Just what is an artist's BRAND?? Simply put...it is what sums up your work or identifies your work as yours! Think of the well known brands for products such as Nike, FedEX, etc. The Nike "check mark" or the FedEX name are both brands.
Now, translate that to artists. One that almost everyone knows is the artist Thomas Kinkade. He is known as "THE PAINTER OF LIGHT". That is his "brand"! So we need to come up with what sets us apart as an artist. That can take time and effort, but it is so important! How do we do it?
Frankly, it takes research, study of our work and others, and meditation. In other words thinking and homework! There are steps you take to accomplish this goal however that simplify the process, thank goodness.
1. DEFINE YOURSELF! Who are you and what do you do? Are you like everyone else? If not, what is different about you and your art? What is the feeling you are going for?
2. WHO IS YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE? Rich and famous or the average citizen? Young or old?
Other artists? Homes or businesses? Locals or tourists?
3. WHAT MAKES YOUR WORK DIFFERENT? If you can't think of anything different, you need to come up with something different. It doesn't need to be outrageous, something simple can make a great impact! Unusual colors, different perspectives, use of a different medium or combination of mediums, framing or basing your work in an innovative way, or even unique subjects can set your work apart. Combining traditional with modern, etc, etc, etc.
4. SELL YOURSELF! Make up business cards and carry them with you at all times!! You never know when you might have an opportunity to give one out and what effect it may have. It gives you an opportunity to talk about your work and what you want to accomplish.
5. BE FLEXIBLE! If given the opportunity to show or sell don't turn up your nose unless you really have to. That is if you want to build a business. Maybe you don't, but no matter what you NEED A BRAND!!!
BRANDING can be a catch phrase that we use, something in our art itself such as consistent colors with every painting, a certain feel in all our work. We want people to know our work on sight. The paintings don't have to be repeats or stamped out of a mold, but something triggers people that it is our work.
Again, think of Kinkade. All his work has light! We recognize his work at a glance. He wasn't the only artist to use light by any means, but he "Branded" that light! So, do your research, ask friends and others who like or have purchased your work, "what do you like about my work? Do you see anything different? Any suggestions?" You never know, they may see something you missed! Listen to their thoughts! Look at other artists who do similar work. Go to galleries, museums and shows. Especially galleries. Why are the artists there? Is there something different? Can you take a similar approach? NO COPYING ALLOWED!! But can you take the idea and twist or tweak it to fit your style? Again, it doesn't take a lot to set you apart! I can think of an artist here in our area. She does paper mache horses. Nothing special..,except she has 12" horses on 3 foot legs! Now that's special!! They are very unique and gorgeous! Another one always uses red underpainting and allows it to show through the paint, thus setting her apart. You can paint all your trees red. It can be very simple, believe me.
So now, go do your homework. No cheating! Take the time to study, read, meditate and come up with YOUR brand. And, by the way, it can change in the future, but by then you will already be famous! I am working on mine now!!
Thanks for listening (or reading) and I hope this has helped you in some way. Or at least I've got the brain juices flowing. LOL!! See you next week!