Friday, September 2, 2011

The Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Own Artistic Style

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my own work, and I've come to the conclusion that I just haven't figured out what my "style" is yet. When I draw, I allow my idea to develop however it wants to, which isn't a bad thing, but has resulted in my work not looking cohesive. So fear no more! I have searched far and wide and come up with a definitive list for all of us who have been struggling with putting a piece of ourselves into our work.

Find a medium you love. Even for people who love experimenting with all mediums (like myself), it's important to find one or two hobbies that really get you excited. Once you are famililar with the medium, it'll be easier to dig down and do something innovative. However, if you have already found your "thang", stick to it but continue to push the bounds every so often. Who knows, you might stumble across something else that you really like to do! Try not to go too overboard, though, because that could result in feeling overwhelmed. Baby steps!

Gain inspiration, but stay away from imitation. Go to Etsy, Deviantart, Pinterest, or Tumblr to look for artistic inspiration. Are there any particular subjects or colors you like? Once you've looked through a whole lot of images, try to note which ones appeal more to you than others, or which ones inspire you to get creating straight away. When I'm done reading blogs everyday, I feel a renewed sense of motivation to begin working on my own projects. That's how I know what inspires me.

Experiment! Try new things. This is pretty much the key to most things in life. If you're looking for an answer, you've got to do something different than you've been doing before, or things will stay the same! Be the catalyst for change, and change will happen. It's as simple as that. It's a big step in developing your style, because you might come across something that sticks and is distinctive to you. Don't be afraid to fail, because there's nothing worse than being your own worst critic.

Consider what you want your portraits to say. What feelings do you want to invoke in a person when they look at your work? Do you want your pieces to be dark and conceptual, or light and fun? A touch of whimsy or a dose of reality? It's all lying on the table for you to decide. How can you convey your chosen qualities through your work? Once you have figured this out, try to create your desired look consistently.

Make it memorable. Creating a pretty design is nice, but won't set you apart. Gravitate towards things that will help you send a message or try to go for concepts that haven't been done before.

Ask for advice or look it up yourself. Let's face it, it's hard to get through this alone. Talk to friends, artists, entrepreneurs... practically anyone! Having a trademark style is important in most aspects of life, from fashion to business. If all else fails, seek the ever-so-wise Internet sages.
Helpful articles:                 
Be patient. I feel like reading all of these articles has helped, but I'm still at the beginning of a long road of development and transformation. And I'm completely okay with that. Elsie wrote a great post on how "It takes time (sometimes many years) to develop a vision and learn your "craft"...The more time you spend developing your skills and style, the better." And she's so right. 

It's all about learning and continuing to grow, right guys? :) Above all, do what you want to do, not what others want you to do.
<3 Linda

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