Are You Struggling with Finding Your Style?
Here’s a familiar scenario: You’ve taken the YouTube tutorials, signed up for different technique courses, read books on different painting styles, and set out on your own, starting to experiment with all you’ve learned. But something in your practice still feels a little bit off. Perhaps you feel a little bit stilted, or maybe your paintings just don’t feel like you. Maybe you’re struggling with inspiration, and having a hard time choosing a subject that resonates with you, or perhaps you freeze up when you’re instead trying to loosen up.
Turn Inward…and Experiment!
I’m a huge advocate for turning inward and doing work that builds your own confidence, cultivates joy, and improves your frame of mind as a way of benefitting your painting practice. Stripping away mental barriers and building your sense of play, fun, and joy allow you to unlock your creative potential in an entirely different way and try things you may never have thought of before. For example, I’ve been experimenting with a variety of mark-making techniques and have found inspiration in different materials and items that I previously never would have considered using on a painting!
I know what you might be wondering… what does this internal work have to do with painting style?
The answer is everything! If you can empower your creative self to experiment, you will uncover the elements of your practice that are uniquely yours and your way of expressing yourself. This isn’t an overnight practice, but I can promise you’ll find plenty of fun and joy along the way as you work on building your style!
Tips for Building Your Style
1. Spend time viewing work that you admire.
Whether via Instagram, books, Pinterest, or galleries, identify what it is about other works that you admire. Don’t be afraid to embrace those things! Do you love artists that embrace bold colors? Take note that that’s something you’d like to play with!
2. Experiment, experiment, experiment.
Do you feel like doing something unconventional with your piece? Go ahead and do it! Use interesting materials, break the rules, and do the things that “scare” you or that you think you “shouldn’t” do. You may discover something absolutely magical!
3. Look at your own paintings.
What are the parts of your own work that you absolutely love? Are your brushstrokes particularly gestural? Is your color composition unique? Do you put together interesting subjects? Identify the things that you’re proud of in your art and build upon those in your new pieces. The things you love will make up the backbone of your style!
There’s a laundry list of things you can do to cultivate your style and empower your creative self. I expand on these ideas in my mini-course, Empowering Your Creative Self. If you’re looking to develop your style and embrace what makes you a unique and powerful artist, enrollment is always open!