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Can money create creativity?


Standard economic theory predicts that monetary rewards give people incentives to exert effort.  Does this also hold for artists? Are they more creative when they get more money? Money has a monetary value, and thus for instant could buy an artist a nice car or get the artist some nice new acrylic paint, but also gives personal recognition. Artists whose paintings are sold for millions of dollars might feel recognized by a wide audience. At the same time more money could enable them to work on bigger and thus more expensive projects. And bigger projects might get them more exposure and also more recognition, which could again generate more money…….

Money enables artist to purchase raw materials such as canvas and paint.  It simply costs more money to produce For the Love of God than an oil painting. The question remains whether artists get more creative by earning more money.

photo via Super Touch Art blog

The idea that artists get more motivation out of earning more money is very unromantic. However, a complete rejection of this idea results in the statement that artists do not need money at all to be creative.

If so, the more interesting question would be what external motivation would be the most important one to stimulate the creativity of an artist?  Is creativity a gift, which lies embedded in the artist’s DNA and thus can’t be changed, or could we stimulate creativity? And can money be the incentive to spur that change?

3 thoughts on “Can money create creativity?

  1. It seems to me that the issue revolves around being gratified. If money is enough to do it then I can see an artist being motivated to that end especially when the money get's huge. Artists who are in it only for the art won't feel gratified with just the money and there must be an ultimate artistic experience. Realistically I think it's a combination of the two and a decision every artist has to make as to how they are going to invest their energy/resources/time.

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