I’m not usually one for defining a way things need to be done. I tend to think that different things work different ways for different people. So, as I came across two different articles the other day, one talking about defining your style as an artist, and another talking about the negative aspect of branding, I made a connection.
Here’s a little background information: I resist any kind of marketing. For one, I don’t know how to do it (well) and two, it has never come naturally to me. Also, I tend to resist limitations, they get boring (for me) very quickly.
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All right, back to the connection between those two articles. I started thinking about style. What is an artistic style? Characteristics that tend to run through your work? A particular color palette? Certain shapes?
I’ve always seen or heard artistic style defined as way for art collectors to know your work. But the more I thought about it, I think style is a bit more than that. I believe style is your point of view. Style is your vision. Not necessarily how you paint, or the pastel colors you like to use, instead it’s how you see things.
Style, in my humble opinion, is only limited by what you, yourself, see.
And now for branding. What is your brand? The way you present your art? A certain look? Subject matter? Because branding seems to me to be the outer layer of style, if you will.
Your style comes from within you, and the branding is the outer manifestation of that style. It is something that will automatically happen over time, it will also be fluid, always flowing from your style, your vision.
If this is the case, do we really need to brand ourselves as artists? And if we do, are we just taking care of the outer layer, and not working on the true point-of-view and the vision we have for our art?
One of the things I love about painting is the fluidity of it, the flow, the expression. That cannot exist if I’m stuck in a brand that doesn’t come from my vision, or doesn’t move when I move.
So maybe I somewhat agree with that first article. Style is all-important for an artist. But not the kind of style where I always paint a particular way, or use a certain color, or do something special with my signature. . . no. It’s the kind of style that comes from what my eyes see.
Maybe I’m still working it out. But that’s OK—I hope we all are.
To learn more about Luciana, or see more of her artwork, please visit her website.