With 15 minutes of talk time, I want to add some context to this discussion and start off by talking to you about a book called, The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich.

The Story of Art is THE most famous and popular book on Art ever published. For over 50 years it has remained unrivaled as an introduction to the whole subject, from the earliest cave paintings to the experimental art of today. Readers of all ages and backgrounds throughout the world have found in Professor Gombrich a true master, who combines knowledge and wisdom with a unique gift for communicating directly his own deep love of the works of art he describes.

The Story of Art owes it lasting popularity to the directness and simplicity of the writing, as well as the author's skill in presenting a clear narrative. He described his aim as, "to bring some intelligible order into the wealth of names, periods and styles which crowd the pages of more ambitious works", and using his insight into the psychology of the visual arts, he makes us see the history of art as, "a continuous weaving and changing of traditions in which each work refers to the past and points to the future". "...a living chain that still links our own time with the Pyramid age".

You may have read this book as a University student or maybe you have never heard of it. If you haven't heard of it I strongly urge you all to read it for yourselves. Don't just gloss over it. Study it. Look up the paintings and discuss the meanings, significance and add context to the pages and the artists that came before you. You will find that as you do this you will enhance your own voice and add deeper meaning to your the branding of your own expression.

If anyone in this group is willing to do a novel study of this book I would be more than happy to lead this group. I would suggest a facebook group?? Let's open it up for discussion after the talk.

I will tell you what this talk is not about. It's not a history lesson on art. Despite the subject of Art History being a strong personal interest, I am not here to teach you about Art history. We are here to talk about personal branding and more specifically your personal branding as an artist.

The title of my speech today is, "There really is no such thing as Art, there are only artists." This is significant in your understanding of branding because you must understand that your own personal branding overshadows the artwork you create.

Take for example Laurence Paul.

We have here among this group various different artists, art enthusiasts and art consumers. With the idea that Artists are the creators or inventors of their artistic domain yet, you must surrender or acknowledge that there are trends and currents that affect acceptance of your art and expression that are beyond your control. Branding can help this.

I have to pause here and let everyone in the audience perform a linguistic autopsy on the word "branding". There is no escaping the consumerism nature of branding in today's consumer-based society. Forget, for a minute, any connotation to the word branding. Also, I need you to forget about selling your artwork. Now you might be thinking, "That's why I am here, to hear some tips and strategies for selling my art, I mean I can't live off of warm thoughts and artistic freedom!". Ok, I agree but in order for me to get my point through to everyone, that is in order for me to penetrate and really deliver my message I have to get you to put the consumer, buyer/seller relationship on the back burner for a little bit.