Artists Must Maintain Consistency in Their Work

Consistency may be the most important word to describe the activity of a successful professional artist. Consistency in the type of work created; consistency in the presentation of what is produced; consistency in the marketing message; consistency in the brand; consistency in posting to social media; consistency in studio practices; consistency in producing work; and consistency in keeping up with customers are just a few that come to mind.

My galleries and collectors expect a certain level of consistency in what comes out of my studio. The consistency in how the images look, how they are presented, how they are priced, the colors, the brushstrokes, the energy, all of it. If you plan to show your work publicly, then the work presented needs to be consistent. Following are a few examples.

Consistency of Subject Matter. If you have a show with with 12 pieces in it, for example, the subject matter should be consistent. Don't mix abstracts, and horse paintings, and figurative work, and landscapes in the same show. Pick one of those types of paintings and build the show around them. This assures consistency, looks like the same artist painted them and it looks professional - like you actually thought about what you were doing.

Consistency in Image Quality. My studio practices are very consistent and from that come consistent results. My images are all created by a similar process and have a cohesive look and feel to them. The textures, brushstrokes, color usage, energy level and emotional feeling are all consistent.

Consistency in Presentation (Canvas Edges and Framing). If you use gallery wrapped canvases then the thickness needs to be consistent. Don't mix 3/4" and 1-1/2" thick canvases in the same show. Don't paint the canvas edges with different colors. Don't mix canvases with solid painted edges with those that have the image painted around the edges. Treat them all exactly the same (I always paint my canvas edges black). The same advice goes for framing. If you frame your pieces, nothing will unify a show more than paintings all hanging with the same frame style. I have seen many shows where each piece had a different frame and the subject matter varied. Often it looks like 3-4 different artists painted the work - this is the last thing you want as an artist.

Consistency in the Message. Not only is consistency of ones work important, the message sent through marketing and branding is equally important. Marketing and branding combined with the look and feel of an artist's work is what the world sees of the artist. The look of the letterhead, business cards, postcards, flyers, emails, newsletters, social media and the website should all communicate the same message consistently.

Consistency in everything you do as an artist will make you and your work look organized, thorough and professional.

This article is taken from my book "Bigger, Faster, Fresher, looser Abstract Painting Workbook." Click Here for more information on the book.  You can also view a video with similar content on Consistency Here.