As artists, we typically work mostly with our creative side. Many studies seem to show that our brain is divided in a fairly even way, with half of it being for creative endeavors, and the other half being analytical, for sciences and maths. Typically this means that marketers and business people will use a different skill set than artists, which can be a problem for a young creative person attempting to survive and grow through their art, making enough income to live full time. So as a result this may not be obvious to you, but branding is something that every artist should care about.
Usually when we talk about branding we're thinking about large corporations, but in reality everyone has a brand, whether it is a personal brand or a business one. If you've been selling your art for some time and have experience with marketing then you may already know this, but if you consider your creative process to be nothing more than a hobby right now, this may not be as obvious. Yet even at this stage, you should think about how you are branding yourself. Whether it's through social networks, gallery sites, your own blog, offline papers, and so on.
In simple terms, branding simply means the way you present yourself or your business to the world. Deciding whether it will be a person or a company brand is the first important step. For most content creators, marketing yourself is probably the best idea. But some artists preferred to also create a small business where they focus their branding efforts. This could be useful if you're trying to market to large corporations. For example, let's say you create 3D models. Chances are the public won't be interested in actual meshes, but companies might. So to make it easier to deal with them, you might approach them under the name of your own creative agency instead of a single person. This is a choice everyone has to make.
As for the branding itself, it really isn't that hard to figure out. First, consistency is a huge part of branding. Right from the start, decide how you will present yourself in writing. Do you use your full name, a nickname, a business name? Think about creating a logo for yourself. If you draw or paint, that part is pretty easy. Use a consistent font for your signatures. Decide on an avatar picture that represents you. Finally, find a set of colors that match and that you like. Whether it's to use on your web site, your logo, business card, or whatever else that identifies you, by having a consistent look and feel, you ensure people will remember you.
It's easy to see the power of branding when looking at large brand names. Everyone around the world recognizes the Coca Cola logo simply by seeing a glimpse of it. This is one of the biggest brands out there. The same is true for many popular logos or company names. The soft drink company spends millions just to make sure all of their products use the right shade of red, because they know how important it is. Of course you won't become as popular as Coke overnight, but consistent branding means you are easier to find online and offline, and when you decide to sell your art or your services, it will be that much easier to do so.