Infiltrate the Business World in the Name of Art

The Thriving Artist

Aug 17 2019 • 56 mins

Noah Scalin is an artist based in Richmond, Virginia, whose sculpture, installation, and photography use everyday items reassembled in new contexts. Noah did a major installation in Times Square in the winter of 2019, and is working with The Krause Gallery in New York City. He is also a corporate consultant at Another Limited Rebellion with his sister Mica Scalin. The firm specializes in using art and creativity in leadership development, and clients include Coke, General Electric, and Intuit. Noah was the first artist-in-residence at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business, where he is now an adjunct professor.

Discover A Market Through Creative Practice

  • “I ended up doing this project called Skull-A-Day where I got myself out of my creative rut and inspired again. And one of the really strange outcomes of that was that I started getting asked to talk to businesses about my creative practice. And so that turned into me doing a side-job initially of me going and doing these keynote talks and consulting, and all of a sudden I found myself, you know, really enjoying that work.”
  • “I like to say that not only was I the first artist in residence at the VCU School of Business, but possibly the first artist in residence at any school of business anywhere. […] A few years ago the school realized that creativity was one of the principles that they needed to be teaching their students to be successful in business—and that’s a pretty radical idea, but it’s also backed up by a lot of data.”
  • “I was like, ‘I didn’t go to business school, I don’t know anything about this.’ But I do know about how the artist’s skills set is valuable in business.”
  • “And especially the process we use, which is: do something, and then reflect on it, and share that with other people as the next step; that that process especially—making more things and putting more things in the world—gives you more opportunities. Just sheer numbers. You know, if you do want something you measure, that’s what it is. The more you put out, the more opportunities you get for something to come back.”

Top Companies Want To Learn About Creativity

  • “Anybody in any industry right now is seeing some form of automation coming into play. And certainly, with advances in AI it’s going to be an entirely different world we live in very soon, science fiction is becoming fact very quickly.”
  • “Certainly the jobs that are going to go last are going to be the ones that require people to creative problem-solve and come up with unique new ideas.”
  • “It usually starts with a person of vision within the company, somebody who has recognized that creativity is one of the top skills that leadership needs to survive the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
  • “One of the talks I do is actually called The ROI of Creativity. And what I talk to people about is that business wants to do this measurement and wants to have these numbers and wants to be like what’s the benefit of this. And it’s really a narrow view of what we’re talking about.”
  • “What I talk to them about is sustainable innovation and the people that need that and know what that is, they’re on board.”

Creativity in Business Begins With Education

  • “Most jobs don’t give you a chance to really develop your creativity, you’re expected to bring that to the table and have it there. And even now in the business world when they’re asking executives to be creative they’re not training them, they’re just going, ‘Start doing this, be creative, creative problem-solve!’ And they’re like, ‘I don’t know how to do that’.”
  • “Because we’re presenting such an unusual story, people pay attention and we usually can get inside their heads and plant some seeds that they’ve needed to hear for a while; maybe the opportunity to start seeing things differently and behaving...