Personal Branding: how would you describe your Ideal You



  • @smceccarelli YES!! 😃😃
    It’s also something like a reminder for me. Lately I’ve been taking stock of my work, trying to find what’s sets me apart or makes me stand out and realizing, not much. So I ask myself what do I need to do? My first mental gut reaction was, be outrageous. Shock people. I do that for fun all the time in my personal life🤣, so it shouldn’t be too hard to apply that to my art. And stupid me why haven’t I been doing it already? I’ve been playing it safe. The U.S. is FULL of people who are easily offended (California is full of whiners too😜, mostly on the coast 😂) and as a smart business owner you don’t want to go around offending people. But I think I am capable of toning it down and being appropriately outrageous😃. We’ll see. I should make a t-shirt for myself that says “appropriately outrageous”. 😆



  • @smceccarelli this thread is fascinating. Thank you for creating it. After reading all this I am finding that I have not decided on enough things to even begin to take this step. I am still exploring my artwork to decide what I want to do. But I really appreciate seeing those a few steps ahead of me clear the path forward. I am very late coming to the art scene. I was always a natural talent, but I ran from art in my youth because I was told I would be a starving artist. I pursued education instead and have loved it. I entered back into it as a teacher. I feel like I got part of my self back that was always missing. I am finding that I still have a lot to learn but that my instincts are good, even if they need refining. But enough about me... Sorry!
    I really like how you refined your statement. I am not sure the coffee translates to hard work, but I like the personal touch of it. It makes you sound fun and engaging, that you enjoy life. Is this more for a personal mission statement? Or is this about what you put on your website/portfolio? As an AD what were you looking for?



  • @chrisaakins That´s a cool career in itself. And teaching could be your strong point...that’s something I struggle to embrace (tutorials, etc... I’ve tried but I’m still very unconvinced).
    The reflection is only for myself. I’m not going to write this on any wall, though maybe it will affect the way I re-write my bio or craft my short profiles.
    I just feel the need to re-define my direction and refine my self-promotion for next year - and the year-holiday seems the perfect time for this.

    I’ve been doing my first trade book this year and massive amounts of educational work (as in: educational book illustration for school books, etc..) but I’m still not in the position to leave my day job. That´s quite normal and fine, but I wonder if I can accelerate things a bit. Maybe there are activities I should drop (writing?). Maybe there are others I should initiate (licensing?). So I just wanted to facilitate a self-reflection exercise and maybe come out of the New-Year´s hangover with a fresh promotion strategy...



  • @jimsz I think you might be doing yourself a disservice. Branding is like a mission statement or statement of purpose; it describes what you are, and is helpful in clarifying what is actually important to you and then work you do. For that guy maybe the most important thing was that he likes to draw, and since you said you only care that artist draw well, I'd have thought that would be a perfect statement for your preference.

    I don't think artist statements are artists trying to be artsy, and I think you might have read some bad ones, if they didn't clarify what the work meant. Query letters to publishers, book introductions/prefaces/forwards, and director's commentary's in film do a similar thing as artist statements. They give context to the work and clarifies the artist's intent. Since most—if not all art—made by the artist with the intention of trying to communicate something other than technical ability, I've found they explain a lot about why the work even exists or why the create at all.

    I'm working on my thesis project and am required to write an artist statement, which I never had done for anything before, and having to really explain myself to others clearly has helped me unify my work and bring clarity to myself as to what I'm even trying to accomplish.

    It helps explain what you are, what you do, and why you are doing it. I'd give writing one a shot, if I were you. Trying to distill what you are as an artist into a concrete statement is an interesting experience I feel can only benefit an illustrator.

    It's also kind of like a cover letter too, now that I think about it.



  • @teju-abiola I appreciate your response but for someone who may be working towards being an illustrator I honestly think any artists statement is simply playing the “artist role” and I have never seen it matter.

    An art director is going to hire the illustrator who can produce the work they are looking for. They are not going to choose someone who can’t do the work no matter what their artist statement is. They want the work that is going to sell their book, magazine, greeting card, textile, etc.

    In fine arts the statement will have more of a role to play due to that not being a clearly defined worker/employer/art director role but a museum or person who wants to purchase a piece of art to hang (or invest in). That’s more of a game of being noticed.

    It comes down to the AD liking the work and if it will be commercially successful.



  • @jimsz I agree with you about it ultimately coming down to whether an AD likes your work. But if you approach being an illustrator as running a business, which I think a freelancer ought to do, and you look at what successful businesses of varying sizes have, strong branding is definitely a major quality. I'd bet the company that AD works for has refined their own brand and are evaluating your portfolio as to whether it fits into that established brand.



  • @jimsz I think you're confusing the artist statement in fine arts and what @smceccarelli is talking about here. I too have often found fine artists' statement are often artsy fartsy and a bit nonsensical. In this case though, as an illustrator, the artist statement is a bit more like goal setting. It's almost like defining your own homework assignment. Illustration is broad, and you can get lost doing a little bit of everything and becoming a "service illustrator" if you don't define your style, your target audience, your unique vibe. Those are what make up an artist statement.

    You said it yourself, art directors want to hire artists who are doing the work they are looking for. If they're looking for a children illustrator who make really cute watercolor illustrations, that's something very specific. The right artist will have specialized in that, not gotten lost doing many other things like realistic portraits. Their artist statement will look like "I'm a professional artist who uses watercolor to create cute illustrations to make children smile." It may seem rather useless to you to put that into words, but for that artist, putting that statement into words and reminded themselves of it often will often determine what they decide to put in their portfolio, what jobs they accept and which ones they refuse, etc. It will help make themselves be the kind of person who that art director is looking for when they search for someone who can do what they want to do.

    Goal setting is very important, without it you can wander around without getting any closer to what you want to do in life...



  • Such a coincidence that today I was thinking about what statement should I drive on my Instagram profile. Then I just read your post....



  • @smceccarelli Maybe this is not really helpful because it doesn't actually answer the question. In a nutshell my anchor statement would possibly be, I am a freelance illustrator specialised in children's books and editorial work that deals with social issues and who cares in bringing value to other people bla bla bal.. see? too generic possibly and sounds bad. Have to think this more throuhg

    But i have also been looking at marketing videos and branding and i find it so weird to use the concepts for artists. think part of the brand, possibly the most important part is the work itself, narrowing it down to a particular niche and having a style that's recognisable and doing more work of the type of work we want to be commisioned to do.

    I've been taking this class a month ago and was jutting words down and thinking about a lot of stuff but to me what it ultimately boils down to is making great work, posting consistently and making more of the type that i want to get. I'm not there yet but i think that's what the most important part for me is.

    These two are good examples of how to create a personal brand . Same here, absolutely recognizing its value but struggling with the concept a little in the particular case of an illustrator like me who is interested in a lot of things and wants to create things. But i'm working on it and will try to be more deliberate. It's a process 😃

    Both are on Skillshare and by Kate Arends the CCEO of Wit & Delight. Well explained with great exercises

    https://skl.sh/2Qq2Ihc

    https://skl.sh/2Qq2Ihc



  • @nessillustration said in Personal Branding: how would you describe your Ideal You:

    Their artist statement will look like "I'm a professional artist who uses watercolor to create cute illustrations to make children smile." It may seem rather useless to you to put that into words, but for that artist, putting that statement into words and reminded themselves of it often will often determine what they decide to put in their portfolio, what jobs they accept and which ones they refuse, etc. It will help make themselves be the kind of person who that art director is looking for when they search for someone who can do what they want to do.

    Goal setting is very important, without it you can wander around without getting any closer to what you want to do in life...

    Yes exactly. I think thinking of what the audience or an AD wants to see is important but most important is thinking about what we want to work on and enjoy working on and are good at and choosing what particular niche we want to illustrate in and focus on that. Not everything