We're having a course in school about working environment in the field of media, and had an assignment where we have to ponder if it's nescessary to "brand" yourself in order to make it in the art world today. Been thinking about this all day, and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts concerning the issue?

I understand you have to take some measures to gain visibility for yourself, but I personally live in the hope that my art would speak for itself. And that by taking part in projects and doing my work well would in itself be sufficient enough to make people aware of my excistence. And hopefully give me future job offers (talking about animation here).

I don't like attention very much, and I'm not too good with social media. I don't even have Facebook. I'm ok to talk about myself if it's about my art, but I don't like talking about my personal life. The whole idea of making myself a brand is terrifying. So do you think it's nescessarry today, or will I be alright with just having a webpage with a CV and a Showreel, and being active in art community in other ways?

@metesae - I am already sorry for what I must write, but art never count much, not even in the art- or creative world. You are learning a craft, animation. Think of all the other things like networking etc. as another necessary craft.

Ah, I was afraid someone might say that. But I undesrtand it. It's a valid point. I'm just hoping that it would be enough to attend some happenings and take part in projects. Or join associations (I'm a member of Finnish comics society as well as the animation one). It's also good for my mental health, not feeling like I'm doing this alone, but having a sense of belonging. Like I'm part of a group. These networks also give a lot of support and inspiration.

@metesae - A fellow Scandinavian then - I am from Denmark. I am in my forties and have been in the Danish fine art world since I was in my early twenties. (Now i work solely on the internet under this pseudonym).

I think all artists would prefer that the art would do the trick itself, but there is also good thing about doing promotion and networking. I have meet many friends being part of associations and groups, just like you describe. A good way to get around all the annoying public stuff is to do it together with others. Exhibitions, Fanzine, film are all easier if the workload is distributed. There will also be a lot of quarrels of course, but it does give all participants a possibility to expand their network, visibility etc.

And it can be a great way to make friends and uphold a social life. Being a pictorial artist can sometimes be a very lonely activity.

Yes, I've noticed it can get pretty lonely working on your own. That's one of the reasons I decided to give networking a chance, and it's actually not as bad as I imagined. I'm just really shy and meeting and getting to know new people can be exhausting and overwhelming. I'm quite social once I start to feel comfortable, but that usually takes some time. I've reached the conclusion, that it's worth the trouble though. I'm still not at ease with people, but it gets better every time.

And thanks for sharing your policy on how you use your name! It's all food for thought.

@metesae I think there's a big pressure on branding yourself today, but I don't think that's necessary if you're already thinking about participating and keeping active. One thing that can be good is to stick to a recogniseable name so that people easily can find your work (can be your real name or not) and then if you focus on delivering good work on time and being reliable to work with, that can be part of your "brand" too. In a way "your work speaking for itself" is a way to brand your work rather than yourself.

Thanks for your reply!

I think those are things I could easily abide with. Sticking with one name seems like a smart thing to do. For some reason I never even gave that a thought.

@metesae Of course there could be reasons why you might want to keep some work separate from other work, eg. if the work is very different and keeping two portfolios might make it easier to get an overview of either, but if you want to show that you can work in a broad range of styles keeping everything in one place might still be good. In my case my real name isn't a secret, but I share it with too many people that I might be somewhat difficult to find, so putting all my creative work under "EmergencyBattle" makes it easier to find my work 😊

Yes, I think (in my case) keeping for example animation and illustration seperate might be a good move. I'll still have to think carefully about wanting to use my real name or a pseudonym. I've used both, so I should just make up my mind and choose one.

@metesae @EmergencyBattle

Personally I have had a great time working under a pseudonym that has watertight bulkheads to my old, fine arts career. I did get some grants under my own name for the comic project though, but on the internet I do not mix the two.

Having a recognisable name (in all its weirdness) and a logo has been a good way of doing the branding-aspect.

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