How to Brand Yourself as an Artist: The Power of Personal Branding

The entertainment industry is extremely saturated, and relying solely on your art or music to stand out often isn’t enough anymore. To make people notice and remember your art, you must brand yourself as an artist. 

As an artist, building your brand might feel like trying to box your creative expression into a rigid mold. But it doesn’t have to be this way. 

Creating your brand isn’t about limiting yourself to a specific set of rules. In fact, that would be bad branding. Good branding is about figuring out how to express yourself to the world in a way that reinforces your image.  

In this article, we’ll discuss 5 ways to help you build a personal brand as an artist.  

Your Work Is Not Your Personal Brand. At Least, Not Entirely. 

As an artist, you’ve probably frowned upon the idea of branding yourself and said, “My work is my personal brand” more than once. Well, that’s not entirely true. Whether you’re a musician, a painter, a dancer, or another type of artist, your work and style are only a part of your brand. 

Sure, they make you different from other artists in your niche, but they don’t capture the full essence of who you are as an individual and a creator. Your personal brand is a more comprehensive concept that extends beyond your creative output.

Personal branding for artists is not only about what you do. It’s also about how you do it, why you do it, and who you are. It’s about weaving a narrative that encompasses not only your work but also your values, personality, and the unique story behind what you do. 

The best way to define personal branding is this quote by Jeff Bezos: “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

As an artist, that’s especially important because you don’t just want to be known for the beautiful songs you write or your unique painting style. You also want your audience to speak about you in a certain way and understand the why behind your music and art.  

5 Ways to Build a Personal Brand as an Artist 

You are your personal brand. It’s everything about you – from your art to the way you speak, your hair color, your dressing style, and every element of your online (and sometimes, offline) presence. 

Branding your business as an artist isn’t easy and may feel like navigating uncharted waters, especially when trying to stand out and market your work while staying authentic to yourself.  

Here are 5 practical ways to brand yourself as an artist. 

1. Curate Your Online Presence

You already have a brand, even if you’re not paying attention to it. Your personal brand is everything about you as an artist – from your creative work to the way you reply to comments your followers leave under your posts. 

This means that you must be careful. Your reputation is a massive part of building your personal brand as an artist, and you must handle it with thoughtfulness and intention. Every post, comment, and interaction online contributes to the narrative of who you are as an artist and person. 

That’s why you must be mindful of your digital footprint. Remember that everything you post online can be seen by anyone and can stay on the internet indefinitely. 

Think about how you’d like to be perceived by your audience and avoid posting anything that might be off-brand or could negatively impact your reputation in the long run.

2. Be Fully Authentic 

It can be tempting to imitate how successful artists in your niche brand themselves and follow in their footsteps. 

However, copying others can be very dangerous. It not only stifles your originality but can also make you look like a copycat, which can become extremely harmful to your reputation in the long term.

It’s alright to research your competitors or take inspiration from artists you admire (in fact, you should). But instead of mimicking them, focus on finding your own voice. This means exploring what makes you different – your style, your experiences, your perspective. 

Your personal brand should be a reflection of who you are, so don’t be afraid to be authentic and maybe even slightly vulnerable online. Share contact that talks about what matters to you, your values, and your beliefs. 

3. Create Your Visual Identity 

As an artist, you’re expected to have a cohesive visual identity surrounding everything you do. This visual identity goes beyond your art itself. It’s about creating a consistent look and feel for your online presence – a cohesive aesthetic that is unique to you. 

But how do you create one? For starters, define your color palette and typography. Choose colors and fonts that represent your artistic style and personality. For instance, a vibrant, bold color scheme might suit a lively performance artist, while a minimalist, monochromatic palette could be more fitting for a modern visual artist. 

Then, make sure that your visual identity is a natural extension of your art. For example, if you’re a photographer, you might be using a particular style across your work, and if you’re a musician, you might be using specific motifs in your album covers. Make these visual elements consistent across your website, social media content, and promotional materials. 

For instance, Scott Martin, a popular illustrator known as Burnt Toast, uses a very particular style in all his illustrations and social media posts. All his illustrations feature a palette of bright colors, leading with pink and violet, and boldly outlined characters that are… well, super unique to him. 

4. Revamp Your Personal Style

Every successful artist has something very distinct about them. You know, that one extremely characteristic thing that makes them instantly stand out from the crowd. For Bad Bunny, it’s his unique voice and stylish glasses, and for Lady Gaga, it’s her bizarre and often shocking outfits.

Choosing something about yourself and your style that can make you stand out is crucial in crafting your brand as an artist. It can be anything from dying your hair a specific color to adopting a particular dressing style.

The key is to pick something authentic to you, something that resonates with your personality and artistic expression. For example, think of Banksy. What makes him so unique is his anonymity, the way he operates, and his art style. 

This may seem unimportant, but these little things make a huge difference in how people perceive you. Your chosen style element becomes a visual signature, a way for fans and potential followers to recognize and remember you. 

5. Share Your Journey 

Every artist has a unique path they’ve walked. Share your journey, including the ups and downs, as this adds depth to your brand. People are drawn to authentic stories of growth, resilience, and perseverance. You can probably think of a few artists you admire because of their truly inspirational stories. 

The way you can leverage your story in personal branding is by integrating it into every aspect of your online and offline presence. 

The best way to make your brand story is to create a narrative that summarizes the ups and downs of your journey. More than a timeline of how you became an artist, it should be a story full of emotions, struggles, fears, and triumphs that have shaped you. 

Then, share your story whenever you have the opportunity to do so – on your website, in your social media content, in interviews and podcasts, and in your artist statement. 

Make Your Own Brand with Dorothy House 

You already have a brand, whether you’re consciously curating it or not. People already perceive you a certain way based on your work, online behavior, values, and personality. 

That’s why branding yourself with intention and thought is important. If you don’t intentionally create your brand, you’ll end up with a brand you don’t necessarily like.  

If you’re looking to brand yourself as an artist but you’re unsure where to start or how to do it right, we’re here to help. At Dorothy House, we help businesses and artists express themselves online through branding, content, and marketing. 

Get in touch with us to learn how we can help you build your brand.

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