Branding Yourself As An Artist

I went to a wise man whose work I admire and said, “Sir I like the way you brand your work.“ He smiled and told me to sit down so he could explain a few concepts. I was ready to learn so I sat down in the presence of this king as he began to speak.

“I do not brand my work, my work brands me,” He said as he nodded his head as if to agree with his own words.

Was he trying to sound complicated or there was really a deeper meaning to what he said? The logos, posters, taglines looked like pre-meditated branding to me. I asked him to explain and after 90 minutes of his tutelage I had learnt things that would seem obvious but are ignored. What he was saying is that the consistent brand colors and tagline attached to his work were not entirely his brand but rather, living up to what they represented was the brand.

How do I apply this to art? The cover art, the tag lines and hashtags mean nothing until you work. This is why sometimes we’ve seen some artists pay for features with some of the biggest artists but have remained small. The songs didn’t get mileage. A feature with Tehn Diamond will not work if you wont. The best cover art will only help till people realize that your music is sugar coated pooh.

wpid-new-me.jpg“I do not brand my work, my work brands me,” He said as he nodded his head as if to agree with his own words.

How does your work brand you and where do the logos come in? The taglines and logos are just representing the work you’ve done in being organized. Organization plays a good part in putting out the real brand, the real work that you have done. Organization involves setting your objectives and targets after analyzing the given situation. However it should not veer your attention from the real work you want to put out. There is a problem when the hash tag has more weight than the song it’s pushing. I have fallen into this a lot of times. I created hype around something yet the time taken on it was little. The result is death of a brand; next time you have something out people expect it’s overhyped again.

Now when you create good content, you do not have to beg people to re-share it. They will feel compelled to share it with like minds. Now the logos and hash tags on it only create a signature of where it’s coming from so that people know where to find more or be able to identify it’s your work next time. For example Nas has this unmistakable N. But Illmatic lyricism is his brand and not the N. Dope lyricism is what he is identified with. I do not want to be remembered for the #Provokatif hash tag I want to be remembered for the type of work or one-liners it’s a signature of. That wise man really gave me a lot of insight in this subject.

He meant work in a broad context as well…

“I do not brand my work, my work brands me,” He said as he nodded his head as if to agree with his own words.

He just had to agree with his own words. I realized even a Benz is known for its performance rather than its logo. When you watch Top Gear they are not going on and on about the BMW logo, they are talking about its performance and the things that make it help the customer of a BMW.

If your work does not yet fulfill the needs of your target market you’re far from the point. If your party song doesn’t make people dance or is generic, you have moved from the main objective. I don’t care how many hash tags and news sites talk about its release, when the first download comes in and a disappointed fan says it’s crap on his wall, game over. All your weeks of overhyping that work are destroyed to his friend circles because they will not rush to download it anymore.

On the contrary a good share with more re-endorsement of good work will lead it to more downloads, in fact the download count will rise exponentially. Until then this is my manifesto…

“I do not brand my work, my work brands me,” I said as I nodded my head as to agree with myself.

#Provokatif … one more thing


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