How to find my creative style? I believe this is one of the most difficult and stressful questions for many artists, from painters to writers, they go through the same limbo.
We want to have a distinctive/original creative style, be recognized from it and if the style is successful is the cherry on top of the cake.
It’s unbelievable how until today despite being in the art world for many years in my country (Mozambique) I am still exploring and trying to uncover what is my unique art style.
Having the personality that I have, Miss never satisfied even if I have a unique or distinct style probably, I will never see it unless I change behavior, I realized I live with an invisible blind folder in my eyes.
I have the constant necessity of being Adaptive -doing things better and innovative doing things differently but taken to an extreme level.
It is overwhelming and with the abundance of art on the internet, everything is accessible real quick, it gets more difficult because the tendency is to see everything we like and admire, and try to be or have the same style as those we see but it is a total failure, we end up copying, becoming confused and dissatisfied.
That is why, it is very important to go out of our way, explore something we find interesting and getting back to study, reflect, digest and put it on paper or canvas, we have to remember that offline inspiration is very important.
When we are too dependent on external or online art we become overly inspired, and overly influenced by others perspectives and this attitude is a killer to our self-expression.
We have to learn to trust ourselves as creators, as Robbie Gass said: Like an ability or a muscle, hearing your inner wisdom is strengthened by doing it.
So many things we want to try and want to do, but this way it is impossible to build any kind of consistency.
The real questions do not give answers but good points of reflection that is why I decided to get clarity on my necessity of finding the Mystical creative style and the questions were:
If I find my Holy Grail art style, what would that mean to me? What are the beliefs and needs that I need to meet behind this necessity? Is it coming from a scarcity mindset? What will happen if I never accomplish this necessity?
And the answers were quite interesting: maybe I will be always appreciated, people will think I’m consistent, I will have more sells and would be easy to make art always, I will always be confident in my abilities, I will only make good art.
I was shocked by the answers because they were very unrealistic, my inner perfectionist was coming out strong, with brutal expectations, very much focused on the outside forgetting that life is duality, problems will always arise, mistakes are normal and nobody has to like what i do all the time.
I believe that there is this belief that when finding our creative style life will be easy peasy and that is not true, Life will be life, mistakes will happen, unsatisfaction will eventually arise, life is impermanent and will always be.
Yes, I can look recognizable (if I have a distinct art style) but will I want to do and look the same all the time? Not even with my clothes, I hate looking the same; I love changing my style and give it some spice.
With this reflection, I realized I was making art with an eye on outside approval , to dependent on what will the art world or public would say and I was acting towards my art in the wrong way.
This questioning was helpful, acted has a spiritual chiropractor because I understood a deep part of me was still struggling with perfectionism, people-pleasing mania and approval necessity, this not only happened to my art, in fact, I was transporting my inner issues, my life issues to my art; as they say, your art reflects your life.
I started to understand that there is nothing wrong wanting to find my voice but if I want to search for my own, distinct voice it had to be on a perspective of bringing my true self-expression, my life, my taste and that is when the game changes. On a personal, confident perspective, art is meaningful and can create great connections and fulfillment.Living for yourself, not for others creates confidence, Self-fulfillment, and growth.
It is important to start questioning why we are doing art. Why we want to find our style. To be loved and appraised or to express ourselves in our authentic way putting in our art what we truly love. There is no need for philosophical answers but it is important to know why? To be true to ourselves and work on the things we feel takes us down and does not make us grow and elevate, I believe we have to explore our feelings of doubt to get clarity this way we can build a healthy relationship with our life and consequently our art practice/process will get better.
Productive introspection- Focus / How to discover what we want to create
Staying rooted in clarity started to be my intention, I wanted to understand myself and excavate my dreams, searching for areas of creative interest, practice and listen to my intuition.
Observe, disconnect from social media, go to museums, Buy and read books are fuel to the creative mind. The simple act of stepping outside of my house and going to a library and spend time searching, exploring, and not simply have something already made on the internet, It is an exercise of finding what I like; I am actively choosing the images, words that captivate me.
As Henry Miller said: Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, in things, literature, music- The world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.
Finding my treasures, study the technique and composition of old masters and then step away from it, let go and focus on me, on my creative process, on being me.
The process of taste excavation can be messy, but it is rewarding and fun. Using a sketchbook to achieve focus, collecting, arranging inspirational images, reflecting on them and then generate your inspiration. Then see how you are going to decipher that information’s on the paper or canvas. It is the way to develop the artistic language we feel most connected.
It’s crucial to not take ourselves to seriously in this process but having a consistent routine and not wondering around will help to have a clearer understanding.
Productive introspection is the chapel cysteine to create clarity and change, and these aids in integrating the new self-awareness on a solid ground of confidence. The practice can be painful, annoying but will bring us valid gains our identity will be more clear and we will be confident of what we want to transport to the canvas or writing no matter if people will approve of it or not.
When we observe our lives mindfully, we meet ourselves with joy and we meet our self-expression, gaining creative identity and losing the false self we were sustaining.
All you need to do to receive guidance is to ask for it and then listen.
There are many ways to do one thing /Experimenting
The artist by nature as a curious artistic mind, and we should use this curiosity to experiment, explore different mediums and not be on a rush or feeling like we are wasting time while experimenting, there is a nice saying I heard somewhere that goes like this:
….but do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to write, paint, know my style? Yes,… the same age you will be if you don’t, so let’s start.
Time will always exist, and I understand that sometimes we want to work against him and achieve success in the speed of light, but things do not work this way. The societal pressure makes us feel that we need to conquer everything fast, but everything in life takes is own time.
To achieve what we want we cannot skip the process of practice, error, changing routes eventually all these situations are part of discovering oneself.
It is important to not expect too much too soon, delayed rewards it is a behavior to learn. Growth must have time to solidify.
We have to meet what arises, develop the quality of patience, and let go of expectations and comparisons because it will not take us far.
Exploring our creativity with less fear, Recovering a sense of safety, Having a playful approach to art, doing artist dates are important to spark creativity and encounter our creative voice; For example, Using a sketchbook to collect images, draw and dream helps a lot and over time, the creative style will come out. I am learning that our art style is a combination of our voice, techniques, color choices, compositions and subject matter. So it is important to not rush, we are not competing with anybody we are on our path.
To believe in God or a guiding force because someone tells you to is the height of stupidity. We are given senses to receive our information. With our own eyes, we see, and with our skin, we feel. With our intelligence, it is intended that we understand. But each person must puzzle it out for himself or herself.
By Experimenting, we will find what we do not like and consequently, we can focus on what we like. For example, I discovered a deep connection with beauty, wellness objects that can serve rituals, architecture, interior design, and landscapes. Those are things I most love, and most photograph every single travel, and daily.
I always loved and was inspired by these things, but I never wanted to take out or experiment and understand how to put it on paper/canvas because I was so afraid of judgment from the outside world fearing they would think it is a frivolous non-valid topic to paint. But has time passed I have found that there is no such thing as a non-valid experience, art topic or view, our voices, and experiences are all important.
I was also afraid to experiment because I was attached to results and the fear of failure so I did not experiment, practice. The ideas would remain on my brain consequently I would procrastinate continuously imagining what could it be forgetting that art is an Exercise of self-discovery, an exercise in spontaneity, it takes is own time and we have to let it be.
All the arts we practice are apprenticeship .the big art is our life.
I believe that we have to be grounded in our reality, in the particular, the well-observed. We need to observe ourselves to understand what do we like and put it on paper.
As a final point to my reflections, I believe as long as we have a mindful approach to our creativity, process, and taste, we will feel more integrated with our practice and consequently create joy and faith in our creative journey; and as I was saying previously, we don’t have to be in a rush, wanting to achieve things fast so everybody can see and applaud or impress ourselves , instant gratification is not sustainable, we have to focus, and be ourselves and only then our creative style will flourish considering also that maybe one day it might change, and that is perfectly okay, we don’t have to stay always the same.