So this is the topic du jour around here lately.

What would make it really easy and fun to uncover your personal painting style without getting stuck in a pattern of copying, or being held back by lack of confidence?

Do you have an answer for this for yourself? Or is it something you’re still exploring?

I’ve been investigating my own answers to this question for a few years now, which has resulted in the upcoming Abstractify course. But more of that later.

It used to bug me so much that every time I took a class or was inspired by another artist, my subsequent work, at least for a time, would look suspiciously familiar to theirs.

I even spent an entire week once locked in my studio as an experiment, trying to work out what my style was, without looking at books or art on the internet at all.

I was full of noise from absorbing what was out there; there were so many amazing artists and teachers, and I was so hungry to learn and grow as an artist.

But also – and above all – I needed to feel connected to myself.

I do always say that I think some amount of copying is both necessary and acceptable.

It’s when it becomes your default that you’re not being true to yourself as one-of-a-kind individual.

Think about it. No one else on this planet has the exact same handwriting as you, the same fingerprints, the same wardrobe or way of wearing it, the same thoughts in the same exact ways, or the same life even!

Why should it be any less true that your art, when you really let yourself explore and paint your way, would also be completely individual?

My ‘immersion week‘, as I called it, brought up some interesting truths for me. You might relate to some of them;

>>> I learned that I defaulted to copying when my confidence in my own skills and abilities was low.

>>> I learned that when I looked at all my paintings together, even though I thought they were an inconsistent mess, they still showed repeated colour choices, ideas and motifs as a common thread.

>> I learned that I feel most free when I have a few techniques, a few favourite ‘moves’ and a few favourite images in my creative treasure chest. All I require is a little springboard under my feet made of those things, and I can lose myself in the process without worrying about whether it’s ‘good’, or feeling I don’t know what I’m doing.

{That feeling never really goes away, in my experience!}

That’s when ‘my’ art can come out.

I believe it does take time to really develop and hone your unique style, but it’s in there, and it’s not difficult to bring it out. It just takes a little curiosity, a little persistence, a little faith.

For me, those things gave me the gift of discovering that what I love most, what is fun and interesting and easy to me {although not always a smooth ride!}, is to take recognisable images and change them in various ways to create art that is more expressive and less representational, and is completely unique to me.

They gave me abstractifying.

I haven’t invented a groundbreaking new style of art; essentially this is how many artists work, and I’m still very influenced by artists I admire.

But I’ve found a way in that expresses me, and that’s worth every frustration, every tantrum and ripped up painting along the way.

Nor am I saying I have THE answer; that would defeat the entire notion of you having your own unique style!

But I have a wedge you can stick in the door to hold it open while you uncover your particular way of making gorgeous art.

Abstractifying isn’t the only way to find out how YOU paint, but it’s a tried and tested {and fun!} one, and one I’d love to share with you.

If you’re looking for a supported process to make your art your own, the course is available inside the Happy Artist Studio, alongside many others, a friendly community, and lots of other goodies to support you on your artist path! Find out more here.