Book Club: Artist As Brand Part 6 – My Market Niche

My reading of Greg Spalenka’s Artist As Brand continues with section VI. Creating Your Market Niche.

I found the book for a great deal on the Nook.
Or you can buy it via my Amazon referral link
and give me a little kickback!
You can also buy direct from the author!

This section covers a lot of ground concerning how to establish a connection with your target market and present yourself in such a way that you can find and appeal to your audience while preserving their loyalty and encouraging them to invest in you as a business.  This is particularly relevant to artists who rely on a symbiotic relationship between themselves and collectors to maintain their income.

This section reinforces the advice I’ve been hearing from other successful artists I know that having great art is the best starting point, but selling your passion and your story is where the magic happens.

But who is my audience?  I’ve struggled with this for years because I started out wanting to go one direction (concept art and book covers) and being drawn towards another (angelic art, Art Nouveau, and mask-making).  In the end, I just did everything, burned myself out big time, and realized I was not really making the kind of advancement in my career that I wanted.

My artistic identity was like someone changing the channel back and forth and never deciding on something to watch.  I’ve had some folks interested in my work, but I’m pretty sure if I had a more unified identity that I would be more successful than I am now.

This has been the reason for me splitting up my current identity into several faces.  I hope this will help my audience more easily identify with my work and locate what they’re interested in.  For those who have been asking how the heck I handle it all, truth is, I haven’t really been doing it well in the past!

All of these ‘brands’ used to be thrown together under the umbrella of Angelic Shades Studio.  Now, they’ve each been given their own real estate completely separate from one another.  Cover art is going to be my focus from now on, while the rest will be side projects I attend to when I have the time outside of this endeavor.

So Who is My Audience?

What do they do?  What do they love?  What do they spend money on?  I did the initial brainstorming for this in my Vision Board.

For Art by Angela Sasser (Fantasy book covers and character driven art)

Audience – Usually readers and/or writers, Magic the Gathering fans, Kushiel’s Dart fans (thanks to my Kushiel cover project), Game of Thrones quiz, folklore enthusiasts, 18+ and up demographic, both male and female.  May be able to expand into a fine art gallery audience if the topics are more surreal or based on mythology (ie. Flowery Mythology series).

Current experience shows most of my customers who buy my character-driven fantasy work are interested in buying prints and books with a more specific narrative, bookmarks, or other book-related things.

For Angelic Shades Studio (Angelic art and Art Nouveau)

Audience – New Age enthusiasts, Angel therapists, decorative art enthusiasts, generally female, 18 years old and up.  Current experience shows most customers seem to be buying gifts for others, usually for moms or wives.

May expand out into fine art gallery audience with the Art Nouveau pieces and to a younger demographic with more fun series (ie. Cake Dresses and Butterfly Masque).  My Angelic Visions art instruction book appeals to art students, but not necessarily to my main buyers.

For Angelic Artisan (Masks and custom accessories)

Audience – Cosplayers, Renaissance festival attendees, mask lovers.  Generally an older demographic with expendable income and a passion for costuming.  Most are interested in buying cosplay masks or other accessories to help them channel their favorite fandoms and original charaters.

For The Muse’s Library (Art-related book/product reviews, art marketing articles, and stock art resources)

Audience – Art students, working artists, game artists, and art educators, creative professionals, art entrepreneurs, usually 18+ up demographic.  Best-sellers so far have been the stock art, since these resources can be used directly in artists’ personal projects for free with a fee for commercial use.   Most of my target audience for this brand are passionate about art, mastering their skills, promoting their creative businesses, and saving money.

Writing this all out really helps me focus on purposefully targeting people rather than accidentally stumbling upon fans.  As ever, this doesn’t cover half the info provided in the book! Go support Spalenka if you’ve found the information I’ve been writing about useful.

Next up: VII. Brand Promotion: The Art of Social Media

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