SELL-OUT. The words make me cringe. Usually uttered by uninformed or jealous people who don’t know what it means.
The accusation was on a blog that chooses one poor soul every week to be his “SELL-OUT OF THE WEEK.” And every person he chooses for that column just happens to be successful.
It really irritated me. (Drew, of course, laughed it off.)
The article implied that Drew is selling-out because he allows his art to go on boogie boards for kids. But that’s always been a part of our plan – to make Drew’s art attainable to everyone, even those who can’t afford his originals.
About 8 years ago we signed our first deal with Wham-O to use Drew’s art on boogie boards. We questioned it back then – will this hurt Drew’s art career? We decided to go with our gut, which was telling us that this was the best way to make the art available to kids, affordably. And quite frankly, we don’t usually care what other people think.
The only opinions we care about are those of Drew’s fans; and his fans are excited for his art to be printed on things like skateboards, water bottles and t-shirts.
Keith Haring felt the same way – in his generous manner, he wanted his art to be available for most everyone, affordably.
Most people don’t know what selling out means. Here’s one of the formal definitions:
“SELLING OUT” REFERS TO THE COMPROMISING OF ONE’S INTEGRITY, MORALITY AND PRINCIPLES IN EXCHANGE FOR MONEY.”
In other words, if you do anything that goes against your personal principles just for money, you are a sell-out.
If you sign on with a major record label and you agree to write music that you really dislike, you are a sell-out. However, if you sign on with a major record label, and you agree to write new music that you actually like, you are NOT a sell-out.
It’s important to BE WHO YOU ARE, even if others don’t get it. Stand firm on that.
Every now and again we’ll hear that someone somewhere thought Drew was too commercial. But Drew is completely true to himself – HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN WHO HE IS. He is a guy who wants everyone to be able to enjoy his art, regardless of their financial status. And anyone who doesn’t get it, well, they just don’t get it. And that’s okay.
Drew Brophy has NEVER sold-out. He never does anything he doesn’t believe in. Ever. So don’t try to get him to paint something that he doesn’t want to paint, even if there’s a lot of money in it.
Many people wouldn’t turn down a six digit deal, but Drew did. He was offered big bucks from Mattel to create the new Street Sharks. Boy, we would have loved to have the money. But we turned it down. It didn’t fit in with what Drew wanted to paint.
- Are you a sell-out if you want to be a fine artist, but instead you wait tables in Laguna Beach?
- Was Michelangelo a sell-out because he created art as propaganda for the church?
- Are you a sell-out if you paint what the gallery owner tells you to paint?
- Did Shepard Fairey sell-out when he commercialized his operation?
- Are you a sell-out if you’re successful?
The answer is: you are a sell-out if you do anything that goes against your personal values. Period. And for every person, that is different.
I wrote this article to shed some on light on what “Sell-out” actually means.
If you use that phrase, use it wisely.
And please, recognize the artists that are being generous with their artwork; the artists that share their art and make it available for everyone. Even if that means that it’s printed on a boogie board.
Thanks for listening to my rant.
Maria “Spunk” Brophy Follow me on Twitter!
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