Building a personal brand as an artist

“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”Andy Warhol

Most probably Andy Warhol didn’t have social media in mind when he uttered this phrase, but it does make him appear as some sort of prophet.

Of course, to the ones who are reading this post and are not yet famous, it feels as a false statement. And, even though the most boring person on Twitter still has some hundred followers who don’t know him in real life, it’s far from what people would define as being famous.

Well then, let’s rephrase Warhol’s prophecy into “in the future, everyone can be world-famous for 15 minutes.”

You could. If your content somehow managed to reach enough people. If you had a great deal of avid followers who’d share your content around often enough…

But is that truly important for an artist?

I don’t know. There, now you can skip the rest of the post, and do something else. Maybe make some art.

The thing is that developing a personal brand has more to do with who you are as a person than it does with your artistic abilities. In fact, it has to do with what you think of those abilities, how you define yourself, and some other factors, such as emotional intelligence, your ability to adapt to change, to take advantage of certain opportunities, and to compromise.

Also, it’s well worth stating that you should be yourself, and that’s the most difficult thing to do.

It’s like living the poetry you cannot write. Some people are poets, some are poems. We all fall in love with a poem, one way or another. What I mean by that is that the kind of people who develop a personal brand are living, breathing poems. They have a certain charisma, a certain uniqueness…

Is that important?

Depends on what your goals are.

Do you want to be the next Salvador Dali?

Then you should aim to build a personal brand.

What does this mean?

Well, nowadays everything you do online is a part of your personal brand. Whether you like it or not. But you should be aware of it. Everything you post, every opinion you express, every photograph, cute video, or inspirational quote. What others say about it, that’s also a part of your personal brand.

Damien Hirst has created a personal brand. The guy who has 70 followers on Instagram, as talented as he may be, does not.

I believe that personal brands are simply a way of capturing attention. That’s all you need to get almost anything, actually. What I mean by this? If enough people see your work, then someone is going to buy it.

That’s the idea, basically.

You need exposure, and building a personal brand is a somewhat fancy way of saying that.

How you build that brand depends on you and what you feel comfortable doing, how much time and energy and money you want to invest in this, and what are the results you’re looking for.

As all things, I believe that there has to be a balance between the time spent making art and the time spent trying to sell it to other people. If you don’t believe in money, then the time spent trying to get other people to see what you have created. Because, let’s not delude ourselves, we create art for other folks to be inspired by it. We’re not living inside a void, on a deserted island, or in a post-apocalyptic New York inhabited only by zombies.

So we need other people. And developing a personal brand will help you reach more and more people.

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4 thoughts on “Building a personal brand as an artist

  1. You are clairvoyant! (In my world, present time, anyway!) This is my total dilemma right now. It’s rolling around inside all my cells and little bits of inspiration pop up every so often to keep me hooked. How do I get a catchy enough blurb about my recent book, Joy Ride: My One-legged Journey to Self-Acceptance, out to enough people that someone outside my personal circle will buy and review it? “Catchy blurb” seems the stickiest part of the equation. I’m working on it. Thanks for catching my vibes – I must be asking for help in ways unknown to myself. Love that!

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