When I was in my graduate program at Columbia College Chicago, one of my professors insisted that if I wanted to make it in the art world, I had to focus on creating a collection of similar works of art to get noticed. That moment affected me profoundly, and for the longest time I struggled with this idea of finding my style. Eventually I realized that many of the great artists experimented with different styles; some throughout their entire lives. The thing about listening to other people’s advice is that while you should always take it into consideration, if it doesn’t sit well with you, let it go!
When it comes to creating art, my style often changes depending on the mood that I’m in. At times I am very meticulous, striving for the utmost perfection, making every effort to capture the smallest detail. At other times my emotions control the brush, pushing out all of those uncontrollable feelings onto canvas. While perhaps there are subtle similarities throughout, one can clearly see different styles in my work.
I draw, I paint, and yes, sometimes I’m even a printmaker. I’m messy, controlled, and often somewhere in between. The beautiful thing about being an artist (and human for that matter) is that I’m filled with emotions and affected by my surroundings, situations, and choices. All of these factors influence the variety of styles and subject matter in my artwork, in turn providing intrinsic value and meaning.
Some may say that I haven’t quite decided what kind of artist I want to be. It’s similar to how most if not all of us stereotype others. We want to categorize and compartmentalize everyone and everything into little, concise groups because it makes us feel that there is a certain order to the world.
I say, however, that constricting yourself to a particular style or niche with the sole purpose of building a collection for the big guys, only hinders your creativity. If we do not change, we do not grow.
To all of you rising artists out there making personal and meaningful work, make something new, innovate, break the rules, and never feel as though you can’t change your process or style. The answer is always yes you can!
Stories about how art inspires and changes us.