January 11, 2017 at 9:45 am #75296
Hi All –
My name’s Tracey and I’m an artist living near Mackay.
One thing I am struggling with is finding a ‘style’ for myself. I look at my work, and it looks like it could have been done by 3 or 4 different people (well, it does to me, anyway). I LIKE painting in different styles (painterly, abstract realism, realism) and get inspired differently from day to day, but I don’t know if this jumping from one style to another is hurting my potential career in that, my work won’t be recognisable as being mine.
Does anyone else have this drama? Should I just go with the flow, and accept that different styles appeal to different people and therefore will expand my potential customer base, or should I focus on a signature style/subject to make my work instantly recognisable?
Any advice would be appreciated :) Thanks in advanceJanuary 13, 2017 at 11:15 pm #75333
I recognize your “drama” :-)
Some years ago I was “artist in residence” with a gallery owner, who wanted to launch my watercolors on the European continent. But, he said that I had to find my style first, because my paintings looked too different… He asked me to think about what kind of style I could stand working with for a long time, and stick to that so that people could see it was made by me. I looked at all my pictures and decided about a certain kind of paintings that I had much fun in doing. Unfortunately I was only able to hang my new watercolors in Kitzbuhel, Austria, before the gallery owner suddenly died of a heart attack, the gallery was closed, and I was on my own again.
But I want to pass on to you the advice of an American art teacher, who told me that if I painted no matter what at least two hours a day, I would develop my own style, unconsciously. The brain and the hands would learn a certain way to work together, without my personal interference, so to speak. And I have found that whatever motive I want to capture, I have my own unconscious way of representing it, that in the end makes it look like “me”. This teacher also told me to change my palette once a year, by swapping a couple of colors for others. And also at least once a year to leave my comfort zone, trying things I don’t believe I can do. My painting style would follow in my tracks, he promised me.
Most famous painters change their style after some years, when they find that their way of painting has become a boring routine. All the same their work most often continue to bear their signature, because the brain and the hands have developed their own special way of cooperating.
I wish you good luck finding your style!
March 1, 2017 at 10:30 am #76573
- This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by BeqArt.
I agree with the American art teacher quoted above. All the children in a class of students who are taught to write by the same teacher, develop their own style of script despite the teacher’s best efforts to have them emulate her /him. You recognise the writing on an envelope (if anyone still writes letters) before opening. You’ll develop your own style whether you want to or not. Cheers.August 28, 2018 at 5:00 pm #81565
That’s great advice, Rex. Good on you for following it and congratulations on your success.
Thanks for sharing.October 12, 2018 at 8:43 am #81537
When I retired from regular work and began painting in late 2009, I was all over the place with my style.
A successful artist (an Australian based overseas) contacted me to say that she had seen my work online and suggested that I paint the things I am most passionate about.
I took her advice and applied my love of trees and knowledge of them ( From my experience in horticulture and re-vegetation, where I had planted thousands of trees) and made them the main subject in my artworks. I have never looked back since and my work has sold around the world, found its way onto the cover of an Italian published novel, onto the cover of a CD of award winning Australian country songs and ten of my Jacaranda tree paintings are in a book published by the University of Technology Sydney. So I repeat the advice that I was given:
‘Paint what you are passionate about and your enthusiasm will shine through your work’February 1, 2019 at 1:05 pm #82197
The blog article is excellent. The article explores finding your ‘Signature Style’. Many people used to struggle with finding a style for them. They used to search online and ask with professionals to find their own style. You have to choose a style of your own and don’t try to copy others.
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