Culture & Creativity

Reasons to Hire an Artist in 2022

Surely, I don’t need to tell anyone that the job market in 2021 was anything but predictable. Between “The Great Resignation,” unprecedented labor shortages, and companies’ struggle to standardize back-to-work policies amid continued pandemic uncertainty, many leaders may be facing the new year with a sense of dread. Certainly, there’s much that is still out of our control about the labor market, but a minor shift in perspective about who your business may attract can have lasting effects on your company’s culture, innovation, and reach. 

For starters, consider hiring an artist in 2022. Arts sectors have been some of the hardest hit by the economic constraints of the pandemic; many artists find themselves without the safety nets of their unions and institutions, which have had their coffers drained since the pandemic began in March 2020. Pandemic aside, the road to financial stability for most artists is often steeply uphill, and most artists rely on another income stream to support their creative endeavors. Hiring an artist can bring incredible gifts to the business world. Among them:

  • Artists are used to uncertainty, and have developed the ability to adapt quickly to change. For many of us, the continued unpredictability of the business world has been a constant stressor. We can learn from artists how to make peace with change and develop stronger adaptation skills.
  • Artists can offer a fresh perspective. Artists tend to think differently than most of us. They can metabolize and articulate abstract concepts, and provide insight from an angle that had perhaps remained unexplored. 
  • Artists can teach us about creativity. As this Fast Company article explains, creativity is a skill that can be learned, not a quality inherent only to artists. Having an artist on your team can be a great way to encourage creativity and growth throughout your company.
  • Artists can help with culture change. It’s the job of artists to be dialed into cultural dynamics and shifts, since their work is always in relation to public consumption, tastes, and trends. If your business is struggling to maintain or change its culture, an artist can be an excellent conduit to a deeper understanding of how to make change. 
  • Artists are risk-takers. Risk is inherent to every artist’s life, so they can be excellent leaders in innovation and unconventional ideas. If your business struggles with conformity and stagnation, hiring an artist can be an excellent way to emerge from this rut. 
  • Artists can teach us about empathy. Most artists create from a deeply emotional place. Creativity is deeply personal and introspective work, and artists have a lot to teach us about honoring our own feelings and those of others. After nearly two years of global trauma and grief, exercising empathy is something every company should regularly practice. 

For a deeper dive into how hiring an artist can transform your business for the better, Upstart co-Labs offers a comprehensive evaluation in their report Great Minds Don’t Think Alike: Artists as Innovators in Business, Government, and Society. Happy New Year; may it be one of creative growth and imaginative expansion for us all.