Is The Word 'Niche' Better Named 'Your Style'?
This coming Sunday, I’m going to be at Top Drawer Exhibition in London, interviewing an exhibitor from the ‘Spotted Sector’. It’s a half-hour slot where I’ll be talking with one of the exhibitors and finding out about her work story.
I’ll be asking the obvious such as how did it start - what keeps her going, high points of her career so far – I’ll also be digging around to find how did she found her niche? ( I have another post on Niches here)
I was delighted to be asked to do this. I love chatting with other creatives about their work journey so far and plans they have for the future. Having been around the block a few hundred times myself, it’s always a pleasure talking with others.
One of the questions I’m set to ask is How is it possible to combine all of your passions into one brand and be successful?
That one I needed to give some thinking space to myself. So here it is, my own personal answer to that question.
In short, I believe that the answer is that since all your works COME FROM YOU over time, that is gives them a style. What gives you that style - is time and hard work.
Your style is something in you, something bought out and delivered to the world in each collection and individual piece of work you produce. Your ‘style’ of art represents what you are interested in, what you have researched and studied, what you like.
In my career, spanning 25 years I have bought out hundreds of different projects and collections, containing thousands of different drawings, paintings and prints. My clients tell me that in all my different strands of work (I call these collections) they can see my personal style in all of them. In truth, I find it hard to see how they are all connected together, but perhaps exactly that is WHAT MY STYLE IS – something from my tummy, not my head - for others to see and not necessarily me. My job is to keep producing the work, project by project.
As an artist I recognise that I’m a bit odd in having so many different strands of work on my drawing board and in my studio at one time. I’m design trained and as such I guess the president of my work pattern was set early in my training.
I work fast and come alive with different projects on the go – this activity benefits them all.
In recent years though, I’ve been slowing down and I’m happy about that, nearing 50 now I don’t feel the need to be in my studio every hour of the day as I used to – I write more, discover more and this too brings benefits to my work & individual style.
So in answer to the question – is it possible to combine all of your passions into one brand and be successful… I say yes, it is… if you are prepared for it to happen naturally and over time. Don’t force it, just work consciously on project to project, doing your very best as you go along – do this and your archive will do the hard work for you.
A short video of the interview will be on my website soon.
Sam Barnes has been a practising artist for 25 years. Throughout her career she has had her own gallery, worked with hundreds of artists in making and marketing their own works and exhibited her own extensively. Her work has been successfully published & licensed many times. Sam is passionate about artists, makers and creatives earning a decent living from what they do. Our world needs new and beautiful things and artists deserve liveable incomes. Those two things are possible. Sam writes from her first hand experience and occasionally works 1:1 with others.
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