Identity crisis of artists during the Covid-19 pandemic and shift towards entrepreneurship


Objective: The objective of the article is to understand the changes in artists’ identity facing the global obstacle caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of the identity crisis into the shift towards entrepreneurial behaviours. Creative individuals seems to be perfect examples of adjustments to the changing environment.

Research Design & Methods: The qualitative research was conducted in form of in-depth interviews with key informants (artists with different entrepreneurial experiences from different countries and cultures) and auto-ethnography.

Findings: The Covid-19 pandemic caused a crisis of the artist’s identity. Individuals with complex identities deal with the crisis better than sole identity individuals. Artists-entrepreneurs are increasingly looking for new forms of activity during crisis. The Artistry-Creativity-Entrepreneurship Matrix which allow to understand the shifts among complex identity individuals towards one fractional identity in case of a crisis.

Implications & Recommendations: The results can be used by: individuals (entrepreneurs, managers, artists) having complex/mixed identities for better understanding of a crisis situation and its impact and possibilities flowing from different layers of human personality with underlining of creativity; 2) business looking for new types of customers and/or wanting to understand more complex market participants.

Contribution & Value Added: The article describes the unexplored areas of artistry among creative entrepreneurs. Distinction between artistry and creativity is marked here clearly. The application of the theory of aesthetics from the field of artistic creativity as a basis for the analysis of the phenomenon of entrepreneurial creativity, opens up new potential research areas of creativity among entrepreneurs.



artist's identity; entrepreneur’s identity; creative identity; complex identity; identity crisis; paradoxical thinking; creativity; Covid-19 pandemic; entrepreneurship

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Published : 2021-05-31

Szostak, M., & Sułkowski, Łukasz. (2021). Identity crisis of artists during the Covid-19 pandemic and shift towards entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 9(3), 87-102.

Michał Szostak
University of Social Sciences  Poland

Dr Michał Szostak – born 1980, graduate of master's studies (management and marketing) and doctoral studies (management) at the Koźmiński University in Warsaw. Since 2004, he run active business practices (in top management and director positions) in capital groups in an international environment – mainly in the commercial and industrial sectors – cooperating with corporations from the USA, Canada, EU countries and South Korea. He has broad experience in financial and organizational optimization of business processes and entire enterprises, preparation and operation of mergers, divisions, separation of enterprises and acquisition activities of capital companies, partnerships and private business activities, as well as implementation and maintenance of controlling and quality management systems. Since 2019, as an assistant professor (adjunct), he is associated with the University of Social Sciences in Warsaw, where he conducts interdisciplinary scientific and research work and publish articles at the interface between business and aesthetics. He conducts didactic activities for English-language MBA programs at the Polish branch of the American Clark University and University of Social Sciences in Warsaw in the area of International Finance, Corporate Finance, Financial Analysis, Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Visual Arts Marketing, Self-Presentation, Business Presentations, Ethics and CSR. He is also an international concert musician and musicologist being a Doctor of Musical Arts in organ performance (Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw) performing annually dozens recitals in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia.

Łukasz Sułkowski 
Jagiellonian University in Kraków  Poland

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