My Internal Dialog by Salvia

Creative Control

At what point does an artist “sell out”? If an artist creates something (music, painting, what have you) and they are paid for doing what comes natural – or from their soul – are they selling out? From my point of view, no, said artist is simply being true to himself or herself and someone else happens to enjoy their creation for what it is. When a producer tells the artist “this is what’s hot” or “you should target…” and the suggestion is not true to the creation – that is selling out.

When I read articles about artists who decide to not compromise their creation, I think there is hope for the creative process as a whole…..

The latest example is how the Matt and Mike Chapman, the creators of Homestar Runner, reject two TV offers in order to retain the essence of the original idea.

“There was a brief flirtation with Comedy Central and Adult Swim,” Matt said. “The whole TV thing seemed creepy. They wanted to plug it into their model — that all comedy was gag-related, not character-driven. They left the door open, but we liked what we were doing and kept doing it online.”


“What they do works for them, but if we were doing our show there, we’d still have producers telling us what to do, what to change, what to write, etc. We love the control and the immediacy that writing and creating cartoons on the website brings us. As the ideas come, we can do whatever our whim is that week.”

I understand the “sell out” discussion can be taken further, such as pitching product, but that is a talk for a different time and place. My focus was simply on having the ability to remain true to your self.

Congrats, Matt and Mike.


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