Wonderland is a mini-doc that takes a look at the fine line between artistic and commercial work through interviews with leading creative professionals. The mini-doc focuses on creativity, relationships, the pursuit of financial profit, and the many directions you can intentionally or unintentionally find yourself taking. It’s quite interesting to see how each professional tries to balance their schedule between creative work and commercial work. There were three main strategies that each artist seemed to favor…
Instead of thinking of it as “Commercial vs Creative” work, think of it as “Commercial AND Creative” work. This means using the commercial requirements of a project as limitations within which your creativity must flourish. Regardless of the type of project you’re doing, limitations are always a good thing. Limitations push you to think differently and solve problems, by adhering to what a client wants, you will discover new ways to be creative.
Some see commercial work as a vehicle to fuel their creative work. They complete commercial projects so that they’ll have money to fund their personal creative projects. In turn, the techniques they learn during their creative endeavors, they can then use on their next commercial project. This approach works well because it no matter how tedious or dull a project may seem, you know that it’s getting you one step closer to fulfilling your own personal passions.
All work falls somewhere between “Tons of Money” and “Tons of Creativity.” As you approach the money side of the scale, you lose some creative control. Vice versa, as you get closer to the creative side of the scale, you make less money because the project is fun. People who use the scale approach don’t usually pick a point on the scale and stick there. They fluctuate along the scale in order to keep a creatively happy, yet financially secure lifestyle.
So which approach do you prefer to take? All the approaches are equally valid, it’s just a matter of how you balance your creative visions, with the financial realities of the industry. We at the ViewFinder like to use the Priority Approach. We thrive on trying to add our creative zest to every new project, functioning within limitations, and yet creating something enjoyable no matter what.