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Beginning an Artistic Career: A Guide to Branding Your Identity as an Artist

You are going on a road, and you see that big yellow “M” sign on a big steel pole, and you exactly know what that stands for. I am sure I don’t have to describe what business I am talking about because, let alone you, the youngest person in your family, would even know what that yellow “M” sign means and what it stands for. The moment we see that sign, we start deciding what we will buy, whether we are hungry or not.

That’s branding, and it’s a testament to branding’s effectiveness that people of all ages, from 2 to 92, would be able to identify your company’s emblem or sign.

You’re probably thinking that a food business has it simpler than a new artist building a name for themselves. I couldn’t agree more, but do you suppose it’s always been that way with them, right from the start of their company? Were they immediately productive? Think people immediately recognized them?

The answer is “NO.” It took them a long time to establish a global reputation for their company and its products.

And that is precisely what you must remember when you embark on your personal branding journey: success won’t come overnight. You have to start taking that initial step to attain your goal with hard work, determination, and patience, and eventually, you will reach the destination where people will know about you and your brand.

So to kick start your branding journey, we have compiled a list of 5 tips on how to start branding yourself as an artist or creative.

Keep on reading to learn about it all.

Find that umbrella term that completely describes what you will offer 

As artists and creatives, we like to do many things, and we have trouble limiting our artistic and imaginative energy to a single pursuit. But when it comes to branding, you cannot be everything. The purpose of branding is to clearly describe what it is about or offering when a person sees a particular logo, name, or sign.

So as an artist and creative, it is essential to find that umbrella term that clearly describes what your brand will offer to the world. Let’s take the example of the Arts to Hearts Project. All artists are welcome to join and benefit from the shared knowledge here, but we market ourselves primarily to women in the arts around the world. We are a community for women creatives from all over the world. Our branding efforts have been concentrated on women.

That’s why it’s essential to establish a catchy, one-word slogan that not only distinguishes your company from the competition but also accurately portrays the value it offers.

Gather your thoughts, list everything you want to be recognized for, and then come up with a catchy, all-encompassing term encapsulating your mission and identity. For example, our mission statement is to unite women creatives globally. Don’t forget that if you don’t know the exact answer, your clients, buyers, and collectors will have difficulty understanding what they can expect from you or your brand.

So come up with a unique but simplified term that completely describes what your brand will offer, and then move on to the second step.

Artwork Credits: Amanda Sage

Find who your dream customer/buyer/ collector would be 

After a firm grasp of who you are, you must identify your target audience. If you want to promote yourself as an artist successfully, it is imperative that you first comprehend your ideal audience and then locate that audience. As artists or creatives, we want our work to be seen by the most significant number of people, and we want the acknowledgement that we are sure our work is merits. But the fact of the issue is that no matter how hard we try, it is impossible to reach every person worldwide.

So, when you are in the process of building your brand, you must have a clear understanding of the target audience for your products and services. It would be helpful if you had some concept of how to go about finding them. In what do they seem to have the most interest? Why should they take into consideration purchasing your brand to fulfil their requirements? 

And once you have the answers to all of these questions, you will have a good idea of how to brand yourself to attract your ideal customer, buyer, or collector. So make a clear plan about who your target audience will be and how you will reach them, and after that, it’s time to move to step 3.

Be Honest and Embrace Your Story

The third stage is to describe the core values of your brand that you wish to instil in your target audience. Do you want them to be able to identify with the story you’re telling? When someone views one of your works of art, what do you hope to communicate to them?

Do you want people to think of you as a creative professional who is a photographer, painter, sculptor, musician, writer, or any of these things? Be honest and embrace your story. Tell your audience why you are creating what you are creating. Find your voice and create something that truly defines you and your artwork. When you find your voice, you will notice that your work also depicts that voice. Your brand will also start to resonate with what you are creating, making it easy for you to connect with your audience. 

As soon as you have made that determination, it would be best if you started developing the artwork that will convey the spirit of your brand. The feelings you want viewers of your artwork to experience when they look at it.

To accomplish this goal, you need to research what other artists are doing and how they convey the essence of their brand to their audience. Have they implemented a specific layout on their website or Instagram account? Have they branded their products consistently using colours that are similar to one another? Research about it, learn from their Dos and Don’ts and then develop a style and vibe that describes your brand’s essence.

Artwork Credit: Varunika Saraf

Start working on your brand’s Visual Alignment

Developing your brand visual identity comes after you’ve mastered the first three steps. In this phase, you’ll turn the ideas you developed in Steps 1 through 3 into actual branding materials.

After you have completed the previous three phases, it is time to begin working on your brand’s visual identity. In this phase, you will put all the brainstorming you have done in the previous three steps into action by developing an appropriate branding identity.

At this point, you should have a specific name, logo, design and motto for your company’s product or service, such as “Arts to Hearts – A Global Community for Women Creatives.” Therefore, you need to think of a unique name for your business and a slogan that fits it.

After that, you must decide how your brand will look to your audience. You have to start working on your packaging, and your sales pack what you want your audience to experience when they see your work. Do you want to give them a lovely experience by filling their product in a box with a beautiful customized thank you card? An authenticity certificate of your artwork and other things can make your customer feel unique and valued. If you need help, you can visit our Arts to Hearts shop and buy yourself a business pack with everything to help you pack your artwork like a professional and cohesive brand.

Once you finalize them all, then after that comes the final step.

Make a plan of action

Now it’s time for you to come into action and put everything you have created into the world. As upcoming artists and creatives with limited financial resources, we cannot spend significant money on ads.

But because of the internet and social networking sites, we can communicate with many people using the many platforms and applications available on the internet.

Therefore, it is highly recommended that you initiate the promotion of your business on social media platforms first. It would be to your advantage to put in some extra work to expand the number of people who follow you on social media by Joining artist communities and other professional groups across several platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. 

Using social channels, you may help develop a trusted community of audiences that includes artists by sharing your experiences with other artists with similar perspectives. This will enhance the likelihood of people in the art world being familiar with your work. Social media platforms are powerful for generating interest in your artistic creations. Every action you do on social media platforms will help you go farther in the process of building a name for yourself as a brand.

 Having a plan of action is imperative because it will give you direction about what to do to achieve your particular goal. So always make a plan of action that suits you best and resonates with your brand identity.

So these are the points that you should keep in mind while starting your journey of branding your identity as an artist. We are open to any suggestion or advice you would like to add to help other emerging artists. Please let us know in the comments below what tips you are following in your journey of branding your identity as an artist. We would love to know about you and your journey so please do give us your valuable advice.  

Artwork Credit: Katherine Mason


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Rabia Khan

Rabia is a writer, a wife and a mother. she belongs to the city of Peshawar, Pakistan. She works as a content writer for Arts to Hearts and writes for emerging artists that are finding their ways in the world of art.
She has done her bachelors in Communication & Media Studies from Fatima Jinnah Women University and secured 3rd position.
She is friendly, honest, down to earth and a very hardworking person. She makes sure that she does her work with utmost dedication and with perfection. Her goal in life is to become a successful writer and wants to open an organization where she can help the underprivileged people to make their life better.

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