Style or not to style? That is the question.
In the art world, you often see artists who paint the same subject matter with their trade mark style, hanging in galleries across the country. You know instantly who painted it and can recognise their trademark brush stroke or favourite colour or subject matter. As an artist, I have heard in my mind , the mantra, “ I must find a style, I must find a style”. The pressure is to find it quickly so that your work can be recognised and sell. Everyone needs to make money in their career and making art is no different. However, this pressure is such a big stumbling block to the creative process. I used to paint what I thought people wanted to see, landscapes or portraits, the usual stuff and it did not sell. People can tell when there is no heart behind the art. When you let go of this need to perform a style, and instead delve deep into the type of art that you like to make, then people can tell. They love honesty and they will connect with your work. People may look at my work and not see a regular style. I change my medium often from oils, to acrylics to pastels and ink. I feel this helps to push my creativity and makes for exciting diversity within my creative process. I also make work of varying sizes, again this helps to keep things fresh. Sometimes I paint realism, expressionism and other times symbolism. I think when you are creating from a place of experimentation, excitement and exploration, then your natural style emerges with no forced effort. Every artist has a short hand. You can tell by their brush marks and the way they apply paint, it is just like writing. There is no need to perform or project a style. Just by the process of making art, your own style will naturally emerge without the pressure of making it happen.