Your image as an artist, musician or creative is very important. Your image is a product of everything you say, do and behave and look like. Image does NOT just stem from what you look like in your professional photos.
Your image will result from the tiniest of actions, so, especially on social media, it is important that you are very aware of what you are sharing and posting. On a recent BBC broadcast ‘Adele at the BBC’ (BBC, 2015), Adele mentioned that she now does not directly tweet to her followers. As a result of some very near problematic situations, following drunken tweeting when she was an emerging artist, her record company built in a safety net that ensured that everything she said was approved by two people within her team before being given the all clear.
Your image will determine who relates to you. If you wear trendy clothes and make clever use of social media like Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram, you are likely to resonate with a certain demographic. But the same goes if you are grungey-looking or elusive on the net.
Image is serious… but it doesn’t have to be too serious. A musician with a very strong image is Aphex Twin. Aphex, real name Richard D. James, has a very esoteric style as a DJ and this is reflected in his use of new media. Check out his profile on WARP Records’ site:
Just read the first paragraph of his Biography:
“Whenever one of the most celebrated and influential electronic fartist, Richard D. James can compete with the music flip to influence built. The better part of a decagon, James Polygon Window, Caustic Window, GAK and maintain, including `Aphex Twin has unreleased music under several thousand monikers great pace.”
The biography goes on to describe his work, including the start of his career in the “1780s”, the releasing of work on his own “labia” and other such nonsense. Of course, Aphex gets away with this as it strongly reflects the idiosyncratic nature of his music. Another place to see this is in his videos. Check out this video for his 1997 song ‘Come to Daddy’:
The dark, intense nature of this particular track is mirrored in the visuals on-screen. It features his trademark use of his own face, noticeably here on a gang of demonic children, and other twisted and distorted faces and images.
You can clearly exploit your art as a result of it having a strong image. Indeed your art, like Aphex Twin’s, should have a strong image itself if it is going to resonate. The more your music, writing or art reflects your beliefs, ethos and style, the easier it will become to promote.
Indeed, in a saturated market, the act with the strongest image is the one that is going to be picked up. For more information on why image is important, check out the DIY musician blog on CD Baby: How to Create and Image for Your Band
Over the next wee while I will post in more detail how to use your image to your advantage. This will describe the use of visual media like photos, artwork and videos, use of social media, press releases, branding with logos and more.
Till next time…