FEARLESS CREATIVITY

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Michelle Micalizzi, Artist
(All Rights Reserved)


Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity is characterized by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions.
~ Wikipedia

I believe that art is business and business is art. When I tell people I am an artist, many comment about themselves by saying, “I do not have a creative bone in my body. I can’t even draw a straight line.” However, there are all kinds of creativity. Some folks draw and paint while others create an original business concept that changes the world, or their client’s world. I believe that all entrepreneurs are artists. I also believe that all successful artists are business people. Business people who conceive new innovative solutions to problems equally fascinate me. I regard those individuals as amazing iconic artists. To me Jobs, Welch, Winfrey, Ford, Edison, Zuckerberg and, my home state success story, Ben & Jerry are artists just like Picasso, Rauschenberg, Warhol, Monet, and Kahlo. They all created something special from absolutely nothing and as a result changed the way we either operate or see the world.

At times I wonder where I got my creativity. My dad is a serial entrepreneur. My mom was the daughter of a hotel owner in Ireland and the wife to my amazing dad whose mind never ever stopped inventing and creating, who was also a very hard worker. They did not make art in the traditional sense of the word but both my brother and I became artists. Why is that? It is because a man who saw possibility EVERYWHERE raised us. My dad has built and sold five businesses, was awarded several patents on tools he invented for the bicycle industry, and has been on the cover of Bicycling magazine for being a rock star innovator. The FAA changed the way a manual was written because of him, which is saying something. He is an artist. He just does not use paint and canvas. He uses his mind. He has always been a problem solver.

If you ask any crazy successful business owner why they got started, they will say they saw a problem and were compelled to solve it. Artists are the same way. We ponder things. We start conversations. We look for answers. We tell stories. We state facts. We make 800 decisions on every piece we make; weighing the positives and the negatives. We create process and traditions. We use essentially the same skills that are used in innovate businesses – just in a different way.26_creativity_3_8x8_web

“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.
Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”
~ Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was an interesting cat. People who are not familiar with him as a businessman only know him as the iconic artist who made Campbell’s Soup Can art. He was much more than that. He started his career as a commercial artist and always considered himself a commercial artist. He was an unapologetic capitalist. A few things you may not know is that he co-founded the magazine Interview in 1969, the record label Velvet Under Ground, and was a prolific filmmaker for both movies and television. He promoted many artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, David Salle, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, Keith Haring and Robert Mapplethorpe. Clemente’s work was featured in the 1998 movie, Great Expectations, featuring Gwyneth Paltrow, Ethan Hawke, Robert De Niro and Anne Bancroft to a few. Ironically, my husband and I just watched this film on Netflix last weekend. Andy Warhol really was obsessed with the American Dream and he lived it in many ways. 

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“Studies show that creativity is a better predictor of success and happiness in life than the intelligence quotient. The good news is that everyone has creative potential and that creativity can be taught.”
~ The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention

In Nicole Fallon’s businessnewsldaily.com article, Why Creativity Matters Most for Entrepreneurs, she interviewed Phoebe Cade Miles, daughter of Gatorade inventor Dr. James Robert Cade and the founder of The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention. Miles says,  “The invention of Gatorade is a perfect example of a creative collision. It took experts from two seemingly unrelated subjects, nephrology and football, to bring about the completely new category of sports beverages.” Fallon goes on to say that creativity happens best when two disciplines collide. No one can say that Gatorade is not a fantastic business but I doubt many folks would think Gatorade is art. To me, it is because Dr. Cade created something where there once was nothing! He was another cool cat. In addition to being an inventor he was a musician, and a business man; he was a creator.

Academia is also taking note that it is smarter to teach students how to be innovators rather than to train them to be good corporate soldiers. The Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship and the new Master of Arts in Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership are perfect examples of a new way of looking at creativity, community and entrepreneurship. The Mike Curb Family Foundation helped give ASU the incentive to create this new masters program. Mike Curb is another really interesting cat. He is a musician, a record company executive, and a NASCAR racecar owner. He was also both the Lieutenant Governor and the acting Governor of California. This is a guy that I could talk to for hours and hours. His résumé scrolls and scrolls and scrolls with one achievement after another. He is an out of the box thinker and a maverick.

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“Creativity is Big Muse’s home turf.
“We believe that the more fearless and engaged you become, the more you will reveal your authentic self. You will exist in the here and now, you will have more unfettered access to your previously acquired skill-sets, and you will be responsive to what’s happening around you. This ‘freedom to act’ is one of the underpinnings of creativity itself; it is, for example, a quality that a jazz pianist must have to be able to improvise well, and that every CEO, or senior manager needs to lead their company to success”

Peter Himmelman is the founder of a company called Big Muse, a Grammy and Emmy nominee, author, and visual artist. Companies like Gap, McDonald’s, and Adobe hire Himmelman to teach their employees about the power of creativity. He recently wrote a book called, Let Me Out, which speaks to the idea of overcoming fear and unlocking your creative potential. I love his logo, which is a stick figure stuck in a mason car with the lid off. There is power in images, created by commercial artists, to tell a story. Creativity can set you free but you have to get your own dang self out of the mason jar. I love the idea of the stick figure in the mason jar, the idea of the jar with the lid off. Just like a rat being trained to not leave a maze even when there is a way out. Or Kidnapping victims who fall in love with their kidnapper and will not leave when they are free. Each of these scenarios demonstrates the idea that we keep ourselves trapped regardless of our access to freedom.


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Illustrations Story and a REQUEST for your Consideration

This week the idea is my next endeavor – I cannot get away from it. This coming year I am focusing on a new project that is an example of just the type of creative collision Phoebe Cade Miles describes. The story behind the images this week are about the Fearless Pop Ups. The jack in the box = Pop Up and the light bulb = Entrepreneur. The light bulb in this case is the creative and traditional entrepreneur and they are popping up everywhere! Business is art and art is business.

In the process of serving on the board and being a member of the Sonoran Arts League; meeting and falling in love with my so many fellow artists and gallery owners in the Cave Creek, Scottsdale and Phoenix areas; doing my two Art of Fearlessly Doing Business projects; and being my normal turbo networking self who believes that we can all help one another to succeed: I have discovered an opportunity. I have a habit of creating giant collectives of people to co-market. It is how my Dad did business and I just can’t help myself. He always brought as many people as he could along his path of entrepreneur adventures. I have made a habit of doing the same.

I am putting together a concept called the Fearless Pop Up Project that will launch in January 2017. I will be partnering 13 business owners with my next group of Fearless 13 business owners that I interview for the Art of Fearlessly Doing Business here in Arizona. The objective is to have each of the 13 businesses host a Fearless Pop Up in their physical commercial space. In the art world, an art show like this is called a Pop Up. I will be recruiting 30 artists to show their works in these shows.

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My goal this year is:

  • 2 Art of Fearlessly Doing Business solo shows one in AZ and in CA
  • 1 Partner show in AZ
  • 13 – up to potentially 26 Fearless Pop Ups (as schedule and timing allows)
  • 100 paintings (2nd Year in a Row!)
  • and 40 Blogs.

Now I know this is a REALLY aggressive schedule… but those of you who know me know that there is always a method behind my madness. I always shoot high and oddly enough I usually hit my mark or very close to it with good reason.

If you are interested in being involved with the Art of Fearlessly Doing Business or the Fearless Pop Up projects – GET ON IT and email me. I am looking to fill these 58 partner spots QUICKLY. If you are a gallery, an artist or a fearless business owner who is looking to participate in an out of the box relationship as well as a business-building year long event please let me know. I have a waiting list from the past two years so I will be calling those folks and gallery owners first but want to hear from all interested parties!

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I am looking for:

2 Galleries to be my co-host for the Art of Fearlessly Doing Business solo shows

– One in Cave Creek, Scottsdale or Phoenix

– One in Venice Beach California

26 Arizona Business Owners to interview

– 13 in Valley of the Sun in AZ

– 13 in the Los Angeles, CA area

30 Arizona Artists to show and sell their work

– Who live and work in Cave Creek, Phoenix or Scottsdale. Some exceptions may apply for Artists living in Arizona.

12 Arizona Business owners to host Pop Up 2 Pop Up events

  • Spaces must be in Cave Creek, Phoenix or Scottsdale with wall space that would be perfect for new and emerging artists to hang work on!

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It is going to be an exciting year for me and for the partners I get to work with on these 2 projects. I am looking forward to the adventure.


Michelle Micalizzi is a Visual Journalist, Curator & a Business Executor. Her company Fearlessly Deliver, LLC believes that Art is Business and Business is Art! Michelle uses her ability as a Visual Journalist in her Art of Fearlessly Doing Business Series to tell the story of Entrepreneurship and she is the curator of the Fearless Pop Up Projects. fearlesslydeliver.com | 480.526.2609 | michelle@fearlesslydeliver.com | fearlesslydeliver.com

Hidden in the Hills – Studio Tour

All Fearless Art will be available for sale at the Micalizzi Studio during the Sonoran Arts League’s 2016 Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour on Nov. 18-20 & 24-26, 2016. | Studio #12 | micalizzistudio.com