Inspired Style

Suffolk Punch – Commission piece 2006
This week Im writing about a subject that has given me pause for thought after a good in depth discussion with my dear artist friend Niki Jackson.
The subject is finding our style.
What makes us different to the countless other artists who are out there drawing the same landscapes as us, the same subject matter as us. What defines us from them?
We spoke about being inspired by other artists, and how we have both tried to emulate and ‘be’ that other – it proved detrimental to both of us I hasten to say, we felt the work we created lacked depth and appeared lacklustre in comparisson to work we created when we were being authentic. Copying what someone else has done, for example in a class, can often feel like a struggle or perhaps doesnt come out the way we want it to because we are trying too hard to do what the artist in front of us is showing us – we are not working from our authentic self, we are trying to be something we are not, expecting to recreate exactly the same type of work as they have. It leaves us feeling let down inside, not very good – ‘hell I cant even paint, whats the point I cant draw this Im giving up art forever!!!!’ (-kidding-)
However…
If we attend a workshop/class with the intention of learning new ways of creating art but in our own style, we are going to have a lot of fun with it.
Copying and emulating others limits the flow of our own perfect potential as an artist.
‘A fragment from At the Beach – 2008’

Being authentic means creating from within, following the path that feels good to you, painting or sculpting, drawing or printing what makes you feel alive.

Having an authentic style of your own, doesn’t mean pinning yourself down to one type of material or subject matter – if you are true to your self, your style will shine through and be identifiable as yours.

You might ask 10 artists to draw the same scene, and I can guarantee that you would get 10 completely different paintings or works of art from them.

The beautiful thing about being an artist is that nobody will ever do anything the way you do it! They may try and copy your way of working, but it wont look the same because its not been done in an authentic way…nobody will ever see it exactly the way you have, its what makes you unique, this is what your style is!

The two works I show here are vastly different in medium and overall style, as in when you look at them you can see that one style is a lifelike reproduction of a shire horse and the other style is a more illustrative one. The shire horses were a commission piece for a wonderful gentleman in Suffolk and were painted in acrylic, the illustration was worked in watercolour, ink and crayon.

I leave it to you, my reader to determine whether or not you would distinguish them to be by the same artist or not, and perhaps some of you would say they were and others would say not.

But I know that when I created both of these pieces they were done authentically, I worked in my own style and the work felt good.

I think this is something that Im going to come back to again sometime, its a trap I sometimes fall into myself and this will be a great reminder to myself to keep it simple, to work from the heart.

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3 thoughts on “Inspired Style

  1. If we attend a workshop/class with the intention of learning new ways of creating art but in our own style, we are going to have a lot of fun with it.Copying and emulating others limits the flow of our own perfect potential as an artist.I SO agree with this!I don’t want to by tied to one ‘style’ but be able to experiment and play with ideas and media, producing different things – but they must be ‘me’ and not simply lifted from other peoples ideas

  2. “Having an authentic style of your own, doesn’t mean pinning yourself down to one type of material or subject matter – if you are true to your self, your style will shine through and be identifiable as yours.” I love this! I always want to keep pushing myself, trying new things, new materials, but sometimes wonder if it will look like art that I’ve created. I do think if I focus on being true to myself, my heart will come through in my work! I need to remember that! Very cool discussion!

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