What is a niche? Like the elusive white stag, a niche is difficult to find. Some find theirs easily, the stag walks out of the woods, and they walk off into the sunset together. I wish. Others, for various reasons, might struggle to find theirs. Then, dare I say, some never lay eyes on their white stag? There’s me, “R.I.P Corinna, she could not find her niche.” How tragic that she could not live out her placement in life.
A Niches Purpose
A niche is like a hidden purpose in life. It’s almost as if we’ve just taken the word “destiny” out of modern culture and replaced it with “niche”. Not to say the two are the same. A destiny can find you, a niche can elude you.
In the design/internet world, a niche has a whole different type of value. The promise of glory and riches hides behind you finding the perfect balance of something you can do and something the mass majority adores you for. When you find the blogs and videos whose advice tells you to just be yourself, it doesn’t always seem to be true. Maybe it’s easy to say once you find your niche because you are probably being a part of yourself. However, it doesn’t always seem to be just you being yourself, it seems more like you being the part of you that people love most.
Don’t get me wrong, a niche is so handy. It also looks so nice, and it really brings a nice cohesive look to an artists body of work. I’m sure it brings a sense of fulfillment, especially if you’re lucky enough to love what people love about you simultaneously. Still, theres a part of me that wonders if you find it for you or for others. We are so starved for the general community and affection of our fellow man, our fulfillment is now filled through a sort of virtual admiration and acceptance. We are loved for the videos we make or the designs we create, for the blogs we write and the presence we hold on this bottomless cavern called the internet. We are not loved so much, for who we are.
My Journey, Will I Ever Find My Niche?
My own journey to find my niche has been a difficult one. I can blame my kids, or how busy I am, how busy life is, but would I find it any easier if I was completely free to look? The biggest challenge for me has been how much I love to do. People don’t like to see everything you can do, they want to see one thing, one look, one experience for them to connect with and recognize. You have to brand yourself. People are even so delicate that they get confused if you add or take away anything from your brand. Re-branding is a feat, it takes incredible effort and planning to pull it off successfully.
No one is on the internet to get to know me, no one wants to find this person writing random things and then also learn she designs, but no, she’s not limited to designs, sometimes she likes to just draw, or even paint! Oh and she’s a mom? No, one wants to then read about my kids or experience as a mother in addition to all that. The expectation is, oh, a designer, great, love her designs, they have a cohesive familiarity I can connect to, perfect!
In a life of consumption, products, images and a constant need for new content, people want something they can arrive to, take what they want from, and leave. We market to each other, capitalism is in our blood and the transformation of our definition of destiny emphasizes that very fact. We have all been marketed to as well, marketed to since we were babes. Naturally, marketing to each other would simply follow in the trend. We don’t exist as side by side humans, but as internet entities, selling ourselves as brands to anyone who will buy.
There are of course, exceptions. There are communities and supportive fans who get to know the people they follow. There are true blue artists who are simply being themselves, and the internet loves them for it. There are people who have truly found something they love to do and don’t mind and all that they now focus on just the one thing.
It has left me to wonder, however, what happens when I find my niche?
What happens when you find your niche?
I don’t actually have an answer for you guys. I haven’t found my niche yet. Finding your niche is like one of those things in life that you have either experienced and understand. Or, you haven’t experienced it yet, and you are left to speculate, only. Before I was a mother, I had all sorts of opinions about motherhood, and ideas about who I would be as a mother. Until I became one, I never knew what would be true and what was just speculation.
In terms of finding your niche, maybe the heavens open up and a brilliant light shines down in celebration. Maybe the internet shows up at your door to carry you away on its shoulders… or maybe the sky will rain money.
Still, when I wonder what it would be like to find mine. I wonder about what happens to other talents. Does a person just give up on everything else they can do? Is that what we are supposed to do anyway? When I think about everything I love to do, and the exploratory nature of my art style, I can’t stop repeating the old saying “jack of all trades, master of none.” There’s so much I *can* do, but *should* I do all of it or pick one thing and focus on it alone? Throwing those thoughts around in my head for a little while exhausts me and I just come to the conclusion that all I want to do, is exist.
I really want to just be me, and if I’m lucky enough, be loved for it. I don’t want to create something for you, I don’t want to be someone specific for you.
When I was in middle school, I would only wear make-up to school occasionally. It was always on those days that I received lots of compliments on my appearance. I hated it. I was so rebellious to it, I would wash my make-up off. It frustrated me, that I needed to wear make up in order to receive compliments on how I looked; that I needed to change my appearance for people to notice and appreciate it. Honestly, I look back and think that its a little silly. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of yourself and making an effort. Nowadays, I wish I had the time to take care of my appearance the way I did then. Maybe there’s a lesson there. There’s an aspect of finding your niche that’s for other people, and we shouldn’t be existing for others benefit… but maybe most of finding your niche, is an existence of the truest expression of you. Maybe, it’s like making an effort with your physical appearance, but until I find my niche, I can’t confirm the theory.
Dont Worry About it Too Much ( I say to myself)…
In the meantime, it always comes back to the journey. While the internet might not care, not truly, about who you are or what you learn or go through… that journey is definitely more important than finding your niche. The people you meet, the community you build, the things you create along the way are far more valuable than a virtual recognition of a smaller collection of your talents. You might be like me, and you might be struggling to find it, wondering what its like to capture it, waiting for that fateful day. Well, when the magical day comes that you finally capture that white stag, your accomplishment will hold that much more weight, because of the path you paved along the way. At that point, I hope the fame and riches are yours.