To Niche or Not to Niche?

To Niche or Not to Niche?

What do I mean by "To Niche?" I mean focus your work for a certain segment of the art market rather than trying to be all things to all market segments. I want you to be as successful as possible, that's why I am talking about this subject.

Whenever I bring up this topic to artists/students, I hear the same response: "Oh, I can't do just one thing, I'd be bored. I have to do lots of different art in different subjects and media." The reality is, if you do pain multiple subject matter in multiple media then you probably suck at all of them. However, if you begin to focus your efforts on a single media and possibly a single subject matter, then you'll begin to be REALLY good at that one thing.

There are examples throughout modern art history of those who have focused their work, and we have mental pictures of what they painted - because they were known for specific types of work that they painted: Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, John Singer Sargent, Norman Rockwell, Jackson Pollock (Pollock only painted the drip paintings later in his career, but that is what we know him for, and what made him famous).

This same strategy will work for you. Wouldn't it be great if folks associated a certain type of work with you? What if they could have a mental image of your work when someone mentions your name? Yes, and they could, if you focus your work to something that is uniquely yours and you become really good at it.

About midway into my painting career I began to realize that I could not provide all types of paintings for all types of people. That's when I decided to focus my efforts on acrylic abstract paintings. Once I began to move forward, folks started associating colorful abstract paintings with me, and vice versa. I have become much more successful than if I had tried to create something for everyone. The more you focus what you do, the more successful you will become.

Marketing is another factor to consider. I know how difficult it is to market my work to a specific group of people. I couldn't imagine having 8 different kinds of work and try to market to 8 different market segments. It would be nearly impossible. There is a much better chance for success marketing to a very specific group of buyers with a consistent, marketable body of work.

Focus your efforts and try to do just one type of painting better than anyone else, and you will be rewarded with much greater success.

  • October 20-22, 2017 Lafayette Art Association, Lafayette, LA. to register contact Susan Hamilton or 337-849-6791. This is an Advanced Workshop focusing on developing a series of paintings.
  • November 2-4, 2017 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio, Winston-Salem, NC. To register contact David at or 336-418-3038. This is an Advanced Workshop focusing on developing a series of paintings.
  • November 7-9, 2017 Spring Island, SC. To register contact Pam Brickell by email: or phone: 843-987-3403.
  • November 11-12, 2017 Art of the Carolinas, sponsored by Jerry's Artarama, Raleigh, NC. Go to: to register.
  • November 17-19, 2017 Donna Downey Studios, Huntersville, NC. To register contact Bill Downey: or visit the website:

As always, thanks so much for your support! 


P.S. If you cannot attend a live event, or prefer to learn online in the comfort of your home or studio, Abstract Painting Academy is my online workshop:

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Abstract Painting Academy is the next best thing to a live workshop. You can learn more about the program by Clicking HERE. 

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