Mountain peaks do not float unsupported; they do not even just rest upon the earth. They are the earth in one of its manifest operations.
– John Dewey, Art as Experience
Each artist and entrepreneur has their own unique style and ideas that contribute to their own personal brand. Your personal brand is the main thing that separates you from your colleagues, yet people do not use this individuality nearly enough to their advantage. Not only does your personal brand distinguish you from everyone else, but it allows you to communicate the deeper purpose of your work to the rest of the world. We know that artists must be the entrepreneurs of their own work, and the most important aspect of your marketing is sharing the profound and deeply personal narrative of your passion. In this article, you will find out how your personal story can enhance both your brand and your art to other people.
As an entrepreneur, having a strong personal brand will send out a message to the world that will attract opportunities to you. A personal brand immediately captivates potential clients and business partners, and a significant personal story behind the brand will further strengthen the connection between you and your consumers. Further, your own narrative will give your business a dynamic element, granting you a competitive edge over your peers and colleagues. For example, after filing a sexual harassment case against Tinder, Whitney Wolfe used her story to create the hugely successful app Bumble. Her million dollar idea was inspired from her own lived experience, which ultimately led to the success of her company. Everyone has their own story behind their personal brand, they just need to know how to communicate it to the masses. To do this, focus on describing why you started your company, what exactly your company does, and how your company can help your audience, just as it helped you in your own personal journey.
In his book Art as Experience, John Dewey argues that art is most meaningful within the context that it was created in. As an artist, you must be a storyteller in more ways than one. While you tell a story through your art, telling the story of what inspired you to create in the first place can be extremely powerful for buyers. According to gallerist Kim Fonder, sharing the story behind your art will help people understand and relate to it, which will eventually lead to a higher success rate in selling your art. While you may think your art conveys enough of your personal story as it is, consider other ways to share parts of your story that may not be apparent in your art. For example, sharing your creative routine, posting your story in the “About” section of your website, inviting people into your studio, or letting people into your world on social media platforms are all ways to give your audience a more personal approach to your work.
Overall, sharing your personal story has numerous business benefits both as an entrepreneur and an artist. From a business perspective, you will connect to a wider audience, form more genuine connections with your clients, and draw opportunities to your business. And in your personal life, you will develop a greater sense of personal fulfillment through your work and establish your own authentic and confident voice.
Isabel Lamont is a senior at Sarah Lawrence College and serves as an admissions assistant with VAR.