Developing a brand for your art

Developing a unique, recognizable brand is one of the most important factors to running a successful business.  One of the first things I tell artists who desire to make it their sole profession is to think of it as a business, so branding is of utmost importance!  Branding will make your art, and you, stand out from the rest and help you develop a consistent, loyal clientele.

The first rule of branding is consistency.  Your name, logo, colors, font, etc. must be consistent across all of your digital and physical marketing materials.  It is how people will identify that what they see comes from you.

The story behind the artwork is a major part of your brand.  If you can describe the important influences, inspirations, and reasons why you create, along with a little bit about yourself in an engaging way that your customers can understand and relate to, they will remember you, and visit regularly.  A good point that I heard recently is, people buy from people, so let those potential clients in; let them get to know you and your work!

In any business the product is of primary concern, it is what you sell to make income, so it is how your client can come to own the brand themselves.  Your artwork defines your brand.  In turn, your clients who purchase from you define their taste in line with that brand.

I encourage you to put some real time and thought into this.  Brainstorm the definition of what you create, whether it be a certain style, medium, theme, or concept.  What other services or products do you offer?  How do these varying things fit together, or do they at all?  Narrow down the aesthetic of what you present to your clients and define it.  Make this part of your story.

One reason I feel this is an important first tip is this… The artwork each gallery or dealer exclusively sells is a huge part of its brand. If your work fits into that brand you will be more successful trying to get an exhibition or representation.  This may be your goal, to have an arts business represent you and sell for you, but that does not happen overnight.  Build your brand now and make it successful so you can choose what path your business takes in the future.

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