A well known muslim brand (over 20 million reach) had reached out to me years ago and offered to resell prints of my paintings.
Obviously I was thrilled. But soon enough, I realized that the pay structure meant that I'd have to fulfill all the orders (print, pick up, package and ship) while earning less that $4 per print for the smallest size on which they'd make a profit of $25. Yes they had built an audience but the demands they presented using the "followers" card was outrageous.
I wondered who'd ever commit to the demands they AND many others who approached me had (exclusivity etc.) . I was bummed to turn them down but I knew I could slowly grow my brand myself without piggybacking on someone and becoming a slave artist.
My father always said "maybe great things aren't in our naseeb, stick to mediocre". This came from a place of hard work and struggle. Where he didn't see fruits of his labour.
May seem very negative but that's probably the best thing that happened because it ignited a fire. A hunger to succeed. To show him that Allah sees and rewards. Trust Him. It'll take time. Sometimes a long and hard time.
So no, I didn't take a course and miraculously build a strong brand. It came from a place of struggle.. wanting to spread islam was more about bringing faith back in our lives. It helped us and I want it to be something our children also grow up with. To refer to stories of the prophets in all situations.
This brings me back to my point.. Over the last year, I've noticed the amount of artists who are extremely talented but underrepresented. Or being taken advantage of simply because they have no experience in building a brand. Or creatives who want to succeed but dont know where to start.
I do want to stress that building a brand was important but improving my art techniques and quality of my paintings was a bigger time/money investment over the years. Reinvest your profits, always! 🛑QUESTION: As a creative, what is it that you need guidance on that I could help with?