My painting approach has changed in the last few weeks, from being rigidly diplomatic with my practices to now being a free spirited and intuitive painter.
As a result of this change, I’ve noticed an apparent style that has consistently reflected itself in my latest series of paintings. A style I never thought I really owned in the first place. Of-course this has manifested due to my consistent practice of daily painting as opposed to just a couple times a week. It’s shocking to reflect that once upon a time I would paint only once a month just because I didn’t feel inspired for the rest of that month. But that’s another story. Have I got the secret to finding out your personal, creative style? No, but I have some advice that will lead you in the right direction to that discovery.
I opened up about painting styles in a previous blog post, and how you don’t need to worry about developing a style so early on in your career. You’re just getting started. Without saying too much, just focus on practising your craft as much as you can on a daily basis.
I alluded to the idea that your style comes naturally with consistent practice and how it will slowly reflect itself after years of practice. This still is the case; however, I’ve noticed that honing in on your craft intuitively may speeden that process of discovering your creative magic. By the term ‘craft’ , I mean carrying out your creative duties whether that be painting, drawing or sculpting.
Whatever you do, do not pretend to be an artist you’re not. If you feel inspired by another artist, rather than directly copying their style, take away elements of their style that could compliment your own artwork. By copying their style directly, you just become another version of that artist, and worst still, promote their artwork. People who like that style will see your work, but most likely end up buying from your desired artist because they’ve got the years of experience and perfection under their belt. Now there’s nothing wrong with that per say, especially if you admire the artist, but ultimately this doesn’t help your journey as an artist.
Growing up I was influenced by a number of artists and began to copy their style just for practice. I’d adopt their brush strokes, choice of materials, even their personal painting procedure. I never claimed to have had a style. Even to this day, I’d say that my style is still a working progress. Just like the hundreds of professional artists out there. But I would always use their style as a gateway to discover my own.
And that’s what this is all about; I feel like I’m finally coming into my own as an artist. What I believe has elevated the process of individuality is breaking away from other artists styles that once anchored my entire painting.
You’re probably wondering how I did this. Well, I simply painted how I wanted to and what felt right in that moment. Not caring too much about getting everything perfect and having the knowledge that everything was going to work out okay. Since taking this effortless approach, I’ve noticed the small habits that sculpt my painting style. For instance, the strokes, the way I paint certain plants and fruits and the colours I gravitate towards. You don’t have to be consciously aware of your style either. Painting intuitively means to let go of pressures of doing everything right, almost as if you were painting for fun.
Allow mistakes to happen, be bold and be confident – that’s it. Nothing has to be a masterpiece. The more you practice this, the more confident you will grow and the more apparent your style will become. Paint every day, whenever you get a chance to because it will only quicken the process to you realising your style. Only you get to choose how much you develop.