The Art of Michael Brugh

Artist, Is your brand missing you?

Art business coach Alyson Stanfield recently began a discussion of branding when it comes to being a successful artist. To quote Alyson:

You get to decide who you want be in this world, how you show up, and how you want to be perceived [tweet this]. I advise you do it with gusto – and to trust in your choices.

I have included her article as a reminder to all of us artists and creative types to spend some time and consider just what it is that we bring to the (art) table and to our collectors.


Is Your Brand Missing You?

At the mastermind retreats with my coach and mentor, everyone in the group receives a “hot seat,” where we are given the opportunity to tackle one big issue in our businesses.

For my hot seat, I chose to talk about my brand.

Dharma is exploring her new cat cave, but can’t quite commit to being all in. Are you all in on your brand?

To prepare the group, I reminded them of some of the websites and programs associated with my business:

Art Biz Coach (website and business name since 2002)
Art Biz Blog (blog since 2004)
Art Biz Makeover (live event)
Art Biz Bootcamp (online class)
Organize Your Art Biz (online class)
Art Biz Lift Off (online class and self-study)
Art Biz Incubator (membership)

(My bad: I failed to mention my book, which has done so much to help artists with their self-promotion and promote my brand.)

I wanted feedback on this list, mostly on the use of Art Biz Coach for my business.

Is it too tired? “Coach” was trendy in 2002, but is it time to retire that?

Does “Art Biz” sound masculine?

Is there confusion between Art Biz Blog and Art Biz Coach? After all, most people these days have their blogs integrated into their main sites.

Am I questioning this because I’m just bored with the name?

sandals by pool

After I threw out my questions to the group, our coach led us all in an exercise to discover where our brands were hitting the mark and where we could use some help.

The exercise wasn’t new to me, but it was a reminder that I haven’t been living up to the tweaks I identified over a year ago.

An Exercise In Trust

I started 2015 with the word “authentic” as my word of the year. It’s a word that I sometimes think is overused, and yet it reached out to me.

Now I realize that the word “trust” is a better word for me in 2015. I seek more trust in myself and my vision and trust that you will stick with me as I make necessary adjustments.

The result of the hot seat with my mastermind group was an affirmation from everyone in the room that Art Biz Coach is a strong brand.

They gave permission to incorporate more “Alyson” into my business, which means adding more fun, elements of surprise, and a little edginess.

All of this is just in time for a visual makeover I’m planning to introduce this year with the help of a brand design expert.

Your Artist Brand

Branding is usually created behind the scenes with branding experts, designers, and copywriters, and then unveiled in a Ta-da moment. I’m sharing my personal story and struggles with you because 1) I trust you and value our community and 2) I want you to consider your brand.


What 3 words would you use to describe your art and brand?

For some it might be classic, professional, and serious.
Others might lean toward kooky, colorful, and friendly.

You get to decide who you want be in this world, how you show up, and how you want to be perceived [tweet this]. I advise you do it with gusto – and to trust in your choices.

Does your marketing reflect your brand?
Are you inserting your personality into your brand?

Are people reminded of why they love your brand every time they see a tweet, Facebook post, email, or website with your name on it?

How could you add more YOU to your brand?


Alyson Stanfield is an artist advocate and business mentor at This article was originally published in her Art Biz Insider, which is sent weekly to thousands of artists who are elevating their businesses. Start your subscription now and get Alyson’s 6 free art-marketing video lessons at

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