I’ve been struggling with the idea of creating art that fills one small, clear niche versus creating several very different kinds of work that each draws its own target market. Everyone seems to have an opinion about which is the “right” way to go.
Both paths have definite pros and cons. If you specialize in one thing, you have the time and focus to become the very best one doing it. Tiny niches also seem to draw intensely loyal followers. But might you get bored working in one style or one media for a long time – perhaps your whole career?
If you do several things, you have the joy of never being bored and never feeling like you’ve “done that.” You’re always learning something new. But might you spread yourself so thin that you that you never really get good at any one thing?
I’ve been told by some (who have lots more art experience that I do) that I should choose one of my varied collections and stick with that. Let the others go. F-O-C-U-S. But I know lots of artists who do more than one thing: jewelry and painting, sculpture and 2D art, photography and mixed media. At least all of my pursuits are within the realm of jewelry! Well, except for freelance writing… :-)
So I was glad to hear Tonya say during one of our recent Artful Success webinars that it’s ok to develop more than one niche, more than one brand. She shared the example of artist Hilary Pfeifer, who creates vast wall installations in galleries, but also sells handmade cake toppers on Etsy.
And it’s ok to link these varying pursuits under one umbrella – or choose to keep them separate. It’s up to you. I like that. That kind of freedom is, after all, one of the reasons I began making my own jewelry in the first place!
So I’m going to keep carving out all of my varied niches. But I promise that I won’t add anything new to my plate. At least not this month…