Question about cohesive style vs. Multiple sites/accounts
I've been doing lots of research on art marketing, etc (looking forward to this months 3rd thursday!) And there's a question I haven't seen addressed anywhere... if you do several different things, is it better to market it all in a group or have seperate sites, IG accounts, youtube channels, etc? Specifically, I registered a domain for my zombie portraits and cartoons, and I registered another one for my other more family friendly art. Also, I've had an online presence for almost 10 years for my whip making business- it's not BDSM related, I have a very family friendly site for that. So I'm virtually unknown as an artist, am I better off with an instagram account for art and one for whips, or would it be wise to have 2 art accounts, depending on the content and one for whips? Or is it safe to lump them all together? I would dearly appreciate any advice or insight on this, I've been going round and round. Thanks,
@Tyler-Blake If the subjects are related, like fishing and fish keeping then same site same identity. If the subjects are dissimilar like programming and bee keeping then different sites, channels etc. Ultimately it is subjective as they all share a common element, and that is... You ;-)
I do not have an answer to that (my experience with art as a business is very much at the beginning of the journey), but some thoughts I can share from my experience as art director. If I am looking for an artist to design Christmas cards to send to 30´000 customers (I did that!), I have very sensitive and demanding stakeholders, a certain budget and a specific style in mind (let´s say whimsical/geometric) - I will score through dozens and dozens of portfolios, illustration sites, magazines, etc... and will look for an artist that works in that style consistently and at a high quality level. If I have some generic illustration work for a minor project, little money and no specific idea in mind, then will hire a designer who also happens to do some illustration, or the cartoonist that also paints in oils in his free time, or any other person I happen to know who is free and does some illustration work. And translating it to other businesses, who would you hire to landscape your garden if you had a nice mansion in a stylish neighborhood? Probably a professional landscaping company, and not the guy you know does some gardening but also has a DIY business and a fishing gear shop. But that may be the perfect guy if you need help with putting some shrubs in your back porch.
So it really depends what kind of jobs and clients you are aiming at. My reverse experience (as an art director) is that the higher the budget and more prominent the job, the more it is the domain of specialists - and that makes sense because it takes a sharp focus to achieve high quality in any style or genre.
Also, establishing a brand and doing the related marketing, as an artist or a business, is a LOT of work. To maintain multiple channels/websites/social media accounts has the risk of swallowing your time completely.
For these two reasons above, I personally decided to eliminate everything from my art "brand" that is not focused on a specific market and style. That was a tough decision, because it meant putting in the closet all the storyboarding work, cartoons, comic strips, animation, concept art, traditional art and portrait (my, I loved doing portrait, got quite some commissions and tried seriously one year to enter the guild of portrait artists, which is a very demanding and expensive process). It also meant NOT marketing art direction and consulting services, science communication management and all the other stuff that I could potentially do and I know there is a market for. It meant turning my back to large opportunity and a market where I already had leads and network, and focussing on a complete unknown (children´s books), where I needed to build everything from scratch. To this day I think this was possibly foolish - I am not saying this was the right thing to do, just explaining my choice. A choice motivated by the fact that I want to work for Children´s publishers, (compared to, for example, illustrate a friend´s vanity book for free) and that is a tough field to play into already, even without diluting my time, energy and "brand" with other unrelated stuff.
As I said, just my thoughts, not an answer....every situation is different, and if your whip business is bringing in the cash at the moment, it definitely needs attention as well...
No new advice here. I just found it funny that we had to clarify what the whips were, and were not, for.
@RobinSlee Thank you!
@smceccarelli Thanks so much! Your perspective as a former art director is great. I don't want to give up my whip business, I spent a lot of time learning the trade and building a reputation, but it's not something I can realistically make a living at, it's more like a hobby that I make money on. Your points about specialists vs general jack of all trade vendors is well taken... if I have to choose between the zombie portraits and the other stuff I enjoy, I would put away the zombie portraits. Thanks again!
@mattramsey :) There's actually a sport associated with whipcracking (snuffing candles, complex multiple crack rotuines, etc.) and those of us who focus on that market have put a lot of effort into promoting it as a family friendly sport. Because of pop culture, 90 something percent of the time if people find out you make or use whips they say something like, " Oooohhhh.... I know what YOU'RE into!" Wink ! And after awhile it just gets a bit annoying, so I've developed the habit of stating upfront that what I do isn't that.