In art, there is no right or wrong. There is simply ‘authentic’ and ‘inauthentic’.
What you are striving towards as an artist is this:
For you to pursue your own artistic vision, and being steadfast/strong enough to prevent others from watering down your artistic vision.
Compromises are for suckers
Life is too short to compromise. The only reason we generally compromise is because we are fearful of being punished by others.
But if you don’t fear others– why compromise?
Perhaps you don’t want to hurt the feelings of others, or tread on their feet. But if you’re an artist and entrepreneur, OF COURSE you’re going to piss off someone! It is impossible to go throughout life without hurting anyone. No matter how ‘good’ or noble/virtuous you believe your thoughts, there will ALWAYS be someone who will be ‘upset’ by you, or get their underwear in a knot by your opinions.
What does it mean to have artistic integrity?
To me, it means to pursue your vision 100%, and not care about ‘success’ or ‘failure’. To not worry about monetary gains (or losses). To do something truly for the sake of it, and to pursue your artistic ends like a child would do.
Why does a child build sandcastles on the beach even though the child knows the sea will wash it up? Because it is fun– and playing is integral to being a human being!
Artistic creation as play
The more I think about it, the only ‘legitimate’ form of artwork is artwork which is created from a sense of play.
When a child plays, they are the apex of creativity. They improvise, self-learn, and challenge themselves for fun!
Avoid artistic pretentiousness; art is play!