What is a niche? I like this definition from Merriam-Webster¹
a : a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted <finally found her niche>
This definition reminds me of a book I read (with much hope) titled “Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow” by Marsha Sinetar. The idea, as the title implies, is if you truly love what you are doing, the activity will be so enjoyable and you will do it so well, that eventually people will pay you to do it.
A corollary to this idea, I’ve found, is that people tend to enjoy things they do well. After all, who enjoys failing?
For an artist, finding a niche usually means creating a body of work with similar and recognizable characteristics. It could be similar materials, subject matter, or simply complementary colors. It becomes your niche when people can view your work and recognize it as yours.
I’ve thought about my own niche for at least 10 years without success. It seemed I was cursed with too many interests to settle on any one thing. Then, last weekend it hit me. It’s been staring me in the face all along.
As I informed my fellow artist that bald eagles face grave environmental threat due to clear-cutting of old growth forests, I realized that I’ve become the Naturalist Artist. My medium may vary from photography to watercolor to pastel and beyond, but my theme is always the environment and the creatures that inhabit it.
I’ve found my niche!
1.”Niche.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2016.