The term “sellout” has an obvious negative connotation; I’ve never heard anyone congratulate a peer on selling out, but why not? Casey Neistat has published a video pointing out the simple fact that we all, as artists, have both dreams and material necessities.
Neistat expresses his ideas on selling out with personal stories from his journey to notoriety. He makes the point that it’s natural and commendable that we should find a way to pursue our dreams and pay our bills at the same time.
I would add that the term sellout is a subjective one. There are some photographers (or painters, musicians, etc.) whose initial goal is based on money and/or popularity. There’s nothing wrong with that! If your goal in photography is to make a certain amount of money, and you’re able to accomplish that goal, good for you. However, even for artists whose goals are purely artistic, you’re likely to pick up skills along your journey that are valuable to others, and you’re sure to have things that will require money. What’s the harm in monetizing your valuable assets in the service of your dreams?
What do you think? Is there a line you wouldn’t cross, no matter the size of the check?