It is easy to blur the two these days, with social media sites like Instagram turning us all into personal brands. For Artistes especially, it can be confusing to know where to draw the line between your Brand image and your Personal image, because most of the times, we see ourselves as our brand. Art is very intimate most of the time, so creatives usually assume one persona; not distinguishing between their professional styling, and the way they present their personality in their look. As a personal fashion stylist, I have worked with several individuals to find out what the differences might be.
A typical response is that the Artiste considers himself and his creativity to be unique, and that is what he shows in his dress. We are all relatively unique. To dig into the meat of our personal and professional style, we need to look at more specifics. When it comes to your work, what is your message? Who is the audience? What is the medium you use to create? How are you advertised? When it comes to yourself, you need to think about things like your daily routine. What makes you most comfortable? What do you love most about your appearance? How would you describe your personality? You see, your brand image has everything to do with your marketing. “Image” on a whole refers to how you present yourself, so with that understanding, we need to be aware of who is looking. For your branding, you want to attract a following based on your talents. For your personal self, you want to show people who you are.
It is definitely worth your time to figure out both presentations of yourself, and commit to a style plan. What I’ve found happening often, is that Artistes who treat their personal and public image as one, tire quickly. They find that they are always trying to live up to a certain expectation. On an off-day, they want to run to the store, but feel pressured to look a certain way in case a fan sees them. Sometimes, they feel lost. They look in the mirror and see a performer, and no longer see a father, brother, sister, wife- they feel detached from who they are at home. You may be the talent and the creator behind your whole brand and what people relate to, but remember, this is only one side of who you are.
Image analysis can be tedious, and a Stylist or consultant will have a hefty bit of introspective exercises for you to delve into before you can precisely create a distinction between your looks. These may be very subtle, or extremely drastic. Don’t be overwhelmed. Simply put, your brand image is a message to your audience about your work, and your personal image is a message about who you are, even after the curtains are let down.