Interview: Sellout

We're here with Sellout. This is one of his pieces. So Sellout, you're a street artist, you've been in the game for about 10 years, how do you really differentiate your work? What made your work really unique to what your message is and what you're bringing out?

I think a lot of it starts with being active, like with anything you got to be about the effort. Early on, I put in as much effort as I could just believing in myself, knowing that what I was doing was something that I felt passionate about, and not only that but I had fun, I had a lot of fun. Street art is about enjoying the environments that you can make better, and that’s what I’ve always kind of thought is like, okay, let me put this piece here, because this area could use a little bit of love, could use a little bit of color, could use a little bit of whatever kind of just enjoyment that comes from street art. And then you look at the image and I think it resonates to both east and west coast. And then when you get in between, they want to ask questions, they want to know what it’s about. They feel like maybe you’re missing out on some, you got both coasts represented. So it’s been a journey, as much as I’ve grown, this image has grown as well.
Interview: Sell Out, Dot Red

Well, let's talk about both coasts. You have elements—you've got LA, you've got New York, literally juxtaposed with each other. We've got elements of Warhol, we've got Marvel, what combined these other sides of the US?

Yeah, right, right, right. I think one of the major parts in the work I’ve produced is that there’s a little bit of me in every part of the work, whether it’s being influenced by maybe certain parts of Warhol’s upbringings, seeing some of that I want to put it into my work. But I’m influenced by the streets, the textures of the streets, seeing the drips, the runs of the paper building up, and so it means a lot to me to represent kind of where I came from, which would be the streets. You can’t always tell that when you look at a canvas, so it’s always been kind of important to me to bring about those textures that essentially represent the streets. And then when you’re talking about the images, the images are a lot about what resonate with me—like I said, as an artist but also what resonates to the world on a whole. I think you see a lot of iconic images that feel at home to some people and that really brings a piece when you can feel like I connect to something. And so a lot of times I look at what I connect with, how others will connect with it, and that’s kind of the love language that I at least start with.

Awesome. As a street artist, when you make your piece, is there any specific messaging? Because I know you're talking about how people relate to it, but is there anything that you really want people to hear or to see when they look at Sellout?

You know, that’s a really deep question. I like exactly where we’re going, but it has a lot to do basically with the conjoinment of both the West Coast and the East Coast. Growing up in the ’90s, there was always this hip-hop East Coast-West Coast, this kind of one’s better than the other, which one’s the founding father, that type of stuff. The same goes with graffiti, it’s the East Coast-West Coast. You can see it in the way graffiti writers even write, and that you know this guy is from the East Coast versus the West Coast. So a lot of this has to do with the conjoinment of the two coasts, whether it be graff, whether it be hip-hop. I grew up in basketball and I know that even the West Coast style versus the East Coast style of play was different back when I was playing. So it’s been something that’s kind of been around me since I can remember, and I felt best to, you know, let’s bring it into the piece, let’s appeal to others. And then the name Sellout is always been kind of a poke at street art and the fact that some of these guys are doing street art just to be popular, just to be the next big thing. I’m like, you know what, I’m going to beat you to the punch and just use the name Sellout. So it’s kind of a poke at the scene a little bit, but at the same time, much respect to all the guys that really work hard. I got nothing but respect for that.

I love that, because it's like how are you doing this. Love that, love that, cool man. Anything else you want to share?

To be honest with you, I’m just happy you guys are here. I think it’s really important that we just keep bringing the arts all over the world. I know that’s not necessarily something I’m doing by myself, it’s done all over the place, but for me it’s important. I have two little young ones, and to see art be something that could be successful means a lot for me to share with them, this big journey.

Yeah, perfect. I think what really is driving this home and something that really we believe in is killing the idea of the starving artist. You can make it through. You can inspire. Other people are there to trail behind you and the efforts that you've made being in this big ass convention in Los Angeles and being up in a major gallery and showing.

Interview: Sell Out, Dot Red
I thank you, first of all, for noticing that. But I think with anybody that anybody needs to know about this type of dream is that it is possible. And with anything, you need to put in a lot of time, you need to put in a lot of effort, you need to put in a lot of bad times. Things keep you up at night, it’s going to be a rough journey. But if you build yourself to the point of getting through that, the world is yours, it really is. I’m a big believer in that.

For sure. Well, cheers. I know you've been holding on to that dream. Cheers to that.