Whether you are ready to embrace a commercialized market, or whether you are content to approach a consumer one at a time, many reasons exist for creating an artist brand. In the truest sense, your artist brand can make the same statement you portray through your art. This may be visual art or sculpture, or could be music, writing, poetry, etc. The point is that branding is not limited to a logo and marketing campaign.
Creating a brand for your art is important. Not only can a brand define ownership rights by associating you with your work, but it validates your endorsement of a piece of art. This has been the focus of many art galleries in attracting consumers knowing what type and style of art they promote. By understanding a gallery’s “brand”, the consumer understands what genre of art they will find when they visit.
But in addition to an endorsement, your brand allows you to be uniquely you. If you simply promote a common brand without much forethought, you will be subject to “brand dilution”. Consumers and patrons alike need individuality to associate with you. They need to relate and understand what your art represents from your inner being all the way to the gallery or event where you demonstrate your work.
As an example, suppose an artist’s brand is in a genre of nude art but there is little expansion on that theme. Their work will be lost in a sea of other “nude art” brands that suffer the same lack of uniqueness. There is nothing special that allows an art enthusiast to relate to that artist other than the work itself. On the other hand, suppose an artist who routinely portrayed nude figures questioning boundaries between religious and cultural views of the nude. This brand would attract a specific consumer that was intrigued by the art and by the underlying issues this particular artist raised.
In essence, branding is important because it allows your art, your lifestyle, and your passions to be displayed as a uniform strategy. It is a “holistic” approach to your art that allows a symbiosis between your personality and your artistic expression. The paradox lies in the fact that a narrow focus in your brand creates a smaller group of interested patrons, but at the same time, its consistency allows a larger outreach thus broadening your audience. In the end, you have stayed true to your passion and touched larger numbers of people who share those passions with you.
Branding includes symbols, logos, images, emotions, and beliefs. All of these should be synchronous. Choose each carefully to show an honest representation of who you are and what your art reflects. These branding features can be displayed among different cultural media including video, web based forums, press releases, gallery showings, art events displays, and many others. Be creative, but be consistent. Mixed messages in your representations will cause confusion at worst, disinterest at best.
As you contemplate your artist brand, write down a list of passions that drive your art, your person, and your soul. Combine these with your beliefs and opinions. Then, create the brand you want to represent you and your art. Indeed, they are one and the same.