Know Who You Are as an Artist

No artist is a complete original.

Our inspirations come from many sources: the world around us with its natural beauty, from personal life experiences, from the variety of people and places we’ve been exposed to, and often from the work of other artists we admire.

As we recognize certain elements in the work of others, what draws us in? Masterful use of color or composition, shapes and textures that appeal…something there that compels us to learn and experiment, putting our own spin on what we see.

Are you still searching for your style? You’re in the discovery phase and exploring what will work for you. When a specific artist draws you to their work repeatedly, ask yourself why. Maybe it’s the theme or subject, the medium they use, the quiet confidence of the work or the bold textures. Instructors regularly push their students in different directions in order to help them discover what feels most natural to them. 

It’s unique to each artist.

Practice your technical skills regularly if you want to see progress…and step out of your everyday comfort zone. Exercise those art muscles with some variety: try tight sketches, thumbnails, going big and bright or switching to soft and smaller. Experiment with oils, cold wax techniques, watercolor and acrylics. Not everything will be a fit, but concentrate on having fun and keep your expectations realistic.

What you visualized may turn into something completely different on the easel…

A mistake?

Not always! 

You may create something unexpected that you love! Good art often happens when you become more relaxed, open and playful.

Be patient with yourself as you discover your unique artistic voice.

Discovering who you are as an artist takes a balance: hard work as well as incorporating art into your daily life and bringing your own personality into your work. A lucky few know right away but for most it won’t happen overnight. But it will happen.

 Keep working and you’ll get your own “ah ha!” moment.

What was yours? Share with us in the comment section and keep creating!

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