Sunday, September 02, 2012

A Unique Brand

"Road To Bliss"
In business, it is important to create a “brand” which identifies a product as desirable to the public. There are many examples of highly successful branding in commerce, where the name and image become so engrained as to gain legions of faithful followers. Even in the wide-open realm of art, it is often remarked that to be successful, a brand must be established. There are many artists that develop a style that is uniquely their own, and when they become successful, they continue within the brand that they have developed, afraid to go outside its boundaries.

"Target Hangup"
I never have been able to live within creative boundaries. I like to experiment, and even though I have been most successful as a landscape painter, and established a recognizable style that could be called a brand, I have nonetheless continued going beyond boundaries. It would be much easier, and I would be richer if I just stayed on a branded track. People like dependability and are uneasy being surprised. They want to know that what they like is current, and not a passing phase.

Artists need to be able to go through phases and explore. This worked for Picasso, DaVinci, and a handful of other art greats, but for the most part, once an artist has developed a unique brand and is identified with it, he is also slave to it—at the risk of being rejected and having to start again from scratch.  
How did Pablo Picasso pull it off? The force of his personality became the brand. He was PICASSO—and everyone expected new surprises from his genius. This would not have worked for his American contemporary, Norman Rockwell, whose brand was his marvelous illustrations of homespun Americana. To change his formula even a little, would have elicited howls of complaint.  


I have written of this creative dilemma previously: The Tightrope Walker

See more Steven Boone artwork:

1 comment:

Mary-Lela Gilbert said...

I like to see all your experiments. We're kindred spirits for sure.