Friday, December 4, 2009

Artist Branding: Your Mental Geography

The type of branding that I think artists should concentrate on is social branding. How you interact with others and how others perceive you. This occurs not in your work, but in yourself.

In the world of art business you and your work are viewed as a potential investment both in monetary terms as well as in time and energy. Hunches, instinct, and intuition may come into play when others are viewing your marketability, but most of it comes down to professionalism and more importantly the image you convey.

By professionalism, I don’t mean dressing to impress. Rather, I mean a three piece suit mentality in terms of you and your art – together and separately.

Do you arrive on time with everything you need to present you and your work in the best light? You may not like to control your creative process, but in the business world timeliness and organization are two things that aren’t left open to interpretation. If you don’t show up on time for your first meeting, will you really have all your paintings completed when the deadline for your one man show rolls around? 

For your work, do you have testimonials from other professionals that carry some weight? If you’ve only had a few student shows on campus and a couple more at a coffee shop, should you really be surprised that you haven’t snagged the attention of the Whitney Museum

Does your work show some maturity or are you all over the map stylistically? Just as a gallery doesn’t want to take on a painter who will switch to sculpture next month, a theater doesn’t want to accept a mainstream show, just to have the artist show up and improv material that contains a lot of inappropriate language.

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