Branding myself has me questioning my entire existance

So, I’m going to be making a portfolio website for my art. Which means I need to pick fonts, colors, vibe ect.
It has me asking so many questions about myself
Who am I? How to do I want to represent myself?
What kind of customer am I trying to attract, and what kind of branding would attract them?
How much of myself do I want in my branding (just because I personally like something doesn’t mean my future clients would)?
What kind of work do I want to do more of?
What are my goals in life? What is life?!

Guys, this is much more difficult than I thought it was going to be!

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It’s much easier to be objective about clients’ design needs than one’s own. It’s a matter of being too close to the trees to see the forest. I think we all have much the same problem — I never like anything I do for myself.

The problem also provides a little first-hand insight into why clients have difficulty stepping back to objectively view the work we give them.


Haha! Boy do I feel this! Nail / Head.

The way I found out my style so to speak, was to just look at my work as a whole. Like where did it learn more towards? During my free time, that I would just sit down and create stuff, what would it look like? Cereal boxes, movie posters, album covers, magazine spreads, grid layouts, etc… Ended up being digital/conceptual. High photoshop work with edgy looks attached too it. Thats what I feel most connected too with what I design. But its funny; as im typing this, im like nah, it’s something else! lol

For my portfolio site, and many others I came across here, the sites are essentially basic. Just a clean layout (think squarespace sites) and letting the work speak for itself. If the site is easy to browse through, that’s all that matters (including your work of course).

I learned not too long ago that posting a story about your work is a great idea and gives potential clients your process on your workflow. People enjoy that, especially clients. You can checkout mine for an example: alexanderfrankdesigns(DOT)com. It has helped people connect with me and the same would be for anyone else, I would assume. Point of sharing that, is many people just want to see what you are capable and if what you create will mesh well what what their vision is.

Overtime you’ll get a feel of the clients/work you enjoy doing vs. not doing and eventually you’ll figure it out. Its a process like everything else I think. But as Just-B said, for some ungodly reason, branding ourselves seems to be such a ridiculous task. Go figure. Keep us posted!

Thanks for your insight Alex.
I think part of my problem is that I want to do all sorts of things. Somedays I sit down and I want to make funny watercolor cartoon, and the next day I want to create grungy gothic party flyers. I enjoy variety.
So when I look at all of my work together, there doesn’t seem to be a concurrent theme.
Also what I liked a few years ago is not what I want to be doing today.

I’m debating between squarespace and wix as I don’t do coding. Tried Wordpress, was not my jam!
At this point maybe just getting it out there is better than worrying over it.

With such disparate styles the danger is that your brand comes off as unfocused. As a one person operation you should think about specialization and what kinds of niches you can serve.

Create separate brands for the types of design you’d like to do… a website and brand for grungy gothic party flyers, and a separate one for funny watercolor cartoons. Don’t pitch yourself. You’re not the brand. The products are the brands.

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Make this your focus, everything else will follow.

I can relate. You’re always your own worst critic, and it’s tough to look at yourself and your work objectively. StudioMonkey’s suggestion is key - figure out who you want your clients to be and what attracts them, and go from there.

Yes, exactly! That’s what I’m afraid of, which makes it more difficult to pick a style and go with it - a lot of commitment there.

I’ve never thought of separate sites for separate styles, thanks.

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