How important would you say it is to Brand/Demo?
|3 min read
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Aphius's avatar
By Aphius   |   Watch
0 23 9K (1 Today)
Published: September 14, 2011
Yo!

I was wondering, if anyone still reads this, how important do you think it is to;
  1. Know your demographic, and
  2. Brand yourself

It seems to me that there is distinct advantages to knowing the demographic where you'll target your art, (i.e. Target age, gender etc.) and also what the kinds of content you would want to put up on your page.
Not saying you have to specifically limit yourself in all aspects, but it has become painfully obvious that you cannot cater to all ages. If you do that you'll end up with some of your watchers blasting you for Cheesecake, and when you post art that is acceptable to those people, others will ignore you etc.

I think it is easier to pull in people if your art has a specific type of content or theme, also it seems that if you cater to a niche market, the people who stick around are more interested in what you're doing.

On the subject of Branding, how important do you think it is to make your art into kind of a brand? i.e. have a logo, distinct style etc. to differentiate yourself from others and to make your 'product' uniquely identifiable?
I'm asking as it seems that it is incredibly hard to make any money, much less a living, off your art if you don't make your 'brand' (your name, your art page etc.) synonymous with something people would like to see.


It's definitely interesting to consider, I mean, think about the well known artists you watch. They usually specialise in one subject, or have a particular feel to their work that attracted you to them. (Not necessarily style, but things like attractive men gazing at each other, or mountains of tits and the ladies that go with them.)
I remember when I did all that Zelda stuff, people poured to my page. That was because they wanted to see suggestive Zelda art God damn it and I was going to give it to them.
I had a particular audience, before the bottom fell out of it, I gave them the art they wanted and they came in droves.


Fascinating.


Aphius' Latest Protip:
If someone who has doubted you for a long time finally acknowledges that you've been right all along, be courteous and be polite. Say "Thank you for the acknowledgement", smile, then add "Oh and also, Fuck you for not believing in me earlier."


Peace Out,
~Aphius
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Comments23
anonymous's avatar
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Almoon's avatar
regardless, i'll still like your artwork
Aphius's avatar
AphiusHobbyist Digital Artist
Haha, glad to know I'll still have some fans down the track :lol:
Almoon's avatar
well... you're a cool guy :)
Lurchisme's avatar
I'd say it depends on why your making the art. A lot of artists - especially amature artists (me) - are making it for themselves. There's nothing wrong with that, but if your just making it for your own enjoyment, there's no need to focus on any demographic.

If the artist is doing it for the fame / street cred / recognition, or doing it for money, than focusing on a demographic does become important.

Though there is the chance of becoming typecast as an artist who only makes taht type of art too...
hacker90's avatar
Well I know one thing I have that'll brand you a certain type of artist. :D
Aphius's avatar
AphiusHobbyist Digital Artist
There's probably nothing you have that wouldn't just confirm what people already assume. :lmao:
AJD08's avatar
AJD08Student Interface Designer
From a design perspective, brand is everything. It is the ability to have the feelings and associations that come from what you're branding (be it a product, a person, or suggestive Zelda fanart) with a single mark. For professional illustrators, it is important to have at least one consistent style. This way the client knows what to expect when commissioning an illustrator. Some notable illustrators in the field have the most distinct styles. For example, Gary Baseman (Cranium Games, Teacher's Pet), or Brian Rea (NY Times "Modern Love", and other illustrations) have very distinct styles so their clients know what to expect. The same point could be argued for the commissioning of the Renaissance Masters, but then this reply would cross into "art history essay" territory. :) As far as catering to a specific demographic goes, I would suggest that if you establish a brand for yourself that you are happy with, the demographic will follow. And while there might not be agreement on 100% of your work, the important thing is you are making artwork that you enjoy making. (Something that is rare and cherished in the design world.)
XcaliburMyght's avatar
XcaliburMyghtStudent Digital Artist
Here is how I see it. Art, for all its mediums, will not nor can it please everyone at any given time. It is, for all its worth, a way of putting yourself out for everyone to see as an expression of how you want them to see you, and who you are as a person. For all the work you do, or for that matter, that anyone does, is basically the output for someones ability.

If you look at some of the most watched artists here, or in any sort of gallery, there are styles that are going to look very solid and clean and meant for the cover of a magazine. Others have a very rough sketch style and make there digital works look almost like they used charcoals and pencils.

What this does is make people that like there style come in droves. Your 3d was superb, risque or not. People can't always get what they want all the time and that is something that you or any artists have to deal with. Draw for fun, draw for money, draw for your fans, but most importantly, draw because you enjoy it, not because people bitch and moan because its not what they wanted to expect.

You'll be a happier person for it.
Aphius's avatar
AphiusHobbyist Digital Artist
I'm not unfamiliar with complaints from people who would prefer I didn't draw a certain way, and I usually pay them no mind. Sometimes it is hard to ignore that little niggling doubt they put back there though.

(Oh also, sorry for the delay on the art for that Arcade Stick, if you don't mind waiting a bit longer I'd be cool to do it on the house. Honestly I just wouldn't mind seeing an Arcade Stick with my art on there. =P)
XcaliburMyght's avatar
XcaliburMyghtStudent Digital Artist
Doubt is just that, doubt. Don't doubt it and it just turns into pride. You got this. Also, I'ma wait as long as you need to man. ^_^ I can't wait to see how it turns out ^_^
In-The-Machine's avatar
I think it really depends on what you want to do. On one hand, like you said, if you're known for producing a certain thing long enough, you'll probably have an easier time predicting the crowds and audiences you're going to pull in. Especially since some people look for stuff -because- it's of a certain brand (ex. I know I'm more likely to gravitate towards horror books because that's simply what I'm into).

But on the other, I think some people need to realize that sometimes an artist isn't always going to draw what they want, so the complaining doesn't really help anyone. But I think if you're aiming to market yourself on a level that's far beyond just, say, drawing art on tegaki or doing fanart on dA, then it may be better to craft yourself a certain way depending on what you want to do and what audiences you want to reach. Although some people have been able to reach multiple audiences through different genres of works, so you never know. (the different pen name idea someone else suggested is also a good idea as well).
Aphius's avatar
AphiusHobbyist Digital Artist
I think it is possible to build up a fanbase by producing a wide variety of works, and ideally I would like to do this, however it does seem way easier when you produce one particular kind of thing.

Definitely something to consider, not that I'll be changing anything I produce anytime soon. =P
0riginal-shiinto's avatar
0riginal-shiintoHobbyist General Artist
You could do what published authors do... release stuff that's different under a different name. Make an account for zelda fan service, reap benefits, post other stuff on this account. You could get brazen and even do a cross-account plug. Check out my uh friend. His art is really awesome, go watch him!

(Every time I see a journal like this I always suspect that this is going on!)
Aphius's avatar
AphiusHobbyist Digital Artist
I hadn't thought about that 'Check out my really awesome friend' thing, but now that you mention it, I have seen a few people post those journals.
:iconthescreamplz:
Alistu's avatar
AlistuHobbyist Traditional Artist
Depends if you are wanting to make a living from your art. The images I put up here are because I want to show them off. If people like them and comment then it makes me happy.
I've already had people comment on how I have a particular style. It's not something I've worked at, it's just happened.
Aphius's avatar
AphiusHobbyist Digital Artist
I think that you can't really work on having a particular style, it seems to be the sort of thing that just kind of happens.
That does also mean that you could bring people to your page by chance that you would have a style that people would enjoy.

Pretty much everything I do ends up on DA, it's mainly because there's not many other people I can show my art to, so I suppose my reasoning for postiong here is the same.
Alistu's avatar
AlistuHobbyist Traditional Artist
I used to draw a lot more when I had like-minded people around me.
Aphius's avatar
AphiusHobbyist Digital Artist
I know exactly what you mean! It's great when you have people to bounce ideas off or to inspire you to at least get drawing.
VGJustice's avatar
VGJusticeHobbyist General Artist
I'm gonna have to take a quote from someone much wiser than myself.

"You can't please everyone, but you can please some people a lot."
Aphius's avatar
AphiusHobbyist Digital Artist
Agreed! :-D
omegasigma's avatar
some artists brand for copywrite, others just like to sign their works in some manner, as for demograph, cant say for sure, I appeal mostly to fans of things, what maturity level those are depends as well
Aphius's avatar
AphiusHobbyist Digital Artist
I suppose that copyright is one thing I hadn't thought much about.

Maturity level is going to vary no matter what you do.
anonymous's avatar
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