This past weekend, I was brought in to Tom Jackson's Onstage Success Intensive Workshop to provide some one-on-one image consultations for the participants. It only makes sense for me to do so since live performance/stage presence and image go hand-in-hand. The other reason why it makes sense? Because my approach to the work I do is very similar to Tom's approach to his work: it's a process!
My goal is to develop the holistic image of an artist, not just their wardrobe. I want to get to know the artist's music and personality, their goals for their career, and their uniqueness so that their image can be a genuine part of their brand as an artist. This includes what story their bio is telling, what message their publicity photos are sending, what their clothing is saying (yes, clothing is a form of non-verbal communication - whole other blog on that coming soon), and how they are presenting themselves in the media.
So yeah, it's more than just saying, "I just met you and I've never listened to your music but here, wear this...now, change into this." (that's what stylists do...image consultants assist you in your overall brand development).
Since what I do is a process just like what Tom does is also a process, that means it's time for you to make image and brand development a priority in your overall career plan. That starts with knowing who you are. You won't be successful in any part of the music business if you don't know who you are. Once you know that, then I take the time to help you articulate your uniqueness visually through your look and verbally through your media interviews. You're always going to get that question either from the media or a label, "What makes you unique?" (maybe not worded in that exact way, but in a hundred other ways). You'd be surprised at how many artists (mostly the "greener" ones) can't answer that question. This is what you need to be prepared for as an artist if you want to the right people to sit up and take notice of you.
Just like it is futile for a college student to wait until this week to cram the past 15 weeks' worth of material for their final exams, it's futile for an artist to say after years of practicing and preparing for a music career to say, "oh yeah, an image...I need to get one of those...think I'll pick one up on the way to my next show."
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