Sunday, September 26, 2010

A question of personal style






The question of personal style when being an artist, has - if not haunted - then bothered me for a long period.

I've read in several places that you have to develop a distinct style, which I think means a personal style, that will naturally grow as you work. And I agree on that, but percieved it in a wrong way.

That statement together with the statement of the importance of not confusing gallery-owners/dealers/judges etc by showing them different styles, which will lead them to not take your art in, as they don't see a connected body of work, got me depressed. At the same time, I understood the importance of clients/people wanting to be able to recognize the specific artist.

Now - this has droven me nuts, and I've read other skilled artists having the same thoughts as me.
I know many artists works only in one media all the time, and that's great - for them. They must have another temper than me.
I am the kind of artist that like to explore, experiment, try out, draw and paint all kinds of ways and with different medias. Of cause, I also want to have an income from my art, I do not neglect the business side of it. Neither do I neglect the importance of practice!

I got a bit mad, that the persons selling our art, would at the same time supress some of the very characteristics of being an artistic soul. I do not mean that artists working in the same media and concept are not artistic souls. But some fit better into boxes than others. Or they find satisfaction staying in the same line of work.

What I didn't see clearly - being in the stage of "not knowing what you don't know" - was that I can be as free and experimental as I want, and still fit into the artworlds boxes.

The problem was, that I believed that I should see my one and only personal style, throughout all my artwork - despite technique, motif, media etc. And I got confused, resignedly and not able to do so.

When the thing is, that I do have personal style in those media, techniques etc. where I have worked the most. And in time I will develop more personal style in the medias still a bit unknown to me.

But the style are not similar across media.

So to satisfie the artworld box, I should just think of showing only one media at the same presentation - or perhaps two, but be clear about my awareness of this representing two different sides of me.


It was such a liberation to accept that ! And I hope fellow artists, struggling with the same issues, will find this to be true for them too.


Our artistic soul gains nothing from restrictions or tight boxes. Then we produce art only having business in mind. I am sure art gains from visions, goal-setting, experiments, working-hours and much more.


Follow your hearth and dreams. Happy drawing and painting!