“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

Pablo Picasso

Quite possibly, the hardest word for many artists to speak, read, write, or hear is…

Get ready for it.


Even so, we have to discuss it.  Because, let’s face it, an artistic brand has never been more important than now.

Current definition:  An artistic brand is like a signature.  A buyer – as in, the person who supports your creative profession – wants to know what to expect from you, the artist.   Everything you produce needs to be identifiable to the untrained eye as distinctly yours.  It needs to follow a pattern, and create expectations in the buyer’s mind.  Eventually, the audience comes to anticipate your next work.  They grow eager to buy because they trust you to deliver along the same lines as before, which they already have come to love and desire.

The problem is obvious.  Seen in this light, designing an artistic brand and sticking to it basically requires you to build a cage.  You erect these restrictions to your creative direction, then you step inside and consign yourself to years of limited growth.

Who in their right mind would be motivated to even try?

But here’s the thing:  That definition of an artistic brand is not yours.  It is theirs.  It is designed by the commercial process.  It has their needs in mind.  It is basically treating your creative drive and output in the same way they would view any other highly skilled employee.

The only way artistic brand makes sense is if you design the term.  The whole issue has to be rethought.  You need to make the concept yours and yours alone.

Here’s how:


  • Ask yourself where you want to be in three years’ time. Be as specific as possible in your goal.  What do you see as a definite milestone in your personal development, one that truly marks your commercial artistic success?
  • Write this down on a notecard.. Make it as terse or lengthy as you wish.  Include as many different components as you like.  But for this one process, focus upon your artistic work, and the commercial results that arise from this.
  • Put this card somewhere you can find it, but which keeps it hidden from others. These are your private aims.  This is your target.
  • Now take a second card. On this, write down what you think needs to happen in terms of your creative development in order to achieve these goals.
  • Expect this to take several weeks. Carry the card or notepad with you.  See this as a gradual unfolding, or clarification.  You are inviting your subconscious to put flesh upon the framework of your goals.
  • Gradually a process of steps, or stages, begins to take shape. This is not limitation.  This is building a profession on your terms.  Who you are, and who you wish to become.  Linked by what you now hold in your hands.
  • Your brand.




Davis Bunn’s next novel MIRAMAR BAY is available now at wherever books are sold. Don’t forget to order your copy today!


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