Niche: Friend or Foe

06.01.2009 / Miscellaneous

Today’s Dialogue episode is all about the NICHE! However you pronounce it, do you have one? Want one? Need one? Our contributors weigh in on the topic at hand— comment below to join the dialogue!

Related episode(s): Blog, Blog, Blog.

  • I certainly don’t want to fall into a specific niche. The thing I love the most about being a designer/maker are the projects I work on are constantly changing. And, each project lends itself to a specific look and feel. Otherwise, I think I would get bored and feel trapped.

  • Sometimes I wish I could find my niche… something I loved making and something people loved buying. However I get very bored by doing the same thing over and over, so it’s unlikely that I will ever get to that place and maybe that is a good thing… I like exploring new ideas and wouldn’t want to get boxed into doing one thing, no matter how popular it was… I would soon resent it.

  • this is by far my favorite dialogue. i focused on finding my niche for far too long. i realized that the quest was depressing me. so not what i got into to art for.
    i used art to come out of the box, i realized that putting myself back in a box was counter productive.
    art comes from viewing the world around us. sometimes we need to express things in 12 different ways without being concerned that we are leaving behind our own style.

    great video guys!

  • This is so relevent to my life right now. For me, defining my niche has really helped in keeping my mind more focused. I think that (for me in particular) setting some form of boundaries for yourself can actually spark ideas that you wouldn’t have otherwise come up with. It’s sort of like trying to get around the rules I guess. Plus, I think it really helps you stand out if you’re pushing the boundaries within a certain niche rather than just being all over the place.

    And…I loved this episode simply because Lisa got so fired up for a second!

  • It’s really interesting to watch these from my science-y perspective (graduate student in bioengineering) and see the parallels…students often get caught up in their favorite problem or their favorite technique and become the “mass spec guy” or the “cancer girl” when really—the goal should be answering questions that come up in your research. It’s not to say that specialization is a terrible thing, but it can lead to fairly bad science if you’re so specialized that when you look at your data or your project and miss something terribly crucial because you cut yourself off from a new technology.

  • That is so true. You just have to follow your heart. Do what you are most passionate about and your inner self will shine through and become a niche. And now I have to go and check out your blog!
    xo Anita, Austria

  • what an inspiring dialogue erin! i think the balance between friend and foe for artists and “the Niche” is difficult to find at times. i know it is something that i have struggled with over the years. you don’t want to box yourself in to a category, but at the same time, you don’t want to feel like your work has less meaning because you bounce around. very thought provoking.

  • i’m really enjoying reading everyone’s comments on this topic! i found it difficult to answer, you may notice I repeat myself quite a bit (sorry!), so it’s very interesting to read your thoughts and experiences. Thanks for adding to the dialogue.
    PS Erin, I hope you are having a wonderful time away, and Lisa, I loved hearing your bub in the background! :-)

  • It is the neverending struggle-THE NICHE. As an artist/designer it can be your foe. As a business owner it can be your friend. Making the same thing over and over is good for business but bad for the designer/artist creative process. Finding a balance between the two is essential!

  • Oh, yes, it would be perfect to not even care what the world that is outside of the studio where art is made thinks..;-)
    I truly believe that the balance can be found.
    I dont believe though, that good art can be made with no heart.
    But so many times artist do some very personal art and on the other hand – art for selling and they both really represent him.

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