By focussing on PhD supervision as well as creativity, this paper explores how the artefact and exegesis PhD offers an opportunity to bring creative activity together with academic debate and intellectual rigour. In this context, the latter does not justify the former nor interpret it in an academic and theoretical way. Rather, acting together, the artefact and exegesis bridge the Cartesian binary, offer new models of knowledge to the academy, and enrich the artistic practices of the practitioners themselves. The creative practitioner thus brings to the academy new dimensions of what knowledge itself consists of and how this contributes to learning. Because this disputes the regular academic templates, it challenges the academy itself. The methodology I employ in this paper is one of narrativity that I call the ‘subjective academic narrative’, it practices the theory of academic knowledge as personal and draws together the Cartesian binary of the personal and the intellectual.