“Personal Branding; The art of good business”

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“Personal Branding; The art of good business” – Directed Study Reflection.

As some of you may know from one of my previous blog posts, I created this website for one of my university courses (Directed Study).  I didn’t set myself a specific outcome, but rather treated this project as an experiment to try bunch of new things and see the results.

My aim included:

  • Defining myself as an artist by defining my own brand
  • To create a professional online portfolio
  • To create social media accounts and establish a stronger web presence
  • Collaborate with other artists
  • Learn employment skills to use in the work force.

 

Looking back, I have successfully achieved all these goals.

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 6.44.02 pmOne of the obvious outcomes is the creation of this website. I used a visual style template to set everything out and an ordered structure.  Not only that, but the WordPress back room features make maintaining the website easy to use and manage, and the support forum was very helpful whenever I had questions.  I even learned about analysing web traffic and statistics to know which posts were popular, and who my readers are.

What I would change in the future is the web layout.  At first I though that the highly visual and graphic template was a good choice, however I think it’s too confusing.  There are too many elements going on that a first time visitor might not realise what my website is for (to be a portfolio).  So next time I would make the home page simple and to the point was a visible menu bar.

I also learnt that all social media websites function differently.  Some are easy to use, while others are complicated.  Also, each social community has it’s own features and systems which affect the activity and interaction of my accounts.  While I know that all the sites are different, i’m still trying to figure out what makes them different, and how I can use these systems to my advantage.

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I’ll combine these next two points together since they’re so similar.  Collaborating with other artists and defining my own brand.  A few month ago my friend Manon and I collaborated and did a performance artwork together called Kamikaze Sisters, which I wrote about in a previous post.  This work was about showing our creative styles in both our daily lives and through our artistic practices.

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I am pretty versatile and work in a variety of creative mediums ( Drawing, modellingphotos and installations, writing, animations and more), so during this time, i’ve been working on unifying all their styles into a singular brand.  This is also a continuous process since i’m still developing and growing, however this experience has taught me to reflect on what I consider to be my style and which mediums I like using the best.

In some ways I feel as though my art is very scattered and confused like my website layout, yet in others I can see unifying themes.  Because I’ve done so much already, I don’t think the solution is doing something new again, but rather refining what I have.  Picking and choosing which aspects of my art that I like, and discarding what I don’t need.  This is another project that will take some time, but it’s good to keep in mind.

Over all I’m satisfied with all the work i’ve done so far with this project.  Because of it, I’ve been able to go further than I have before by learning more about myself and my goals for the future.

Don’t worry though, just because this class is over, doesn’t mean my blog is.  Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for future updates.

-Jess

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Kamikaze Sisters – The Worlds of Two Girls Collide

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It feels weird writing this post so long after the event, but I need to do it for uni, so here I go.

Back in September my friend, Manon and I collaborated and did a performance artwork together in two of the shop window at NANA gallery, Newcastle.  Now you’re probably wondering “what is a performance artwork?”, so i’ll explain that first.  In this particular instance, the artwork isn’t something static like a drawing, but an action; something that only exists within the time its created (it needs to be documented via photos if you want to see it again).

So what exactly was our action?  Well, Manon and I are artists who both have our own individual styles, (she sews and I draw and write), in this artwork we wanted to show how the life style of the artist can be as important as the finished works themselves.  So one of the days we went in and worked within the windows.

This is what the blurb and invitation looked like:

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Manon Marguerite and Jessica McLeod-Yu present:  “Kamikaze Sisters – The Worlds of Two Girls Collide”
Inspired by the movie Kamikaze Girls, a story where two girls of different styles come together and become friends.
These two girls will install their artworks in two shop windows, one representing the artist’s atelier, and the other as a commercial public display.  To exhibit not only the artworks produced by the artists, but also to present the idea of the artists’ image and lifestyle as a part of their discipline.  Both of the artists work in different mediums and have their own individual aesthetics, yet they both work towards a common goal of creating their own brands.  
The exhibition will be on display from the 23rd – 30th of September, however on Thursday the 25th both Manon and Jessica will perform together within the Shop windows from 11am – 12pm

And here are some shots I took while setting up:

It’s was had to take pictures in the day because of the glare, however Manon managed to take a photo at night which I think looks heaps better than in the day.

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For me, this whole project was an experiment for uni to learn new ways of identifying my Artist Persona and discovering new ways of presenting my art in a new spaces, though I have to say that the process was very tiring and time consuming (preparation included).  To be honest, I don’t think the Fine Art world is for me, but at least I can say that I tried it.  As I said before, this was an experiment to see what would happen.

Also, I had a lot of fun getting to know and working with Manon.  She’s an awesome girl who did more than her share of work, especially when she packed up my stuff when I went to hospital, so working together with her was definitely my favourite part =)