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Define who you are and what you create: Branding

April 15, 2014

Define who you are and what you create: branding


Yesterday I kicked off an exciting week dedicated to emerging artists with this post (aka, all the things I wish I had learned 5 years ago!).

Before we start talking about branding please get the idea of logos, packaging, and web design out of your head.  That is not branding.

A brand is a bundle of emotion and ideas.  It is an aesthetic that your product or creation effortlessly embodies.  You comprehend it in a glance, it resonates with you, and before you know it, you are aligning yourself with it, bringing it into your home, and raving about it to anyone who will listen.  THAT is good branding.
Define who you are and what you create: branding
Thinking about branding in this way makes it super appealing to artists and creativies – emotions and aesthetics?  that’s what we live for!

The first thing to think about is your portfolio. How does it feel as a whole?  Think like your collector.  Allow your website visitors and buyers to  feel like they are buying work from a refined, well rounded, knowledgeable artist.  This takes a little editing and critiquing on your part.  Editing out work from your portfolio is one of the most powerful and liberating thing you can do for your brand.  Knowing that you can do better isn’t degrading your work – it’s having faith in your abilities.  And when you create something you are proud of shout about it loudly (we’ll get into that tomorrow).

Often the artists that excel in the creative world have narrowed down what they create to a general theme or series.  — guys, this is totally what I’m talking about!  A collection of work that conveys a consistent emotion, aesthetic, and is centered on a theme… that’s branding!

Define who you are and what you create: branding
And as I mentioned yesterday.  you don’t have to tie yourself to that theme for ever and ever!  The beauty of art is that it can evolve and change as needed. In fact, that is what makes it so precious.  If you are clearly defining who you are and what you create to your audience, they will be happy to grow and shift with you.

This whole process can feel a little nebulous.  To help your thought process, here are a few things to work through:

list a few emotions you think your work invokes.
What does the process feel like to you?
Where do you gain the most inspiration?
What colors speak to you most frequently?
How do you want to be perceived?
What does your ideal collector’s home look like?   What are they like?

— now, wrap all of this up into the way you talk about your brand.  Your website should include those key words, images, and emotions.  Your logo should compliment your work – not detract from it.

Artists need to think about branding far more than we usually do.  It can be tricky to narrow down what you create in a concise theme, but the rewards for doing so will astound you.

Need a few examples?  Here are some artists are totally rocking their brands:


Define who you are and what you create: branding

1. Anne Rifle Bond
2. Zoe Pawlak
3. Britt Bass Turner
4. Michelle Armas
5. Kari Herer
6. Mark Powell
7. Lulie Wallace
8. Rober Roth

Check out their websites are you will see a wide variety of artists who are passionate about and clear in their brands.

This is just a small list of the artists that are totally worth admiring.  These people are all actively creating show-stopping artwork and their business are actively evolving.  What artists do you look up to?  What are they doing right?  I would LOVE to hear!


Tomorrow we’re going to talk about Sharing your vision boldly & beautifully: marketing.  I adore this topic and I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned over the past few years with you!


10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2014 8:32 am

    Reblogged this on mixing colorz.


  2. April 15, 2014 9:38 am

    That list of artists is great. Why? Simple!

    What they’re doing right is that they’re vivid and bold. They’re nowhere near as subtle as they should be, at least according to the heads of big industries.

    And you know what? I love what they do, because they do it in that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. April 15, 2014 5:32 pm

    I’m loving this series, Emily! Both as one to whom artists come for advice and as a fledgling artist myself. I can think of so many artists who do this well, and quite a few who are still finding their footing ( including myself! ).

    I especially love the work of artists who have found their visual language and allow their work to evolve, yet even through that evolution, their visual brand remains consistent. Liz Tran ( ) and Jennifer JL Jones ( ) are two of my favorite inspirations.


  4. April 17, 2014 8:32 am

    Reblogged this on abby St. bruno.


  5. April 18, 2014 9:33 am

    Reblogged this on CRAFT in DC and commented:
    Happy Follow Friday everyone! I want to introduce you to an artist that I know from my college days. I’m loving her current blog series dedicated to emerging artists. She’s inspiring to follow as she balances her artistic career and development with being a wife and mom! I mean she challenged herself to completing a painting a day for 30 days during a difficult transition time for her family and she rocked it. Follow her. She has lots of great thoughts on being an artist.


  6. May 2, 2014 8:32 am

    I discovered a new artist for me – Zoe Pawlak. She is such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing.


  7. October 8, 2014 1:32 am

    Hey! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make
    your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when viewing from my iphone.
    I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to correct this issue.
    If you have any recommendations, please share. Thank you!



  1. A Letter to the young, the (less than) bold, and the creative. | Beautiful Hello
  2. Opening yourself up to growth | Beautiful Hello
  3. Define who you are and what you create: Branding | Hiccups

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