“Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it.”
If you’ve been hanging out with me for any length of time, you’ll know that one thing I emphasise on the artist’s journey is that we truly do all have a unique style of our own, and that while it often feels challenging to work out what it is, there are many actions you can take to find your style.
In my experience it’s not so much something we create, but something we uncover and cultivate as we go along.
It’s embedded in process, and that includes all the detours and apparent mistakes. I like to say that all experience is valid, because we are so inclined to criticize ourselves and dismiss what we make when it doesn’t live up to our preconceived standards.
For a long time I was hanging out in the uncomfortable zone of confusion where I was looking at other artists churning out rich, recognisable work, and wondering why everything I made seemed to be different. It was so frustrating!
I’ve since come across so many others struggling with this, I do what I can to help. One such example is the collaborative creation that is the Find Your Style ebook. Conceived and produced by Kristal Norton, it features twelve artists, each offering nuggets of advice, lessons from their own winding journeys, and practical actions you can take today to start to clarify what’s truly yours when it comes to your art.
I’ve had a read through the book of course, and I have to say I wish I’d found something like this when I was in the mire of despond about my own work!
It’s so reassuring to hear about not just similar experiences from other artists, but also clues and ideas garnered from their experience that you can then start applying for yourself. And because there is such diversity of artists included, there’s bound to be something in there that sparks you into action.
If I could only tell you one thing about how to find your style as an artist, it’s that it’s going to take time.
It’s not very sexy I know, but with a shift in perspective that becomes a very exciting prospect. It moves us from ‘how will I ever’ to repeated in-the-moment experience of the journey being the destination.
Every thing you do artistically is a step on that path. It might take a while – it took me several years to truly start to find my groove – but every action taken is both a step forward and an end in itself. The more you allow yourself to enjoy that, the quicker you’ll find yourself following what excites you and beginning to build a body of consistent work.
I’m delighted to be featured in the Find Your Style ebook, and invite you to check it out to see if it could help you. If you do decide to invest, you’ll also receive a virtual thank you hug from me, since this is an affiliate link and I will receive a percentage of all sales from it. How can you resist now?! ;)
Where are you currently on your artist path? If you’re just starting out and feeling confused and unclear, what do you think would help you start to find clarity? If you’re already established, what one piece of advice would you offer someone who’s struggling to uncover their unique artist style? Tell me in the comments!