Social Media & Makers: Selling Out

This post is a continuation of sorts from my last blog post regarding my issues with affiliate marketers and non disclosure.

Selling out. What does that mean?

Let’s think of it in terms of music. You have a moderately popular band. Let’s call them The Green Mugs. They have a small but loyal fan base, they’ve had a few singles on the Top 40, and they’ve been featured on the front page of their hometown newspaper.

One day some big time music producer gets wind of The Green Mugs. She hears their music and sees potential. She approaches them and offers them a lucrative recording contract.

The Green Mugs are ecstatic. They can bring this thing that they love, making music, to so many more people. Not to mention that they’d be making some good money and after spending the last four years touring in a run down Volkswagen Bus the thought of a real tour bus is very appealing.

Before they sign the deal they are informed of a few “stipulations”. First, they have to change their name. No more The Green Mugs. They would have to go by a name the record label has chosen; The Crystal Vases.

The Green Mugs all agree that this would be okay. After all, it’s just a name. Their music will still be the same.

So now they’re The Crystal Vases.

The next stipulation is to change their appearances. No more wild hair, no more ripped jeans and bow ties. From now on they’ll perform in tuxedos and all sport matching haircuts.

The Crystal Vases are a bit taken aback by this. They’re quite well known for their ripped jeans, bow ties, and wild hair. However that tour bus is like a siren’s call and so they agree to it. After all, the music will still be the same.

The last stipulation is that they need to stop playing Polka Rap (lol! Can you imagine what Polka Rap would sound like?!) and start singing opera.

This gives the members of The Crystal Vases a real pause. If they changed their music… they wouldn’t be the same group anymore. All the other things were somewhat superficial aspects of their identities; the clothes, the name. The music, though, that was what made them them.

The Green Mugs say thanks but no thanks and go back out to their dilapidated VW bus and that’s that.

Let’s say that that didn’t happen, though. Let’s say that The Green Mugs became The Crystal Vases. They changed their name, their appearance, and that special thing that truly made them them; their music.

Why am I talking about this? Friends, I think in metaphors. It’s how I am best able to convey my thoughts and feelings on things. But the reason I’m bringing any of this up is because I’ve seen people in the creative world sell out.

Where once was a friend is now an art celebrity. Where once was fun and spontaneous creative joy is now schemes to make money and art that looks like all the other art.

It makes me sad to see.

I think quite a few of us in the paper crafting world would like to be on a design team one day. It was certainly a goal of mine and one I feel incredibly blessed to have somehow achieved.

I will never stop being who I am. I will never sell out. I will never see people as pesos, I will never stop making the things I like making, I will never change my style for any company. If a company were to ever ask me to change I would tell them where they could stick that suggestion.

If you want to sell out, man, that’s your business. Sell out. Just don’t expect the people who have supported you the entire way to continue supporting you.

Things to remember:

  • It’s okay to change the superficial things about yourself but when they ask you to change your essence? Run.
  • People before pesos.
  • If you have to lie by omission and trick people to get ahead then you need to evaluate yourself and your life choices.
  • When you sell out you’ll come to find that the respect your loyal fan base had for you will diminish and dwindle

Be like The Green Mugs. Play that Polka Rap as loud and proud as you can.

Until next time,

Zots, Dots, Artistic Robots,

Samantha

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