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The Creative Reputation Dilemma: Professional and Emotional Negotiation of Cultural Value

posted on 2023-05-22, 19:01 authored by Can Seng OoiCan Seng Ooi
This chapter is based on more than a decade of art world research in Singapore but offers a single case of a composer who has composed a work for an orchestra. This study presents the creative reputation dilemma faced by many artists who attempt to be more entrepreneurial. Most countries promote their creative economy, and that has generated a class of artist entrepreneurs or ‘artrepreneurs’. Professional artists are encouraged and challenged to be economically independent and also to make their practice more profitable. For many artrepreneurs, maintaining their creative reputation comes with emotional costs. The thick description in this chapter demonstrates how an artist negotiates with the patron in finalising a new piece of commissioned music. But they failed to close the deal. This case deviates from studies that focus on successes in the creative industries. Creativity entails experimentation and creating new things, but new things may not be well-received. Nonetheless, these ‘unsuccessful’ works are part of the art world and contribute to creating cultural value in society.


Publication title

Exploring Cultural Value: Contemporary Issues for Theory and Practice Kim Lehman


K Lehman, I Fillis and M Wickham






School of Social Sciences


Emerald Publishing Limited

Place of publication

United Kingdom



Rights statement

Copyright 2021 by Emerald Publishing Limited

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

The creative arts; Expanding knowledge in creative arts and writing studies