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Social media and Building your Brand – Featuring Artist Laurence White

We speak to Artist Laurence White, whose Art has been purchased by some big names from Will.I.Am and Pretty Little Thing owner Umar Kamani. Laurence tells us how social media has been his biggest tool in creating and promoting his brand as well as his story to success.

Here at HOI we love finding how social media has given so many people a platform for new business opportunities in all kinds of sectors. With Instagram being so visually-focused, we have been able to see some outstanding creative work flourish on the platform. One person that really stood out to us was artist Laurence White We spoke with Laurence to find out on how he used social media to build an expanding art business and the lessons he learn in creating this thriving social media business.

“I studied art up until college, but then I gave it up and decided to go to university to get a ‘proper’ degree. After finishing Uni I built a career working in TV  but I often found myself being annoyed by injustices and TV politics as I was climbing the ladder. Having had enough, 2 years ago (and 10 years on from having last painted at college) I picked up a paintbrush to help take my mind off things and I painted a piece depicting Kanye West”.

“One of my best mates was on Love Island at the time and after he came out of the house he ended up buying my Kanye painting and posted on his Instagram. Since that point I haven’t stopped as that post lead to the next painting, which led to the next painting. Having worked in TV for a while I had built up a number of celeb contacts whom I have then gone onto paint for. When I paint for them I will then get them to post me to their social media, which has helped accelerate me being able to reach a large audience”.

“I’ve been very strategic in who I’ve picked out to paint for and I’m selective about which commissions I take on”. As a result of this consistency in my path, I’m becoming a part of ‘the special circle of recognised personalities’ that I’ve been painting for”

“One of the biggest challenges has been working a normal job for 12 hours a day and then coming home and painting until 1/2am at night. Over time it was exhausting to be able to keep consistently doing those hours when sometimes you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere. In the beginning I was doing a lot of free painting for celebrities to establish a name for myself. Often this would involve driving across the country to deliver paintings, which not only took time, but also cost me money. When you spend 30 hours on a painting it’s difficult to just give it away for not much return. However, I knew if I kept doing this consistently and kept working hard, in time I’d reap the rewards and find recognition.”

““I often paint pieces of the rich and famous that I’m inspired by. I want my art to captivate the greatness of these icons and do them justice. One way I try to get this across is through posting quotes from the person alongside the painting. For example some of the best feedback I had with my Ali painting, was that it captured his personality”

“I’m motivated by wanting to be considered the best at what I do and getting paid big money to do that. When someone sees a painting of mine I want them to appreciate the technical skill and time involved to create a painting”

“Lockdown was quite significant for me as it gave me uninterrupted time to focus on client paintings, as well as giving me an opportunity to perfect my style of painting; make me completely unique as an artist. I want people to see one of my paintings and be able to immediately say ‘oh that’s Laurence’s work. I know that having painted for Will.i.am
and Umar Kamani recently has taken me to another level and so now I want to capitalise on the momentum.

So there you have; It sounds like its a game of endurance and consistency. If you have the talent, It’s important you put that talent ‘out there’ through networks of people and platforms, to reach your audience.

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