Should we target our audience or are we limiting ourselves?

We all know that every artist has their niche and like any other entrepreneur, we are told that we must know the audience that we are serving and in essence target our audience when we are marketing ourselves. But my question is; are we limiting ourselves when we do so? Are we risking our chances for success by minimizing our market?

Though I have always drawn things that were generally just my thoughts, as of late my art has been geared towards painting things that reminded me of home or my love for Latin dance. Maybe because I feel nostalgic at times or in an attempt to hold on to my culture.

Recently though, a good friend of mine approached me and pointed out that he felt I was limiting my audience. “A Puerto Rican knows they are Puerto Rican, they do not need a flag to tell them so.” But of course my audience is not Puerto Ricans that LIVE in Puerto Rico. Rather people like ME, Puerto Ricans that are living in the United States and wish to have a piece of the island in their home. And although, we too, know that we are Puerto Rican, we tend to like having an item that reminds us so. Or maybe is for bragging rights, who knows. Regardless, those people are my audience.

Still, my friend’s comment got me to thinking…is he right? Am I limiting myself? Is it better to know our audience and create for them or broaden our scope in order to welcome more people into our world?

In my opinion, I believe we should have an audience in mind when creating our work prior to us even creating it. Why? Because when we create a piece of work, there is either a message we are trying to convey, a feeling that we are attempting to arouse, a thought that we are evoking.  We cannot do this if we do not know to whom we are speaking to. But, I guess this could be a matter of opinion.

What are your thoughts?


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