Welcome to the podcast. Today, it's gonna be a little bit different. We want to start a conversation. Charla and I have been talking about what it means to be a sellout, and if that's even a thing.
Yeah. Like I think I was thinking about it the other day that when we were young, I think sellout was a real common term that was used, I think, a lot in the music industry with when a musician would be a sellout if they just went pop-y, and they just wanted a big hit, you know, get on the top 40. It was a term I think that artists in all areas never, ever wanted to be called, never wanted to be called a sellout. I think for me, it was something that was always on my mind when I was first kind of, um, getting into the workforce. Because I, I was, I went to school and I have a fine art degree, and the idea of a sellout was basically anyone who made money other than selling their art. And even, I think there's even like, as far as some people would go as far as to say, like, even selling your art in a gallery could be a sellout, because maybe you should just be making art for the sake of art, you know? This like, extreme purist.
Like, does that mean there, that maybe they're saying that if you do something to, to please an audience, it's selling out rather than if it's just to please yourself. Am I understanding that?
Yeah. If you're making money off of your art. I mean, and I'm talking from a real purist point of view. And I think 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago, these ideas were, the culture was so vastly different in our world and in our industry that it's even hard to think that way today because of the social media culture and the internet culture. It really wasn't around 30 years ago when we were teenagers, and the, the word, the idea of being a sellout was, was different because you were giving your, like, as an, as a musician, you're giving your name to um, uh, a producer to use, and to make money off of, and to promote, and all these kinds of things. So, then is like, is this real music? You know, like?
These were the conversations back then. Today the culture is so different, but I think about it a lot still just 'cuz it was such a buzzword in my time and I left my fine art degree and went straight into web design and I, I loved it, and I felt like I was a, an artist.
I loved making websites look great, and it was in the beginning of, of the industry, and websites looked really crappy. They were all black background with neon letters, and seriously that's coming back, like people are using that again. And it's kind of a trend right now.
Because it gets attention, um, just because it's so tacky, probably. But I was considered a sellout for doing that. And then I went into, um, well I was a photographer, and I wanted to make money as a photographer, and I went into the wedding industry, but I wanted to disrupt the wedding industry. 'Cause at that point it was all like old guys with vests on, lining up the bride and groom and there are 50,000 wedding party people and taking pictures of everybody smiling with their head just like that, and their hands just like this.
And I was like, I wanted to go in there and, and be more photojournalistic style, which was... Existed, I wasn't the first by any means, but it was rare and people had not seen it before. So I felt like, you know, I'm bringing my art into that world, and I'm changing it, and I'm disrupting it. But a lot of people considered me a sellout photographer 'cuz I wasn't making fine art and, and displaying it or whatever I was supposed to do. I was trying to make money off of my art, and therefore I was a sellout. That was just a common theme back then.
Yeah. Whereas, these days...
I wonder if that still happened. It's still a thought of people
Well, yes. And, and these days it's almost, I don't wanna say the opposite mindset, but kind of, like a, a drastic shift the other direction where it's almost like if you're not doing everything possible to sell yourself, then you're not really being a true artist or a and, and just in case someone is just tuning in, and you're wondering, what, what are Marijanel and Charla talking about? We're not expressing our opinions or tips right now. We're having a discussion about what these things mean, and we really want you to chime in as listeners. Uh, if you can, um, comment in the YouTube comment box if you can find us on Instagram @boldschoolinc. And those of you who are inside the Bold School community, um, boldschool.com, if you can join in the conversation to let us know if this is even a thing that you encounter in your artwork. Have you been told you're a sellout? Have you felt like a sellout? Is that word maybe not even existing anymore because of our shift in social media and our sell yourself mindsets?
Maybe we're all sellouts now.
You, you kind of triggered a thought in my mind 'cause I hadn't really thought about that before that maybe it's actually just gone so far in the other direction that, you know, you heard the words, you hear the words sellout in a negative way, and people are like, well, how is that negative? It's what we all do. And I think about even within our school when I see, 'cuz we, we teach mostly portrait painting in our school. And what do people think of first when they think of portrait artists? Is commission work to paint, um, your loved one. You know, like, that's, that's what people think of portrait photog or portrait painter does. And almost every single artist in our community, I mean, the most of the time I see people posting, they're posting commission work, and they're so excited because they got a commission work to paint somebody's loved one.
And my advice is always don't do that when you're beginning and when you're learning because it's the hardest work to do. It's the most stressful and the most pressure. It's very difficult to learn and experiment under those conditions. And commission work is not for everybody and likenesses is not for everybody. It's not the only thing that a portrait artist is, but it's the go to thought for a portrait artist. And to some degree, I think I probably view that move almost as, as a sellout, because an artist will think that it's the only way they can make money is to paint somebody else's loved one. And it's not what they wanna do. If you talk to them, they don't wanna paint it because it's hard. It's, well, not necessarily it's hard. Maybe it's easy for them, but it's stressful, and you don't experiment. You're not doing your own thing. You're not, you're not creating art that you were made to create or that you love. So, I think that interestingly enough, as much as I like to go against the idea of being a sellout, I like to promote maybe becoming a sellout, Like go out and make art that you can make money off of that, promote that.
Because I want you to make money.
We had a discussion about being authentic, and that if you're being really authentic, um, that doesn't mean you are not going to try to make ways to make ends meet, or look at, um, ways to monetize, which is a topic we're gonna be talking about next week, um, about monetizing your art. So, stay tuned for that one.
As you follow the Bold Artist Podcast. Um, but being authentic doesn't mean that you just stay in a corner and paint or create only what pleases you, and never create for the world or what will sell. So, there might be, perhaps, and you can join in the conversation and let us know what you think, but perhaps there's a balance to that. Um, in fact, a couple weeks ago, you and I were talking about a, a video that we heard an artist talking about, the one for them, one for me, the, uh, approach to art.
Where you paint one for yourself and one for the people or the fans. And so there's a lot of different ideas out there of how, what a sellout is, what, or how you can approach, um, painting for yourself or creating for yourself and creating for the people, or monetizing or, or, um, making ends meet, and what it means to be authentic. It's such a big topic.
It is. It's a, it's a massive topic. And I think if you look at the definition on Wikipedia, it says that it's, um, the, it's when you compromise ,when a person compromises their integrity, morality, authenticity, and their principles in exchange for personal gains such as money. So, integrity, morality, authenticity, and your principles. I mean, if that's what you have to do to be a sellout, that's, that's huge. I don't think that's the common thought when people just throw the word sellout out there
Yeah. They throw it around without realizing what it means.
Yeah. Your integrity and your morality is wrapped up in a whole ton of stuff that.
If it's, if it's you're making money, and suddenly you have no morals, then we're all doomed. You know, like, we're all in trouble.
Well, and then, and then it comes down to the fact that we're throwing around this word without knowing it's history or what it actually means. And, and it might mean something entirely different these days. And as we mentioned in the beginning, it might not even be an issue. Maybe creators and influencers and people out there making stuff to please the world. Maybe it's just, it's not an issue. Like, um, sellout is a thing of the past. Um, we've, we actually went into depth just talking about our own art careers and the fact that we teach art. And, and sometimes we're not always making it, but we're teaching it. And, and then I look at my, uh, career and see the ways I've monetized my artwork, like, uh, creating prints and, um, and cards. But I create these things knowing which ones will sell. And then at times I've shifted my genre just a little in order to know, hey, um, this style that I created from the depths of my heart over here and in a fine art process isn't quite resonating with the people in the gift shops that are selling my work. And I'm gonna shift just a little. We've talked in the past about how I was torn between whether I make pottery green, which is what I really wanted to make when I was a potter, um, or blue, because blue was selling. And so,
Or white, because white was what I wanted.
White is what Charla wanted. And Charla does own a white Marijanel mug.
I own a mug, and they, like a wine glass. What are they, what was it called? A goblet.
A goblet, Yes. I went through a goblet making stage.
I have one.
Which actually, functional pottery just in itself, just to throw this into the mix of the conversation, is really something, like, if you're gonna cross into functional art like that or functional work, it is also something you have to think of selling it. And you, like, and not just selling it, but the person on the other end who's gonna hold it... Do, do they like that handle? Do they like that size? Will it hold some coffee? You're not just dreamily creating a mug or a goblet. You're putting a lot of functionality into it. And so, um, as a, as a potter, I never once considered, oh, am I selling out by not only creating my sculptural trees, but making functional pottery. So it's, it's like, um, I've, I'm of the mind now, of course, we're opening this conversation to everyone.
We, we want it, It's not like I'm an authority on this by any means, but I'm of the mind that being a sellout is a thing of the past. Right now we're just, we just all create and do our entrepreneurial endeavors as artists and our, our decisions of what we're creating and, and how we move in and out of the creative process, like the genres we choose, the, the, uh, subject matter we choose that we just have to, in a sense, go with the flow and make it work for our, our career. You know, so it's, it's kind of a thing of the past. And I do think social media has changed that.
Yeah. I'm, I'm starting to think since we've started talking, really just having these thoughts now, is that it's something that social media has done in a positive way, has changed the stigma of, of sellout, the term sellout what it used to be 10, 20 years ago, like, that's, that stigma has changed. Like, we now have the okay from society to do what it takes to sell your art. I do think maybe the term sellout as it's written in Wikipedia, it's probably become more of what it actually means. Actually, that term is that, uh, definition is more authentic now. Because I think now people will still look at as... Look at social media influencers. Let's use as an example who, um, have become a sellout. Because there, you know, you see some young people who are on social media who are doing nothing, selling nothing.
They have no skills and no talents that they're showing up. They're just, they just do whatever it takes to get views and follows. And they, they're like, several million follows in. And you can't even understand why. There's just some strange subculture in that world that follows these people and, and they're making money off of it. And I think that's quite often can be, uh, looked... Viewed as, I'm not gonna say it is or isn't, but viewed as somebody who was sold out because where is their integrity? Where is their morality? Where's their authenticity, and where are their principles? And as a parent, when I see my kids watching some of this stuff, I just get so upset because I see that they're not teaching my kids any of that. You know, like, I don't care. Like, I want my kids to be in the world and seeing what's going on, but there's some people that they watch on YouTube, that I see them checking out Instagram stuff, and I get upset.
I'm like, No, you can't do that. You can't watch it because they're not teaching integrity. Where is the integrity in what they're doing?
So, in some ways it's almost a more boiled down or more proper use of the word when you call, I know I'm being opinionated and I don't wanna offend anybody or hurt anybody's feelings, I think think they have business. A lot of these guys that are on social media and YouTube doing these kinds of things, they definitely know how to run a business, and how to use whatever their talent is to get these follows. They're not dumb people by any means whatsoever, but the integrity and the authenticity, it's all lacking when it comes to how they're influencing kids in today's world. And as a parent, I do get to make that, um, make that call in my kids' lives. I think that's a real true definition of a sellout. And now, let's see, what the comments are gonna be.
Now she's defining this is the conversation. So, we're, we wanna invite you just in closing to join that conversation. Once again, leave a comment for us. Let us know if this is even a thing anymore. Does it, does it bother you? Is it something you think about when you're creating art? Or is it a thing of the past that social media's changed, and we're all just on our path, creating what we needed to create and selling ourselves? And
Yeah. And we'll talk about it. Like, if you're really, if this is an interesting topic and you want to talk about that more, uh, we'll we're def, I'm definitely into talking about this more, and we can bring this topic back up in the new year if we get some response.
Yes. And I'm sure Charla will share more about it in the Bold School newsletter. So, um,
So, get on, make sure that you're on the email list and, and stay in touch with this conversation in the email, um, that'll be coming out. And, uh, as well, you know, where to find us on boldschool.com and, uh, join our community there. Get on the email list on Instagram @boldschoolinc, and right here on YouTube, the Bold School Channel and all on all audio apps, including Spotify. Thank you so much for being here. And until next time, keep creating.