just another guy trying to tell his story…

Posted in Gibberish | Leave a comment