Sell Out, Or Obscurity?

The modern artist, he can’t care too much about his creations, we’re in a time of recycling, rebooting, trashing, rehashing and moving on – there is no such sentiments as there once was for classics, these have all but disappeared – soon you will see a new indiana Jones, a remake of Fight Club, there’s a silence of the lambs tv show – every idea and franchise must be milked dry, squeezed of everything the corporations who now own the rights can get out of it – and the audience usually laps it up. For people who still live in a world where making something classic means it’s timeless, this is a problem, even a bigger one when you’re an artist that formed his life on trying his hardest to make a classic piece of art, only to find out that no one gives a fuck about such things anymore.

A problem arises in this cycle of an audience not caring anymore, and its thirst for more of the same and its demand that the industry satiates this demand, and its lack of respect for an original peice of art; that is that once an artist realizes this is occurring, he no longer seeks this out, and comes to terms with the fact that whatever he does, his creations will be lost in new dark age of art and cultural history. So the artist in this time, hoping to create and have a legacy has little chance to do so – there is no sentiment in our society anymore, and it’s completely cannibalistic – this is just one example of our society, whereas its rampant in all other area’s of life. No sentiment towards family, gender roles, morality, manners, being civil, etc. People will talk about these things, but as a society, there is no overall concern about them, and all in all are tossed aside for it’s latest fix.

So what is an artist, entertainer, writer, to do? You’re left with two options, either find a small little niche and carve out a little corner and possible earn a modest amount of money/reach (ie manosphere) or sell out and go for mass media types and play the game at every level and hope you get into the money making machine that is run by massive corporations that dictate everything you do. This society not only doesn’t care if someone sells out anymore, it actually accepts and congratulates sell outs, as long as you don’t rub it in everyone’s faces… cough cough, Lebron, cough. So if you absolutely desire your creations to live on and have mass reach, you must give in and let the overlords dictate how it’s gonna be done, leaving you with only a piece of your pride that says, yeah that’s kind of mine.

Now it’s always been this way largely, except the society at large appreciation of sell outs, that’s certainly new – but with the possibilities the internet and creating your own market and reaching out to others that are like you to carve out a large enough niche that it can grow into a mass market niche, the way society reacts to unproven and new idea’s, it’s all the more tragic.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s even worth it at all.

6 thoughts on “Sell Out, Or Obscurity?

  1. Artists should just assume most people don’t give a damn. I like to think most true artists create for themselves. IF they pick up an audience, that’s just a bonus.

    Keep a regular day job, do art on your own time.
    Result: You still get a paycheck, and you retain complete creative control over your art. No need to sell out.

  2. this is a naive answer, you’re not actually an artist if you don’t create for others, if you create for yourself you have a hobby. Most actual artists want to impact the world, and timeless classics and great works do this.

    Also if you want to make money, you can’t just ask Disney or Warner bros if they’ll buy your script, you gotta get an agent (same with publishing) and in order to get an agent you gotta be someone already.

    ya you can make some money on your own, but no one will remember you in history, and part of the reason conscious or not,artists create is the desire to be remembered for their work.

  3. LS is right. Real artistic creation is not for any reason. It can’t be helped.

    If you wish to be remembered, make impact etc, you are operating out of your ego. In this case, its a deal with the devil. Your choice, or not.

    Don’t confuse art (love) with business.

  4. No, so many people think art is for oneself, and it’s true to only a degree, art is an actual representation of your expression, you don’t express things for yourself, you express and communicate for others – anyone who doesn’t care if people see it and like it, isn’t an artist, you have a hobby, or if you write, you have a diary.

    Yes it’s ego, that’s the very thing that drives an artist, his need to express and communicate… not simply indulge himself.

    Some artists are bad with the business side, others are better, but if you make music in a band in your garage, your not really doing anything worthwhile until you preform for an audience, same for acting, stand up comedy. All art is a performance.

  5. I discovered your blog a year or so ago while you were speaking of the counter-culture being dead, and that game is the only counter-culture.

    I like the idea of art as a form of communication, a dialogue with others. I’ve always thought art is a way of showing the truth, whether through mathematical beauty, devotion to a higher power, expression of self or eradicating societal veils.

    My problem with the state of art is, how can one express their deep felt truth to a crowd that will listen? I’m not talking about business or marketing, but about understanding. The message is important but the medium can’t suffer. This is why I find entertainment to be distinct from art. If you’re clowning around to get people’s attention, then you are the entertainer, not the artist. The artist needs to make people uncomfortable. Dostoevsky may have soothing passages, but he’s abrasive. The same with Beethoven or any other “classic” artist.

    Maybe we ask too much of art? Maybe it’s better to channel, document and solidify what you have, hope for the best but prepare for the worst and keep pinging for intelligent life. I think there’s a reason artists are thought of as mad…

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