Hi, my brand’s Mark. What’s yours?
Branding is an essential part of establishing yourself as an artist. I’ve just been reminded of its importance, having had the pleasure of beginning the Arts Business Academy at St Petersburg College. Because, in addition to the wonderful grant provided by Creative Pinellas this year, I’ve also been awarded one from another fine organization supporting local artists—St Petersburg Arts Alliance. Together with SPC, they offered select artists the chance to attend the course, courtesy of a partial scholarship to help defray the cost. So, in the interest of upping my professional art marketing game this year, I took the bait, and am happy I did. The first session focused on just that—treating your art career as a business, and building your brand.
The class is filled with artists of varying disciplines and experience, ranging from newbies to emerging to a bit more established. This workshop covered things like mission statements, identifying your audience and what you can uniquely offer them, composing an artist statement and bio, and even a tagline. With my background in advertising, I’m no stranger to these essential building blocks of branding. And having already prepared most of these elements for my art business, it was a great opportunity to double-check my work, and give some objective thought to the purpose and success of each.
Consistency of messaging is key. As an artist, my DBA is Mark Mitchell Studio LLC. My URL is markmitchellstudio.com. There you will find my bio, artist statement, CV, as well as influences, awards, and of course, my art. I’ve been using the tagline, “Look Deeper“ for years—to tease the idea that my art has multiple layers and subtext to be discovered. I sign my work with a logo of sorts—the MM icon also seen on my website, business cards and at the bottom of this blog. Additionally, I created the fingerprint-face image seen above as another branding element, to reinforce the idea that what I’m offering is all handmade, conceived and executed by yours truly, and uniquely my own. Because as an artist, we become intrinsically linked to the work we create. Our persona, image, and essence are tied to it, since it is ultimately the expression of our observations, thoughts, dreams, fears, and abilities. In this sense, we really do become our own brand.
One thing discussed in class that I realized needed my attention was the elevator pitch. The brief spiel you say to new acquaintances, to give them a quick snapshot of what you do. I don’t mind discussing my art with people, but how do you condense your story and description of your art down to a 30-second soundbite in simple, plain language that sounds intriguing enough to engage the listener? We learned there are three basic components:
1) Introduce yourself with a quick definition of what you do that will spark interest
2) Differentiate yourself with what’s unique about your work
3) Close with a call-to-action—tell them where they can learn more about your art.
So, by culling essential elements from my bio, artist statement and typical talking points, I worked out what I think is a decent first draft.
It may still need refinement, but without further ado, here is my elevator pitch:
“I’m Mark Mitchell, and I am an artist.
My style as a painter is Conceptual Pop Art.
I follow in the tradition of classic Pop Artists like
Rosenquist and Wesselmann — and put my own spin on it.
I believe in art that conveys ideas.
And by using meaningful symbolism and social commentary,
I try and encourage viewers to “look deeper”
— it’s kind of my mantra.
Because by exposing things that are hidden,
I like to invite the viewer in, challenge them to find meaning,
and ultimately see the world a little differently.
Come see what I mean this Friday!
I’m giving an Artist Talk at my Solo Show
at TECO Public Art Gallery in Tampa.”
TECO Public Art Gallery Presents:
Double Vision | The Conceptual Pop Art of Mark Mitchell | Artist Talk + Tour
A Solo Exhibition Curated by Debra Radke
RSVP to the Artist Talk + Tour Event on facebook >> here.
TECO Public Art Gallery
702 N. Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602
Fourth Friday Reception, Talk + Tour:
Friday, January 24, 2020
Open 5pm – 7pm | Artist Talk @ 6pm
Open Weekdays Only, 8am – 5pm
Continues through Thursday, February 27, 2020
Group show continues in St Pete
Looking Forward continues at The Cider Press Cafe in St Pete through Sunday, March 8th, 2020. The two-month show features a range of contemporary, innovative and futuristic works by local artists. You’ll find some affordable large-scale canvas prints of my pieces, each focusing on aspects of modern technology.
Details below and on facebook >> here.
The Cider Press Café
601 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Open Daily 11am – 8pm
Continues through Sunday, March 8, 2020
More details, news and updates on the way! I invite you to follow my progress on this blog, and at the links below.
Produced with the support of Creative Pinellas, Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater and the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners