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The Most Successful Artists Today Find or Create a Unique Niche

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Gaping Void Art by artist Hugh MacLeod

And They Don’t Give Up

It could be redundant to say “unique” and “niche” in the same title, but it’s important for emphasis because the most successful artists today are so because of their unique niche.

We loved author and psychologist, Benjamin Hardy’s video on demanding success of your future self. (You can see that at the end of this article).The empowerment, encouragement and visionary guidance is worth it. 

But there’s another reason to view it, especially for visual artists

It’s Ben’s “Culture Wall” of art commissioned from one of the most successful artists today, Hugh MacLeod of Gaping Void Art.

Gaping Void Art

Gaping Void Art is a wonderful company and concept to study. Highly successful, Gaping Void was started by one artist —  Hugh MacLeod, and one entrepreneur — Jason Korman, teaming up to create a truly remarkable company with over a dozen employees. 

You can check out the video of one of the most successful artists today, Hugh MacLeod, sharing his story on how his brand evolved into what it is today. The art is vibrantly poignant in a cheerfully intriguing style of cartoon art.

Don’t Wait. Do.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Start

Hugh’s brand vision? Inspiration. How…? To be determined. Hugh got started and the rest followed as he created his art and blog over time.

Before becoming a successful artist Hugh worked as an advertising copywriter for over 10 years. During that time, he wrote and did his art on his blog while developing his skills as a cartoonist and blogger.

Over time, Hugh noticed that people were cutting out his cartoon art from his blog and emails and posting it on their walls.

Hugh MacLeod – Artist

“I always knew I was doing something social. What was interesting about the cartoons is that people would cut them out and put them on their door or their offices.”
~Hugh MacLeod Gaping Void cartoonist artist, author

SOURCE: Gaping Void homepage video

Hugh’s audience decided how they wanted to use his art, so Hugh followed their lead by giving them more of what they wanted. The more of that he did the more others who liked that too, found him.

“What I wanted to do was a way to connect with my core audience every day as a permission asset. It was a really simple idea, you know? Daily cartoon to my core audience via email.”
~Hugh MacLeod Gaping Void cartoonist artist, author

SOURCE: Gaping Void homepage video

Simultaneously expansive and yet very niche focused. Gaping Void is uplifting and inspiring hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, as they sell their art and messages of empowerment to solopreneurs and Fortune 100 companies alike.

“What really matters is the human dynamic and how they use the art to socialize.”
~Hugh MacLeod Gaping Void cartoonist artist, author

SOURCE: Gaping Void homepage video

Beyond selling a piece of art, Gaping Void has leveraged the concept of selling an entire wall of commissioned art, called a “culture wall”. Commissions are around important cultural principles, whether that’s a corporate culture or a family culture. In the case of entrepreneurs like Benjamin Hardy, it could be for both.

“We weren’t thinking too much about product offering. We were just thinking, ‘okay daily cartoon that is going to make people smile and build goodwill over time… and build happiness over time.'”
~Hugh MacLeod Gaping Void cartoonist artist, author

SOURCE: Gaping Void homepage video

You can be sure that the founding artist, Hugh MacLeod didn’t start his art career with the polished vision of what it has become today. Likely neither did his business partner — entrepreneur CEO and cofounder, Jason Korman — have the complete vision in mind. But over time, their art, company and brand have grown over time and blossomed into what it is today.

“Then if they liked it enough they would tell their friends and the list would grow. It would create this kind of core constituency of people who really cared about the product, about the brand, about what we’re trying to do here at Gaping Void.”

~Hugh MacLeod Gaping Void cartoonist artist, author
SOURCE: Gaping Void homepage video

Artist and Entrepreneurs, or Artist Entrepreneur

If you’re an artist entrepreneur, able to enjoy both – creating art and creating business, that’s the best of both worlds. However, if you’re one or the other, and don’t enjoy doing both, then you’ll need help.

Partners, Employees or Consultants

Partnerships can be a most challenging business model, and like too many marriages, business partnerships often falter. So instead of taking on a partner, an alternate approach is to hire out the other roles. That way you remain in full ownership and control of your company, yet still have access to the knowledge and skills of those whom you employ, either as consultants or employees.

If you do go for partnering, just study up on best practices for a successful partnership, such as beginning with clearly defined expectations and roles. This is one area you’ll want to establish before you sign on with anyone. A creative start up entreprise is thrilling in the beginning. Like the dating and honeymoon period, it’s easy to be enraptured and get along. Until the going gets tough. And, you can be sure there will be hard times.

When it comes to the direction and special niche of your creative brand, the most successful artists today discover their unique avenue along the way. You don’t have to have it all figured out before you start. In fact, best not to for you can be sure the scenery will change once you’re in the journey.

For more on most successful artists today check out these inspiring artists.

Most Successful Artists Today

  • Lorraine Loots – Art for Ants – Lorraine also began with a painting a day pledge, that she’s kept going for years. Now her iconic “Art for Ants brand is affording tremendous success with staff to help manage her business.
    NICHE: Miniature paintings
  • Abby Ryan – began painting a painting a day, while providing free tutorials online which grew her audience and gained recognition to her art, all while she was improving on it. Within a year she was earning six figures selling her art.
    NICHE:  Classical realism still life paintings inspired by 17th century Dutch still life painting.
  • Erik Wahl – Creates massive paintings on stage for corporations and corporate events to teach and inspire creativity within corporate cultures. See more on Erik in this article on artist bios.
    NICHE: Large scale paintings creating during a live on stage performance.

We will be adding more to this list over time. Please send us a note on your favorite most successful artists today and we’ll add them here..

Daily Success Rituals

As you immerse in your art, open yourself to what’s possible for it and for you.  Keep creating and reorienting your vision toward the highest purpose you can conceive thus far, then check your internal GPS and tweak to course correct into alignment, daily. Setting daily goals is a simple yet effective way to stay on track.

Vision in Focus

Bedtime reflections followed by morning meditations is a great time to do that check in with yourself. That’s why we’ve included that recommendation on the daily pages of the iCreateDaily 90 Day Goals Journals. You can get a free digital 30 day version of at that link.

It is in the journey that the way becomes more clear.
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder®

Benjamin Hardy – Demand Success of Your Future Self, by Benjamin Hardy

Definitely check out Benjamin’s video, for an inspiring and empowering 14:00 minutes.

Notice his culture wall behind him and to the screen right. The art was commissioned by him from Gaping Void Art. Benjamin also this art with important themes throughout his home and uses them to teach and inculcate principles to his children as a part of their family values. You can read more about Benjamin’s culture wall in his excellent article.

Please also check out these articles on Benjamin’s book, Personality Isn’t Permanent and also this one on Benjamin Hardy quotes.

“Success isn’t that difficult; it merely involves taking twenty steps in a singular direction. Most people take one step in twenty directions.”
~Benjamin Hardy, organizational psychologist, author, philosopher

SOURCE: Willpower Doesn’t Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success

Vision, Then Do

Whatever your dream, begin it. Take that one step in the direction of your dreams, and then you take another, consistently, over time.

As a teenager, Pixar animator, Janel Drewis dreamed of working at Pixar. Ten years later, she landed her dream. Janel did everything right. She kept her sights set on her dream, practiced and practiced and practiced while pursuing the necessary training and education.

Do you think Janel regrets her decade of hard work? Absolutely, unequivocally not.

Achieve Your Dreams Through Daily Efforts

7 Steps to Success

  1. Vision
  2. Planning
  3. Action
  4. Education
  5. Practice
  6. Focus
  7. Persistence

If it takes you 10 years to achieve your dreams, would you do it? At the end of the 10 years, do you think you would regret it? The 10 years will pass anyway. Vastly better for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing — and your career success — to work on your dreams daily rather than make excuses for why you aren’t.

One commenter said that she wasn’t creating because of depression. If the depression is there, not creating will make it worse, while daily dedication to creating will very likely make it better.

Successful Artists

Here are a few more successful artists we know who are earning a healthy living through their unique brand of creativity.

  • Andy Grammer, singer, songwriter, record producer, b.12/3/1983
  • Cory Huff The Abundant Artist – teaching artist best practices for earning from their art
  • Eeva Nikunen – Fantasy artist of exquisite original, custom, and print creations, coloring books, journals and more
  • Dana Lynne Andersen – Transformative spiritual art, artist and teacher
  • Ingrid Sanchez – beautiful watercolor artist and teacher earning a good living from selling her art on Etsy
  • Jeff Goins – writer, author, coach with multiple bestsellers of fiction and non-fiction
  • Paivi Eerola – abstract, intuitive artist and teacher, also flourishing through her art and courses

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