Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Funny Ideas about "Selling Out"

A lot of young people have some funny ideas about what "selling out" means, and what "artistic integrity" means.

Apparently, "artistic integrity" amounts to only 10 people reading about your work, namely them, and if you try to reach a much wider audience then you are selling out.

Which is just ridiculous. Stupid even.

What kind of artist are you if your work gets read by only 10 freakin' people? Ridiculous. And it defeats the very purpose of art.

To me selling out means compromising your work for commercial reasons. And by compromising I mean changing the nature of your finished work to sell a product, or push an agenda.

For instance, if you composed a song about love, then that song is about the celebration of love. If you use that same song years later to sell burgers because the burger company is giving you money to use your song, then to me that's selling out.

Take note that I don't make any judgments if an artist chooses to do this. If he needs that money to survive and feed his family, then he has every right to do with his song whatever he wants. But that song has now been compromised. If I hear it now, I no longer think about love. I think about burgers. And that hurts the integrity of the song.

If the artist was commissioned to create a new song for the burger company, then that's not selling out. That's simply a job. Everyone needs a job. Even artists.

I've been accused of selling out when Wasted appeared in PULP. How can that be selling out? My work was never compromised. Not a thing about it was changed. In fact, a lot of people got to read Wasted because of it, and that was what I wanted.

It's selling out because Wasted is popular now and it's published by Pulp. Pulp is not underground. They're the man!


If I was asked by PULP to redraw panels so Eric can be seen wearing Giordano shirts and drinking Coke to make the sponsors happy, THAT is selling out. If a movie outfit paid me for the rights to the Wasted movie and they changed the ending by making Eric live so they can make a sequel, THAT is selling out.

Getting your work out there and read by people is NOT selling out. That is how your art will endure and live on. People need to see it. People need to read it.

Oh yeah, and there's nothing wrong with making money with your art. Some people have funny ideas about art as being free and if you sell them, you lose your "artistic integrity".

Duckshit and piss.

Even Leonardo fucking Da Vinci was paid for his paintings. If art is your life, then you make a living out of it. That is not a problem. Everybody has a job. Why can't yours be what you love doing?

The only people who can afford to condemn artists as being bereft of artistic integrity when they sell their work are kids who still live with their parents and/or don't have to earn a living to survive. It's so easy to say "ooo, Sell OUT!" when you're still living off your momma.


  1. Right on! others are just full of hogwash

  2. Anlakas gumastos ng pulitiko para sa mga walang kwentang bagay at para sa kapritcho. Pero pag hiningan mo ng tulong para sa edukasyon ay sasagutin ka nga “wala kaming budget para dyan” Si PGMA analakas gumastos ng dinner sa mamahaling kainan pero simpleng request ng isang batang mag hahighschool ay pinagpasapasahan pa.

    Nakakalungot talaga.

    Sana ho wag na natin suportahan ang mga pulitikong puro lip service. at sana ay mabasa ninyo ang blog ko ng malaman ninyo at ng readers ninyo kung pano nabalewala ang request ng isang ina na makapag aral ang anak nya. humingi ng tulong kay mar roxas, sinagot na walang pera ang kanyang tangapan para sa edukasyon pero sa pa liga ng basketball at sa TV ads eh kayang kaya gumastos ng milyon. humingi ng tulong kay erap ngunit tinarayan ng sekretarya at sinabihang wala silang oras para sa ganyang bagay. at ng sumulat kay PGMA eh pinagpasapasahan.

    Ang hirap maging Pilipino.
    Sana may Ninoy at Cory pa rin sa mga darating na henerasyon ng Public Servant na tunay ang pagmamahal at pagtulong sa kapwa.