Real Artists Ship

24 Jan

Something Steve Jobs said has been on my mind lately: “Real artists ship.”

It’s not enough to think art.  It’s not enough to talk art.  It’s even not enough to make art.  Because, ultimately, the bona fide artist completes and delivers art.

Jobs could have used the word create.  Rather, he chose ship, a highly commercial term with an end-user implied (it reminds me of FedEx and Amazon.com).  No doubt, Steve Jobs believed that artists need to serve a purpose beyond “art for art’s sake.”  In other words, the “real artist” creates a work of art and delivers it to others, who, in turn, engages with it.

Imagine if Steve Jobs thought about, talked about, and made the Macintosh computer, but did not ship it – scary!

It pains me to think of myself as a non-real anything, especially a non-real artist (a phony artist?).  Thinking, talking, even making is not enough.  If I am to consider myself the real deal in the art world, I need to ship; ship as though Mr. Jobs were my boss!

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4 Responses to “Real Artists Ship”

  1. Chuck Norton January 24, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    Great thought. And super important topic! “Ship it!” is gonna be my motto now.

  2. Jim January 24, 2012 at 5:28 am #

    This also reminds me of my favorite Woody Allen line, “showing up is 80% of life.” It’s true, that actually creating is the key.

    • Christopher January 24, 2012 at 11:33 am #

      Definitely, Jim. I once heard producer Ralph Winter say that most folks he sees working in Hollywood are there and remain there simply because the keep showing up, rather than spectacular talent.

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