I highly recommend this YouTube video on Netflix's Art of Design by Paula Sche, a typography goddess. I consider myself a researcher by profession, and as someone who runs a think-tank, there are three aspects of her work that I found particularly enlightening. Because when I look at her work and life, I think that artists and scientists are very similar.
An artist collective is a guild of specialised craftsmen who work without a boss; Paula works for a company, but there is no boss. According to the situation and the need, the partners who work with her seem to change within the company. I think it's the same situation as the post-war Italian furniture makers, who collaborated with artisans to make furniture according to their individual needs. Large universities and research institutes also work in a similar guild structure. Once you have a certain level of credibility, you are called upon by internal and external researchers to form a team for a project. When that project is finished, I join the next project team. I also study business management, and I really think that a creative group is not the same as a typical small business.
The end of the process of satisfying the client ends up a little above the minimum expectation. I was surprised but relieved to hear that even Paula, who creates fonts for some of the world's most famous companies, ends up satisfying her clients just above their minimum expectations. I've heard it all before, and it's a very common experience. When you first show the product, the client is excited. But then someone else makes a harsh comment, and the expectation drops to just below the minimum expectation. But then, with a lot of explanation, the satisfaction level goes up again. However, this time, the satisfaction level doesn't go up any higher than the last time, and then there's another round of teasing. The satisfaction level drops to just below the minimum expectation, again. Unlike the job of selling 100 cucumbers, an artist or researcher's creative work is entirely dependent on the reputation of one client who pays for it. Even Paula has experienced being a little above the minimum expectation, so I have given up the illusion of receiving a final report with open arms.
She continues to do what she loves, but at the same time, remains professional. When I look at her life, I can see that she has continued to do what she loves, but not all the time. When she was younger, she did other jobs and typography, but then concentrated on typography as she got experiences. She also likes to draw the design by hand, but she designs on the computer in keeping with the times. Paula keeps her hand drawing art as her hobby. In other words, she does what she loves, but also makes a little effort to be able to do what she loves and meet the needs of her clients. The fact that Paula has been able to do this for so long makes her not just an artist but a professional. At the end of the film, she says, I haven't created my masterpiece yet. I guess she will improve her work and live on.