“Somebody said to me, ‘But the Beatles were anti-materialistic.’ That’s a huge myth. John and I literally used to sit down and say, ‘Now, let’s write a swimming pool.”
— Paul McCartney
Today I want to talk about money and art — two beautiful topics that are rarely used in the same sentence. Society has the misconception that you can’t have both. That a rich business individual can’t be creative, and that a talented creative can’t be rich.
It’s a misconception that I know to be a misconception because I have built a business around utilizing both.
I own an agency called Honey Copy, where I work as a creative copywriter helping technology startups make more money through compelling words.
Last month for example, I wrote a sales page for an awesome luggage company called Samsara which has since generated $40,000 in capital.
That’s not just art…
That’s About Two Swimming Pools
“If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”
— David Ogilvy
For a while, I allowed creative critics to dictate what I really wanted to pursue — advertising. I felt guilty meshing creativity with money. And to be honest, there is a part of me that still questions whether or not I am “selling out”.
But, after stumbling upon a story about Paul McCartney and John Lennon, and one of their approaches to writing music, I haven’t looked back.
While not everyone loves The Beatles, nobody can argue that they weren’t true artists — yet even they got giddy over the idea of writing a hit that could build them a swimming pool.
No, I am not comparing my copywriting to the writing abilities of Paul and John, but I am saying there is a major element of money in regards to art… and I would argue that these elements propel art further.
What I love about advertising and marketing is that it forces artists to not only be creative, but to be effectively creative. I think David Ogilvy said it best with his infamous cut-throat quote, “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”
While I wouldn’t say that all of an artist’s worth should be measured in dollar signs… I certainly get where Ogilvy is coming from.
In advertising, your job is to write swimming pools for your clients… if you aren’t making that happen… then you’re not being creative enough.
By the way, do you want to write a swimming pool? If so, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or join my email list below.