Creative Review Article: Is It Still Possible For Creatives To Sell Out? Featuring UK artist Kerwin Blackburn

Creative Review Magazine: Is It Still Possible For Creatives To Sell Out?

“We’ve been trying to sell out for years. Nobody’s buying,” Jerry Garcia famously said. With increasing collaborations between artists and ‘the establishment’ is the notion of selling out obsolete? And did it ever even exist in the first place?

Article By Hazel Davis

Expanding digital technologies and social media have meant that a visual element is now essential to almost every industry, and every business, with creatives and designers playing a pivotal role in this new economy.

Some artists welcome this. “It’s great to see the boundaries between art and commerce becoming more blurred,” says Kerwin Blackburn, founder of affordable art ecommerce brand, By Kerwin. “Intense global competition is driving brands to operate ever more creatively; both in the products they produce and how they present these to the world.”

But it wasn’t always like this, says fine artist and designer Kristjana S Williams, whose work spans illustration, interiors, fashion, design and fine art and who has worked with the V&A, Chanel, Penhaligon’s and other luxury brands. “When I was at art college there was a very clear stigma,” she says, “it was very intense and they didn’t teach us anything about the financials. There was always a sense of only one type of art.”

Photographic artist Simon Buckley agrees. “It’s not a new question, and has followed me throughout my career, shaping my work, my choices and occasionally my sense of shame and guilt,” he says. “I began my career as a documentary photographer, recording pictures of people and places, mostly for exhibition. It paid very little, but, in my 20s and still free of cynicism, I felt an affinity with the great photographers of the 20th century – that I was part of the community of photographers dedicated to capturing life around us, talking to the future.”

Read the full article with a Creative Review membership, here.

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