In this day and age everyone and their grandmother can have a presence online. While this is an amazing thing, it also means that you have to fight through the noise in order to be heard.
But having a unique voice will cut through the wall of noise like butter, and attract your true fans – the ones that matter.
Why is an art niche important?
Because of this fun little fact – not everyone will like you.
Sounds scary and abrupt at first, but let the message sink in and it become exhilarating. You don’t have to cater to the masses – you only have to cater to a few select people. Your ideal audience. The folks that are already primed to receive your message. The rest of the population doesn’t really matter to your biz, so you don’t have to waste your precious time and energy on them. Those folks belong to someone else’s ideal audience and that’s freakin’ beautiful.
By narrowing down your focus and finding your niche, you can tailor your message perfectly to your ideal audience, and boy will they be happy for it.
Suddenly that wall of noise doesn’t seem so scary anymore – if you tune your message carefully it will ring loudly for your target audience, and they’ll come running.
Ready to find your niche? There is a good chance that you already have begun to narrow it down, and this article should be able to help you define it like crazy, so you can lean into it and grow your art following like an art boss.
A great place to start is to look at what you already have.
Want to follow along? Download my FREE Artist Niche Workbook below (it’ll make your life SO much easier!)
1) Start finding your art niche by looking inside
If you’ve been creating art for a while, you’ve probably begun to notice that you like creating a specific type of work, maybe of a certain subject.
Let’s start with the basics.
What do you like?
In art, and in life? Are you super stoked about gardening, or maybe you’re a die-hard gamer?
I grew up surrounded by nature and animals, so it’s not a shock in the slightest to see my work filled with birds and flowers.
Jot down a list of your favorite things in life, from “spending time with family” to “wine tastings” to “corgis”.
(Whoops, those are all from my list).
Next up, what are you passionate about?
What fills your heart with fire and spunk? Are you an advocate for a cause that will make the world a better place? Do you dream of being able to save endangered species from the ever-growing edge of our cities?
Jot that down as well, and try to describe the feeling that it gives you.
Lastly, jot down some highlights of your life story.
Was your childhood something you look back on fondly? Do you have any distinct memories from moments in your life that shaped the way you are today?
If money were no object, what would you fill your days with?
By leaning into your inner truths – the things you adore, the message you want to spread throughout the world, your experiences – you are tapping into a rich source that will fuel your art.
It gives you flavor and a unique appeal that will capture the hearts of your fans.
If your dream is to make sure that no puppies will ever go hungry or abused again, there’s a good chance that your art will be filled with dogs.
Your current life might be filled with happy wiggly pups, and by sharing your art and message you will inevitably attract other people with that same passion.
And those people, with a little encouragement and engagement, will likely become paying customers.
2) Shape your art niche by defining your message that you want to share with the world
One of my favorite pillars in my signature course is about defining your “why” – it’s a pivotal thing that can make or break your art career.
Thankfully it’s super easy to define and swing in your favor.
A few paragraphs up we started to dig into your inner truths and how to embrace them to fuel your art practice.
The reason why you create, and live, is a highly captivating message that will be key for building your niche and finding your truest dedicated fans.
Think for a moment – why are you creating? What compels you to sell your artwork?
If the first thing that popped into your head was “money”, then don’t worry. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to build an income from your creations (in fact, it’s highly encouraged – my entire biz is built around it!).
But “money” isn’t a good enough reason – deep down inside there is something else fueling that passion.
Dig deep and jot down why you create and sell your work. This fire inside you is contagious and is the ace in your sleeve for truly connecting with your audience.
Maybe you’re like Sarah – she’s struggling through the balancing act of trying to manage a full time job with an extra part-time gig on the side. She struggles to make ends meet and provide for her daughter, so she dreams about being able to create a bit of financial wiggle room by selling her paintings that she does at night after her daughter goes to bed.
Sure, Sarah’s initial reason for selling her art might be “money”, but that increased income means that she can spend less time away from her family and more time connecting with the people she adores the most.
The next component of this is how you want to impact the world.
If you could solve one major problem in the world, what would it be? What drives you to be a positive contribution to society?
Sometimes our interests don’t always align perfectly with our message, but if you dig deep enough you can usually find a connection point to lean on.
3) See if you have already begun to find your art niche by analyzing what you are already doing
Chances are along the way you have already begun to find your niche, or at least have begun the journey.
What are your favorite subjects to paint?
Maybe you paint the flowers that you grow yourself each summer, the ones that captivate you and guests with their vibrant colours.
What mood does your work display? Are there certain colours that you always end up reaching for?
Colour and mood are closely related, so take a look at your existing work and see if you can notice any trends.
Maybe you’re always having to buy more Pthalo Blue paint because you go through it like crazy. And your work has developed a mysterious sensation thanks to the gorgeous crystalline blue.
Search through your past work and jot down any correlation you can find. Does any of it align with the interests and message we discovered about ourselves in the earlier paragraphs?
Lastly, if you’re still struggling on finding your niche, we can look at our favorite artists for inspiration.
4) Get ideas for your art niche by looking at your favorite artists
Think for a moment about your top 3 favorite artists, and describe their styles in one sentence.
Chances are you can do so with relative ease, which means they have a pretty defined niche themselves.
Maybe your favorite artists have similar messages or subjects as your own, or perhaps you feel attracted to someone’s work that surprises you.
You might even find yourself a little surprised once you start digging.
In a nutshell, finding your art niche is one of the most important things you can do for yourself as a successful artist.
It acts as a guiding light for future decisions, and it allows you to make strong impact in a narrow area.
Ready to find and define your niche?
Download the Finding Your Art Niche Workbook below and get started!