Its That Darn Brand Thing Again! On Defining My Brand
Introduction: My Own Brand, or Modus Operandi
Lately I’ve been thinking about “brand” as it relates to my own artistic style or modus operandi (MO). Why do I avoid defining my brand? Choices; there comes a time when we can’t do it all. I have come to realize that if I don’t focus on a brand or MO, I risk confusion, among other things.
To explain my thinking, I’d like to share a story then explain my situation. Finally, I’ll invite your feedback on the cohesiveness of my own “brand” as it applies to three of my paintings.
Musician John Mellencamp, And His Brand
This June, my husband Robert and I attended a John Mellencamp concert. We had a wonderful time; Mr. Mellencamp and his band put on a great show. He had the energy and sound that we like about John Mellencamp.
You see, we were not sure we were going to like the show.
Brand: Voice and Energy
I think a little background is in order here. My husband and I grew to appreciate and enjoy John Mellencamp’s music in the 80s and 90’s. So, when we saw that he was coming to one of our favorite venues, we immediately purchased tickets. Then, a few weeks later, he released his latest music album. But, this did not sound like the John Mellencamp we knew! It seemed that his voice was different and the energy was not there. What happened; were we going to like the show?
AHA! A Thought Pops In My Head!
It was while thinking about this concert that I had an “AHA” type moment! This is all about “branding”, and it applies to me and my art. Just as Mr. Mellencamp’s voice and energy are his brand, I need to define my brand and focus!
The Kewl Payntur Case
Here’s a “for instance” scenario. Let’s call the artist “Kewl Payntur” just for fun. Kewl Payntur might be me or any artist you might know. Over time, our buddy Kewl builds an audience of people who like his or her particular art. There is something about Kewl’s work that speaks to the audience. Mr/Ms Payntur can surprise, challenge and engage the audience as as he/she evolves, as long as the “certain something” is still there. The “certain something” instills a type of cohesiveness about the body of Kewl Payntur’s work and that it helps the audience identify and define the artist’s work.
So, what is the lesson being taught or tormented over? Deciding on a “brand” or style.
Two Styles! (Or maybe three?)
I wrestle with what I define ought to define as my “brand”. Usually, I think of my brand as being a stylized, abstracted, designed approach to the subject. In other words, I am not trying to paint from life and I purposely want you to know it. My intention is to stylize, distort and have fun with my images.
OK, fine, so what’s the problem? Well, I like to paint from life too. From time to time, I focus my efforts on creating paintings and drawings that achieves a degree of accuracy and likeness.
To rephrase the problem, what does having two different styles do to my brand as an artist? Do I confuse my audience? And, what does this dichotomy have do to achieving a degree of mastery in either approach?
Its About You: Confusing or Cohesive
So, this really is about you, the viewer. Would you like to help? I have posted three of my paintings and all of them include a rabbit, just because I like rabbits.
What do you think, is my “brand” identifiable? Even if you can’t articulate it, do all three look like they were done by the same artist? Or, do you find the collection confusing?
Post Script: John Mellencamp’s Voice Endures
By the way, to me, Mr. Mellencamp’s brand includes his voice and energy. His voice has matured, but it still has the special something that I recognize as the “John Mellencamp” voice. So, it was a good concert.
Post Script, Again: Travels
In my last posting, I spoke of traveling adventures. Robert and I did go on the road to New Mexico and we are back home. We had a good trip and I have started working on my blog posting. I hope to have something to share with you soon! Thanks!