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Commercial Careers: Are You an Artistic Sellout?

Artistic Sellout
By Artist's Strategy

For those looking at commercial careers (AKA profit driven careers), we struggle with the balance of wanting to hold on to the core of our art without losing sight of its depth or importance while playing the game of growing our business simultaneously.

But sometimes selling out can be selling in. There are many forms of what we as individuals deem selling out be it a less than fulfilling artistic venture, a boastful marketing effort or using the people we know to get further in our careers.

But all of these pieces could lead to a sustainable future. So – what if we shifted our thinking towards how we could sell IN.

First you have to understand what your concept of selling out is.

What is something you may do that feels “against” your beliefs, values or integrity as an artist? While there is absolutely a line, do those things actually mean you’re a sell out or have you set up parameters for where you are at professionally that are unhelpful to you?

Let me be extra clear, are you in a position to be holier than thou about what you will and will not do at this point in career?

Probably not. No one likes the idea of selling out but artists seem to have a “clearer” POV of the many things they can’t do in order to hold on to their sense of pride. But – if you take a step back…is that gig really going to make you a sell out?

Is finally signing up for Twitter giving over to the man/woman/them? Or – could you lean into what makes you uncomfortable and strategically think through the myriad of ways to use it to your advantage?

Holding onto your values as an artist is key for you as a person and as a business especially when it relates to the clarity behind your marketing efforts and the relationships you build. But if your plan includes the hopes of commercial success, be strategic and malleable as to the path that could take you there.

Take this moment to look at the opportunities or tactics you’ve avoided because they felt beneath you. Who knows, selling out may afford us more opportunities and / or resources that could give you even more of the control you’ve been looking for.

By Joshua Morgan for Artist’s Strategy.
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