In today’s age, representation as an artist is tricky. There’s your work, your following and your online presence. Many artists hesitate to use the term “branding.” It’s an uncomfortable notion for many artists—that they have to sell their image to help business. But regardless of the term, artists must market their work to earn money. In order to get a grasp on how successful local artists promote their work and online presence, we interviewed poet Maggie Smith, designer Adam Brouillette and Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) instructor Cat Sheridan.
“I can’t imagine that any poet thinks of herself as a brand,” comments local poet Maggie Smith. “I don’t think much about ‘branding,’ but I do think about how I present myself–and I suppose those two things are more or less the same.”
On the business of poetry, Smith remarked that it’s “an odd thing. You sort of have to wear two hats…The website, social media presence, business cards, grant/fellowship applications…all of that is a part of the writing life, but it is not writing. I’ve tried to strike a balance because I have found that those other activities are important…Presses invest in me by publishing my books, and it’s my responsibility as the poet to promote the books to the best of my ability.”
Branding is essential to selling and promoting your art no matter what your discipline—painter, writer, filmmaker. And the heart of promotion starts at knowing your content and your audience.
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