If You Can't Beat Them…

Frank looked in the mirror.

His black leather jacket lay in a heap behind him, half the circled A visible.

He looked at his mohawk and started to take the safety pins out of his ear, laying them neatly in a row along the edge of the sink.

Next he took the shaving brush and started to work up a lather.

Half an hour later he was perfectly bald.

Walking into his bedroom, he saw the immaculate and brand new suit on the bed.

Tie on top of it, patent leather shoes on the floor.

Tomorrow he was going for a job interview, and he was hellbound to land the gig.

He thought of Iggy Pop, that story when a young and spunky journalist had interviewed him:

“I don’t think you’re punk any more”.

Iggy, slouched back, raised his boot.

He kicked the tape recorder so hard that it flew across the room and disintegrated upon impact with the wall.

“That’s punk”, said Iggy. Interview over.

Frank passed a hand over his head, and sighed.

20 years later he was president of a charity, building schools in Africa.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ’em.


The world is full of people with good intentions.

People who want to change the system, create a better world, leave it a better place.

Thing is, screaming in a punk band only has so much effect.

You can write pamphlets all you want but how many people do you reach?

There are many examples of people who stopped fighting the system, and started working it instead.

Henry Rollins, for example.

Or Jim Henson, who never even fought but used it from the get-go.

He didn’t make art a type of holy grail – instead, he used it to become wealthy, so that he could fund his actual art.

And that went far beyond teaching kids to count on Sesame Street.

When I started copywriting, I struggled for months with the ethics of it.

How do you rationalise going from a monastery into – gasp – advertising?

Until one day it clicked: on the inside, I can make a change.

I can be an ethical marketer, be a voice of difference.

Show people that you can sell without conning or lying.

Now there’s a novel thought.

You as an artist, you’re meant to make a change in the world.

Like I said the other day: art makes and defines culture.

You have the privilege of being part of that ongoing movement.

You have the power to put ideas into people’s heads, to change worldviews, to change people and the world at large.

In small steps maybe, but every drop helps quench a fire.

Wyland paints whales, and uses his fame and his money to raise awareness, in order to fight for cleaner oceans.

What’s your mission?

Doesn’t have to be quite as big, you know.

A plain room becomes more beautiful in its entirety with just one flower in it.

What I’m saying is that there are ways to use, to leverage, to work the economy in order to sell your art – and still be able to live with yourself.

Drip-drip-drip. Every painting a little dent in the universe.

I’ll be getting knee-deep into how to do that in the next LEAP.

Deadline is tomorrow, signup link is here –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/

One thing though: Don’t sign up unless you’re going to read the thing, and put it to use.

It’s heavy duty learning, meant to be taken in and implemented.

Got a learning cap? Good.




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