Identity Crisis: Branding

Branding in Business, it actually matters!

Branding is such a challenge for artists. I have no idea of the number of times I have said ” I know I should really do this and I know it would be helpful” and then cringed at the thought of doing a branding exercise or anything to do with a business plan really and just left it on my “I’ll get around to that… never” list. I know on one hand that I need to take it seriously, but when I look at the questions that are asked, I think it is ridiculous, I know all of the answers and don’t need to waste my time writing them down.But I also realize that I have to give this process a chance, so I spent the last week doing a lot of research. I met with Branding and Logo Designer Auni Milne of Sumac Loft and ended up coming away from our meeting totally inspired and ready to dive into the homework she tasked me with!

Branding map for artistsWho Am I?

Auni sent me an” artist’s brief”. There were very specific questions like how do I identify with my art? Who is my client(s)? What do I hope they will take away from not only my art but how do they perceive me as an artist? These are all difficult questions that need to be asked. To my surprise, I was at a bit of a loss for words and it took me several days and a lot of consideration to come up with true and reflective answers.It was a real challenge to think about what my business means to me, what my goals are, who is my audience, who are my peers and my competition. Now that I have completed it, I can see how useful it is and that it actually applies to my business plan. Now Auni will take my answers and use her amazing design skills to come up with a brand that represents me and my art. I’m excited!

 I Just want to Create Art! 

I know how to create my art and I am desperate to get at it again. But, I promised myself that I would take the time I need to do this. I need to know that the intention of my art is being conveyed. Writing down my answers, actually thinking about the words I choose is ultimately really useful when bringing it back around to focusing on my art. When we give ourselves permission to step away from the task of creating art, we can gain insights of the bigger picture, it will translate through all of our decisions. I will apply these concepts back to each piece I do, each show I choose, each competition, each marketing piece.

Your Challenge

I challenge those of you who are embarking on a new business, creating a new piece or starting a new project to take an afternoon: research, brainstorm, write down all the thoughts you have, define your intentions. Ask yourself these questions and see where it takes you on your journey!