Art BrandingCreatives have their plates full. I know you hear people say they wish they could hang out and (fill in the blank)________(write, draw, paint, sculpt, play music) all day, but they don’t know what you REALLY do.

Unless you’re a successful, established, uber lucky artist, chances are you’re doing some of your own branding, marketing and go-getting. I don’t have a “slave spouse” to run my business…I am my own slave. Don’t get me wrong, hubby is my biggest fan, but he doesn’t order supplies, create and order marketing materials, do my social media promotion, write press releases or even stage my installations – but he is willing to help hang them.

So, this week, prepare to get an earful of my “stream of consciousness” ramblings about how whatever you are, that’s not ALL you are! (click to Tweet)

I remember back in the day when I was a new coach. I had a discussion with a colleague about being a coach. I told her coaching was a tool, but you are a business owner first. She disagreed, and as a matter of fact, I believe the proclamation offended her. What I do know is this…

If I paint all day, every day, I will have a lot of paintings in my studio and no one will ever see them. (click to Tweet).

I have to market those suckers. I have to get them out into the light of day. Once dry, they need to be priced, photographed, catalogued, tracked, and SHOWN – otherwise, they are mine forever, and I do want them to go to good homes where other people can enjoy them. I have to let people know when and where to see them. I have to update my website, promote them on social media…the list goes on and on.

Sure, you can hire people to help you with some of these things…and you SHOULD get help rather than spending a full day Computer problemsdesigning a postcard, shipping your work, loading software (or whatever you’re banging your head against the keyboard trying to do).  I, personally, like the option of having access to my own website to update it, although I had a great developer help me when it was initially created. So, you pick and choose your chores – cuz you’re a grown up now!  But, let’s not reinvent the wheel every time, eh? Let’s work smarter, not harder so we can spend more time doing the work we love.

Given all the stuff we have to do besides honing our craft, I suggest the following platform for maximizing your branding efforts.

 Your Artist’s Statement is your Branding Platform. (click to Tweet).

Craft a comprehensive, concise and authentic artist statement. If you don’t know how, read last week’s blog post . Some of you requested “samples” and you may find them here.  Remember, not all the examples are good artist’s statements – so read the blog first, then see if you can tease out the pearls from the swine. (Hint: shorter is better…we’ll isn’t that terrific news?)

 Get clear on who you are and why you do what you do. Own it. Don’t chisel it in stone because we all change, the market changes, our art changes, “stuff” changes. The main thing is to be clear on who you are – now.  Like a geological formation, artist statements do evolve over time.

Now, take those few principles you’ve noted in your statement and use those to promote your branding.

  • Use part of it in a tagline for your business cards and other business materials, if that’s appropriate.
  •  Pick key phrases for postcards and other marketing materials.
  • Use your collectors’ favourite images of your work on promotional materials.
  •  Stay organized so you can find them these materials in a moments notice and won’t have to reinvent them.
  • Conduct yourself in accordance with your branding. This shouldn’t be a challenge since your statement is authentic, right? Walk the talk and be your brand.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful and time-saving, so you might spend a bit more time doing the creative work that drives you. It’s always a balancing act, but you can have considerable command.

Command the Brand,




Michelle Andres is a coach, writer and artist who nudges, nay, shoves creatives in the direction of their dreams by helping them improve productivity by helping them form good behaviours and eliminating poor ones. Follow her on Michelle Headshot plushy coatFacebook on Twitter

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