How Brands Should Work with Artists (and Win at Social Media)

With the rise of influencer marketing, brands have started to work more closely with content creators of all types. And while this type of marketing is still relatively new, it’s been proven to be incredibly effective. After all, 80% of Gen Z purchases are influenced by social media, and we know they’re following their favorite artists. If your brand shows up in their feed organically, you’re winning.

While influencer marketing is off the charts, something that brands are still struggling with is working with artists. Artists are often seen as difficult and brands don’t know how to brief them to get the work they want.

As an artist and a creative director I’m in the unique position of being able to see how this partnership works from both sides, and the good and the bad that can come from it. In this article I’ll cover some do’s and don’ts, some best practices, and link to examples. Don’t worry, we’re here to help!


  • Give the artist an authentic benefit (i.e. pay them)
  • Work with local artists in local markets. It’s way more authentic, cheaper, and you’ll activate the local fans in a much bigger way than bringing in a big name they’re not connected to.
  •  Work with artists to create limited edition versions of your product



  • Don’t make it all about your logo. There are plenty of other pieces of marketing where you can go brand heavy. When working with artists, keep branding minimal and classy.
  • Don’t put too many constraints in place. Artists work best when they’re given freedom to be creative. You’re partnering with them because they make art that you like, so all you have to do is get out of the way and let them do their thing.
  • Don’t use any art, ever (even in the background) without an artist’s permission. You’ve never seen fury like art fan fury when a brand is seen as taking advantage of an artist
    • Missed the mark: H&M


Interested in working with artists? Our creative team would love to give you some suggestions on how to do it right. We’ll even find the exact right artist partners, so give us a call today!