6 Questions to Help You Discover Your Creative Niche as an Artist

Explore Your Passion

A big part of being successful as a creative is also producing work that provokes emotion. And while it's not always the case that you'll be passionate about every piece of art you produce, overall having a genuine passion for your work will transmit to your audience. For instance, there's no point in becoming a wedding photographer if you aren't passionate about helping couples document their special day. Similarly, it will be hard to gain real success as a portrait artist, even if you are skilled at it, if you don't enjoy the process of working with clients on their portraits.

What type of art do you most enjoy creating?

Could you spend hours on end creating resin jewelry or perhaps spend an entire weekend manipulating composite photographs? It's critical to tap into the type of artwork that you find most satisfying creatively, as the results will ultimately transmit the love and energy put into its creation.

Creative example: Kacper Kowalski left a career in architect and merged his passions for paragliding and photography to become a well-respected aerial photographer who works with Panos Pictures and shows his work in galleries around the world.

What sort of message do you hope people take away from your work?

Digging into the message you are looking to transmit with your art can help bring into focus your niche. If you are advocating for a specific cause, hone in on like-minded individuals who will best appreciate your message. Understanding the message you seek to communicate through art can help focus where you can spend your time cultivating your following.

Creative example: Artist Zaria Forman‘s successful career centers around large-scale pastel landscape drawings that explore the effects of climate change, which has cultivated a very specific following of environmentally conscious fans.

Why do you create?

Thinking about the reasons you wanted to move into a creative career can also help you understand how you want to position yourself on the market. Maybe you are thrilled by the idea of creating murals around the world or innovating new paper art techniques, whatever the case, digging into your personal motivations for your art will help give you clarity. It may also be that the motivations are more personal—artists often use their work as therapy—but if the message is universal this can touch people in unexpected ways.

Creative examples: Photographer Janelia Mould‘s conceptual photography was inspired by her own struggles with depression, serving as a therapeutic outlet that also aims to change stigmas about mental illness. 

Start pondering these questions and once you discover your creative niche, there's nothing left to do but conquer it.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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