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No More Starving Artists: How To Build Your Brand

The days of the starving artist are coming to an end. Toiling away on your art to only have it collect dust in a gallery that nobody is visiting because they’ve never heard of you is not the only way to be an artist these days.

With the internet, you can find your audience easier than ever. There is a perfect match out there of the person who will totally identify with your art if they could only see it for themselves.

With the right marketing, you can find that person or help them find you. Then you can actually make a living at being an artist. Though much of your time will be spent on building your brand, you will at least be doing what you love to make a living. 

Getting the word out can take many forms from New York City laser cutting for swag with your logo to pop up galleries in the right neighborhood. 

Let’s go into some of the specifics of how you can build a brand as an artist so you can actually make a living.

1 – Find your niche

When you go very broad and try to cast a wide net, you’re likely not going to get very far. The problem is that there is a lot of competition from much better established artists if you try. You might be successful at getting a lot of eyeballs on your art, but the trick is to find the right ones that will want to buy.

You have to make sure that your brand is identifiable and the best way to do this is to have a specific niche in which you work. Let’s take something like gyotaku, or fish prints made from actual fish with ink.

That’s a very specific type of artwork and for a particular audience. If you can establish your brand so it becomes synonymous with this type of art, then you’ll be successful. 

2 – Find your audience

How your brand is going to resonate highly depends on who your audience is. What you want to do is find your fans. Find out who is going to actually be interested in your art and want to follow you. 

Then, figure out what the message should be according to what these people are all about. Once you have that zeroed in, then you can make your brand around that. People will be looking out for your brand and recognize it when they feel like it speaks to them. 

3 – Network

Being a successful artist is as much about who you know as how good your art is. When you are going to gallery openings and events, you are meeting other artists that can help you in your journey.

Don’t limit yourself just to artists in your genre. Seek out fashion shows, and cinema to get your name out there as there is usually some cross genre appeal in many areas. 

Always be helpful to other artists, too as it needs to be a two way street.