069: What’s your brand? Authenticity and archetypes with Thea Fotiu Howell, The Artist’s Concierge

Artists, what’s your brand? How do you use your brand to market your art? What does it mean to show up authentically? Do you reflect your authenticity in your art? Getting in touch with who you are benefits your work, your art, and your bottom line. Prepare to take notes during this deep and thought provoking episode with Thea Fotiu Howell, The Artist’s Concierge.

Thea Fotiu Howell
Photo credit: Jade Wilson

Thea Fotiu Howell is thinking like an artist because she is one. She has thrived at the intersection of art + business for more than 20 years with tenacity, coffee, a gregarious spirit, and a whole lot of networking. A self-named lifelong learner, her roles in professional arts development and as an arts educator helps her to serve up powerful tools and practices for her clients (and for her self). Thea earned a B.A. in Studio Arts from the State University of New York at Oneonta. Among her experiences, she was the Art Director of both the City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources and helped to develop various arts organizations and businesses. She is a published poet and the recipient of an award from The Academy of American Poets. As a visual artist, her paintings have been exhibited in both New York and North Carolina. She is currently a contracted teaching artist with the North Carolina Museum of Art and a freelance website designer and content writer for creatives in business.

Check out these resources on The Artist’s Concierge site! More about Artist Statements!

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Questions for Thea


We’ll start by talking about The Artist’s Concierge. What services do you offer? How did you come to this work? (What was your experience and why do you do this now?)


More specifically, let’s talk about branding and marketing for artists. How do you define ‘a brand’? What is at the heart of a brand for an artist?


Why is authenticity important and what does that even mean?

How do we even discover our authentic artist selves? (Any exercises you’d recommend as a starting place?)

Why is there a resistance to showing up as our whole authentic selves? (In other words, why are artists reluctant to reveal certain aspects of themselves?) Examples?


Zeroing in on these aspects of authenticity:

  • Why we make art
  • How we make it
  • Who we make it for
  • What we make

all add clarity and focus to our art-making. Once we get clear about all of that, how do we use the why/how/who/what to create content to put out in the world? What types of content would we create? How do we think about this information in terms of marketing our work?

Any last suggestions or recommendations for artists who are struggling with their brand? How might artists work with you in 2019?

Anything else?

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“I thought,  “If the world does not care to hear this, that’s okay.”  I have to hear it. I have to say it. I’m not going to craft anything for my audience, I’m going to craft for me and an audience will find it.”

“Authenticity, to me, is 110% without perfection.”

“I have come to realize that someone purchasing your art is not the highest form of flattery. Being engaged with you, being respected, taking the time to read what you write, those are the highest forms of flattery for me.”

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