Art for Business’ Sake: Visual Value

Have you considered how art can bring competitive advantage to your business?

I have long believed in the saying that is known as Peter’s Placebo – “an ounce of image is worth a pound of performance” and I’m sure that the majority of businesses are aware of the need to promote their image in a range of ways. But it is more than that. And it’s not just about sponsorship with business buying works of art to support the artist’s work, although of course that is part of it. The healthiest art / business relationships are based on something a bit deeper than that and benefit the organisation as much as it does the artist. I firmly believe that art and the arts have the power to inspire, motivate and educate individuals, organisations and communities.

There is a vital connection between art and business, with the two spheres having much in common. In both areas it takes initial groundwork coupled with creativity and imagination to realize opportunities and turn ideas into action. In my own artwork – the time spent in situ looking, sketching, planning and thinking is really important, and always underpins the creative excitement of the physical painting.

For me, as an artist, I always aim to paint pictures with a strong visual presence and depth of character – something that often seems to be lacking these days. It’s as if colour isn’t fashionable any more, which I think is ridiculous because a powerful image is something that is timeless. Colour is not just a tool to describe reality but rather a media to express emotional depth

I do not limit my work to objective representation of the subject matter but concentrate on the feeling and impact derived from my own personal perception and interpretation of the world around me. The exaggerations or emphasis of colours helps to display the intense emotional expression of trying to capture an inner experience, seeking to depict subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse, rather than an objective photographic reality. Although the resulting painting is a personal instinctive alternative translation of the scene, it does, nevertheless, capture the vibrancy and character of the location.

The Hampshire countryside is a constant inspiration to me in all its forms, moods and atmospheres. I try to evoke the feelings I have towards the landscape and try to capture innate the sense of place. In this way I can change and enhance the way that people see the world around them.

It is terribly important to me to ground my work in personal experiences of real places. Doing my initial sketches on which I base my paintings outdoors “from life” at a particular location give distinctly different results from working from a photograph in the studio. Of course they are visually different but perhaps more dynamically for me they “feel” different – having an extra quality and validity from having experienced the actual place and reacted and interpreted in an intuitive, visceral sense.

Although the practise has a particular starting point (the particular scene), I am not restricted by imposed or arbitrary constraints and limitations as to the direction of the process or the final outcome. It is similar to what I gather is known in business as “thinking outside the box”.

In fact, as already intimated, art and business management can share working practises. For example, you can tell a great deal about the inward workings and culture of an organisation from it’s outward and visible signs in the same way that you can look at a finished work of art and gain an insight into the artist’s technique and working processes. First impressions when seeing a painting can colour your ultimate reaction to an artist’s work. Similarly, we make huge assumptions about organisations on the basis of early visual impressions and experiences.

There are many examples of businesses using the arts to inspire employees, stimulate their creativity and keep people engaged and motivated in pursuit of specific personal and organisational development goals.

Art-based training activities can be used advantageously to build trust and understanding, find shared values and facilitate collaboration and teamwork. Understanding Artistic processes can help the appreciation that many points of view contribute to the whole innovation strategy and therefore can become a key influence on a business organization.

As I said at the start, I definitely believe that art has the potential to inspire, motivate, change and improve individuals, organizations and communities. How people see the world around them is one small part of that advancement.

Waynes work will be on display in the Link Gallery, our venue for the Wired Wessex networking event ‘Five Minutes of Fame’ on Wednesday 5th December so we will be privileged to enjoy such a beautiful backdrop on the night.

You can find out more about Wayne Jefferson and his work by visiting his website:

We hope it will inspire you as it has us.

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