There’s something magical that happens at a live show. Artists or musicians or actors on stage, you in the audience. The room has been designed both visually and acoustically to feel different than outside.
The lights dim, the crowd silences. All eyes are on the stage.
It may be instantly, it may be after the first song, and it may not be until the end of the second or third act.
But there is often a moment where you get something from that experience. Something not communicated by words or language, but from the art itself.
A chord that strikes you in a new way. A performer who gives everything and communicates a depth of emotion you haven’t connected with in far too long.
That moment sparks inspiration, joy, possibility, and desire. You want to do the same - to create and give something to the world around you that has the same magical impact that you just experienced.
I often leave live shows with a page of notes about ideas and projects completely unrelated to the content of the show I just watched. That’s the power that art has to communicate with us.
In college one of my favorite classes taught by a Ms. Jensen was a business writing course. We were learning about how to write business documents like CVs and resumes, emails, pitch decks, and the like.
But she was such an amazing teacher and she told us early on about the power the written word has to communicate ideas, to make someone feel, and to have an impact.
I wish I could find the quote or the book or article that she was referencing, but we read in the first week or two of the class about how art is a language. Art communicates behind, next to, or in front of the written word, the melody of the music, or the lyrics of the song. It rests between the brush strokes and lifts the feather-light dancer off the stage.
I’ve thought about this idea for over twenty years. I’ve seen the power a weekly email has to impact thousands of people. I’ve seen how a book can create opportunities within an industry for someone brand new to it. I’ve seen how a tweet can connect people who would have otherwise never met.
I’m not saying that everything I create is art. But I do believe that if we try to learn and then speak that language, we’re able to communicate something deeper than what’s on the page or the screen.
Learning and using this language, infusing your communication, your projects, and your performances with it, and striving to connect deeper with your audience, your partners and collaborators, your investors, and your market, gives you an advantage over those who simply copy and paste whatever marketing tactic is working today.
Your business will grow because you have something to say. You have values that you want to put out into the world to try and make it a better place, and you use your business as the vehicle to do just that. Those values provide the color palette to paint with, the instruments that make up the orchestra, the pixels that make up each frame, each second, and each scene of your movie.
Start by outlining your values. Your processes and frameworks. What is it that you care about? What do you want the world around you to look like? More of this, less of that - what is the “this and that” for you?
What bothers you about your industry and those that work in it? Given a magic wand, what would you change?
List out those values, and post them on your site, on your wall, as the home screen of your phone. Get them deep inside you, and then you’ll see them start to show up in your work, your communication, your art.
That’s how you use your art to communicate and grow your business in ways you never have been able to before.