Sellout of Sell Out? Artist Getting Paid




This came out of a conversation I had with Bill Shannon last night on Facebook and I think it is worthy of sharing. So here it goes…..


Ahem (://clears throat and prepares for public speech on a soapbox).


Most of the time, I take exception to the term “sellout” and “selling out”.


I do. And I will tell you why.


I choose to refute stereotypes. And the idea of the “artist-as-sellout” is extraordinary stereotype we need to ix-nay. Like now…right now. And while I am at it, the whole idea of “artists can’t take care of their money” is another stereotype that I am COMPLETELY done with (but alas, this is another blog post).


Being a “sellout” means losing sight of your creative vision to produce commercial bullshit that means nothing to most people…let alone you the creative artist.


Being a “sellout” means abandoning YOUR artistic vision or mission just to “get ahead” or make the loot. It means your art is meaningless to you, which is….most of the time…..never the case with artists who really care.


Taking a corporation up on their money so they can use you as a commodity is NOT selling out.


It simply means that you can….gasp!….pay your fucking bills and hell – even perhaps use some of that money to produce another gem of a work. You traded your time, and your brand “INSERT YOUR FABULOUS ARTIST NAME HERE” for a paycheck. It isn’t selling out – its survival – pure and simple.


Keep that in mind champ. Don’t perpetuate the stereotype that artists can’t make money (which is what “selling out” implies… it implies that it is a bad thing to actually make money at your craft). It’s okay, it really is, to accept corporate dollars to perpetuate your artistic vision.

selling out

Let’s be frank…..without those corporate dollars the only alternative is to give up your time in exchange for some menial job that will barely cover your living expenses let alone support your artistic endeavors..


I am all for “selling out” to the right company at the right time and for the right reasons. Our artists need to make a living, and frankly accepting a “corporate” paycheck once in a while is the only way to do so.


Long live our artists. Long live creative vision! And be a sellout if that means I am going to have the privilege of seeing your most amazing work…work that you strived to create, work that you actually got paid for.