Column is a monthly feature that explores the world
of creativity and aesthetics.
and Making Art
de Sousa, Director, AbleStable
The software company that I helped found
is flourishing. I earn a respectable salary
and work flexible
hours from my home. I am in a more fortunate circumstance
than many a creative professional.
are good as the company continues to grow and develop.
I am however far from satisfied with my achievements.
work as Creative Director is challenging. I create
graphics which are used on the company web site,
develop help files, and create promotional and
I've also developed and regularly update the
site as well as working with programmers
to improve the design of our software.
In addition I communicate directly with customers,
and as one of three
company Directors, am also responsible
for strategic planning and management. In summary,
my paid work is varied, challenging, and has
taught me a tremendous amount about the way the
commercial world operates.
focus of all my activities in my daily work
is to sell products. The products I help
develop and sell are generic utility
software programs which have a broad target
market. Your work may be in a different field,
but your general
focus may be the same
in that in some way, directly or indirectly,
what you do contributes to the sale of a
is important to me that
I consider the products I help produce
as having value. Our software helps protect
the user from data loss and makes their
more efficient so they have more time to focus
on their priorities. Many products or services
which are developed and
not so genuinely useful.
appreciating the value of the products I help
and the high sales the company enjoys, the
creativity I use in
products is of far less
significance or importance to me than the creation
Vocation of Artist
forty three I changed course
from producing art to working more extensively
in the commercial
field. Before I elaborate on my reasons for so
doing, I should state that I view the art world
as much a commercial context as
the material world of the high street.
draw a distinction between the vocational artist
whose need is to produce work with the
expression, communication, and enrichment,
and those that develop products with the
primary intention of selling them in a marketplace
(the "career", or "commercial
art world does not create works of art - educational
and governmental institutions, commercial galleries,
art agents and administrators, publishers,
media. These organizations and individuals
promote and sell art products according to
the often dubious
taste of critics and elite opinion makers.
the reasons for my change of emphasis from the
purest world of the artist to the focused development
of commercial products, my move aims
to archive my goal of fulfilling my creative
potential independently. To do this
I require economic stability. I have
long since made the decision that my creative
output will be published freely at AbleStable
and other sites. This gives me the freedom to
be creative without the
or concern of relating economic success with
the art I produce. As someone who has no patronage
I have sought to achieve my aim with the software
I helped found.
is a challenging journey and I often feel that
which defines me as I most desire is often pushed
aside by the demands of my commercial work. I
appreciate how so many succumb to the daily
drift from the artist's vocational calling. Money
and comfort are such significant distractions
that I have no doubt many would-be artists never
make it past the temptations of the material
close to me say I should feel proud of what
I have achieved with
rather they were impressed in what I achieve
realm. Economic success is of far less
value to me as producing work which seeks to
inspire and makes people feel and think. Only
will I be satisfied with my creative achievements.
feedback on The Column. Go to Feedback,
complete the form, and make your views known.