Given the time and resources, I believe anyone can learn to draw, or paint, or write. But making art is more than just studying anatomy, learning to mix paint, and mastering grammar. There’s a special mental side to making art that deals with voice, style, originality, and authenticity. But the good news is that, in my opinion, you can learn how to master all those things too.
There are so many art classes out there that teach you how to create a certain painting, drawing, etc; Yet so little classes that teach you how to find your own art style. This is why I come to you with this blog post. I want to share with you some steps I’ve come up with based from my own personal experience on how I found my own art style. I’m probably going to keep changing and evolving, but I feel like I’ve found my place in my painting process – And so, I wanted to share these tips with you so that you could reach a place of your own too.
First of all, look at your own artwork and ask yourself a few questions:
What themes show up in your art most often? What kind of subjects are you drawn to? What kind of art do you enjoy creating at the moment? Are there elements of design that tie your pieces together? Does your art stand out against the work of other artists?
Your artistic style is what makes your work feel like you. Your artistic style is totally specific to you. In fact, it is you. With every piece of art you make, your style changes and grows. Style is learned, adopted, manipulated, and developed over time. Sometimes on accident, sometimes on purpose, and often times both.
Your style is a combination of your voice, techniques, color choices, compositions, subject matter, media, and more all wrapped up. Your style is what binds each of your pieces together into a unique and cohesive collection. The best part is that it continues to evolve over time. Even when you’ve found it, it starts to change.
Get Inspired By The Artists You Like
There are so many different types of artists in this world right now. Find them! As many as you can, and find the ones that you are drawn to…in their vision, style, colors, patterns, etc. Seek them out as inspiration and learn from them. And be careful not to fall into the tunnel of copying them. Instead, find what you love about each one, and put it all together, mix ’em up with your own creative twist. You want to find inspiration from everywhere, not just one single source. Doing so will help you learn so much more and find a style that is all the more unique to yourself. Find the genre you want to belong to… or create your own!
Since I was a child I always admired beauty of Boris Vallejo artworks, Van Gogh techniques and Salvador Dali themes. I think my paintings are a mixture of all of these artist’s style and techniques.
Copy the World Around You
Mimic nature, study light, form, color, and shape, take figure drawing classes, etc. Working on your technical skills regularly will introduce you to new perspectives and style paths.
Practicing is key. If you only do art a couple of times a month or less, you won’t see much progress. Try to create as often as you can. Every day is best, but a few times a week is perfect. In my opinion, no matter what point in your career, practice is what makes someone an artist. If you have a passion, you’re going to keep practicing and creating every day, every moment possible. And that, in the end, is what is going to help you find your own unique art style.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Try pushing your skills. For example, draw with your non-dominant hand, study a variety of subject matter, work with small brush, work with big brush, try palette knife technique, try different mediums. If you don’t know what you like doing yet, then practice as many skills as you can.
If you plan on or have already taken college art classes, you learn that instructors assign exercises in as many styles as they can fit into a semester. They assume you have no idea who you are as an artist, so they push you in every direction to help you develop your unique voice.
Make Time to Play and Follow your Instinct
There’s always a moment in the creative process when you think for a moment that you’ve made a mistake, but then you take a second look at it and what you’ve done begins to grow on you. Release expectations and just have fun. Surprising things can happen when we become more playful and just let art happen.
But!.. If something you do doesn’t feel right, do something about it. Try to understand why it bothers you. Being able to do this will help you develop your own “artist eye”. Most people may teach you to create in an almost replicating fashion but I don’t believe that all art can be taught in such a way.
Be Open to Constructive Criticism
This one’s hard: Because with art, there’s always someone who won’t like your art. Always. Don’t let negative comments about your art dampen your spirit; Yet, don’t be closed off from everything that is negative. Be open to improving in your art. Filter with caution, what comments to ignore and which ones you should heed.
Creating and showcasing your personal style is a wonderful achievement. Remember, finding your art style doesn’t happen in a span of days, weeks, nor months. It takes years! So be patient with your creative process and enjoy it as you go. Create without burden and just have fun with it. You will most certainly find your way soon.
I hope this post was helpful. If you have any questions, leave them below.
Now go get messy!
Photo credits Kristina Davini