Friday, May 13, 2011

Finding Your Personal Style

Your style is something that should be very important to you as an artist. And don't even try to tell me you're not an artist. You are. And even though I can't really "instruct" you in how to find your style, I do have a few guidelines that may (or may not) help you. Basically, your style is YOU. Your style is what you like, how you work, and what a finished project represents and looks like. Sometimes (and for certain people) it is harder to describe, while with others, it's very simple and straightforward. Either is correct, as long as it's what you are.

My style is the former; it's actually very tough to explain, but I'll try my best for lack of a better example. At first glance, my work may seem strange, because it's different. But that's good. If you start to notice a change and uniqueness in your work, then that means that you have broken out of a specific "stage" in your artistic journey. You have stopped copying other styles and have begun to develop your own.

Anyways, back to my own style. I like to classify my general "look" as eclectic. I like anything and everything. Plus more, all in one big bundle. That shows in my work. I used to think of myself as modern, bright, and colorful. But now, it's quite different. Sure, those elements are still there, but they are mixed with vintage, distress, urban, and even more styles. This gives an overall elaborate theme. I also have hints of steampunk mixed into it. That's just the way I roll.

So now that I've sort o described my style, maybe I'll give you a couple hints how to find your own. First off, try to determine what you like. What shapes you like, the colors you like, and the general things that attract you. Squares and neutrals are most likely modern and streamlined. Circles and bright colors are commonly youthful and playful. A mix of all this stuff probably has a more eclectic flair. There are more ways to find your style, but this was just through words. Let's do a little experiment, shall we? This one is for art journaling, but maybe I'll do some on other crafts a little later on.

Here's the deal. Get yourself something to work on. Whatever you feel comfortable using. Paper, cardstock, a journal, cardboard, or any other thing that makes you feel happy. You could even use shaped pages if that's what excites you. Having a single circular page is exciting every now and then. Now just go crazy! Do whatever you feel like doing. Lay down a first scraped layer, or use a paintbrush. Perhaps us a wash. Or splatter paint or maybe some india inks. Work with chalk or glitter, photographs or baby wipes. Just play with the materials and mix the supplies; try things that may not be first thought of and show your style. Only stop when you feel like it represents you. But here's the hard part. If you haven't gotten out of the first stage in your art yet, and you are still copying other styles, you have it a bit harder.

You can't look at any reference materials while you work. You're trying to work out your own style here, and you can't really do that when you're looking at somebody else's work. I know it's hard, but it has to happen sometime, right? Why not now? After you take the first leap into developing your artistic style, it will feel really good. You'll feel more independent as you create and you'll feel better about yourself as an artist. That's right. An artist.

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