Ravi Raman: Sell-Out

"ABC – Always Be Closing” is one of those sales clichés that people say, as if they coined the phrase.  As with most clichés, there’s more than a little bit of truth in it.  As an artist today, one has to…Always Be Closing.   If they have any aspirations of being a success – whether that’s defined financially, in terms of notoriety, or both – closing and selling become an intrinsic part of an artist's life.

Gone are the days when an artist could say with a snobbish affect, “I let my art speak for itself,” and wait for an audience to discover them.  Actually, was there ever such a day?  Fact is, the only way art will speak to an audience is if the artist gives it a megaphone.  To have a megaphone, the artist must find a venue, a social media platform, a collaboration - any creative application - to present their art to the most number of people.  That's how one gains exposure and ultimately makes a sale.

As much as I dislike the sales cliché, I am always selling, and when I’m not selling, I’m thinking of ways to sell.  There still are some artists I know who view my approach as beneath them or view me as a “sell out,” as if that were a bad thing.

Yes.  I am a sell-out and damn proud of it.  If I seem all too comfortable accepting the sell-out mantle, it’s because I have some experience in that role.  I spent years playing in a band and being willing to do anything to get noticed by the general public as well as record labels (remember them?).  I realized when I began to show my art that it was no different than music promotion.  I had to be a hustler to get noticed.  As a result, I will slap my art on anything, as long as I think it’s cool and won’t cheapen my work.  My only questions are whether by doing so I will expose my art to a greater number of people, and if it will lead to someone’s interest in purchasing one of my paintings.

So far, I've emblazoned my artwork on cell phone cases, silk scarves, and skateboard decks.  I continue to look for innovative ways to increase exposure to my art and ultimately to sales of my paintings.  If you want to purchase cases, scarves, or decks, head over to my "Merchandise" page.  (See what I did just now?  I "Always Be Closing!")

If Picasso had adopted a purist's view and only painted in his Bateau-Lavoir studio, and waited for the world to magically realize that he was a genius and a revolutionary, right now, you would be reading this wondering, “Who the hell is Picasso?”