ArtSHINE Bright Star: Sillier Than Sally
Art Licensing: https://artshinelicensing.com/artists/sillier-than-sally/
If you are an artist, you may have thought or asked yourself, “What is my art style?”
At ArtSHINE we ask this question “What is your QUIRK?”
When you first start out as an artist, you may feel like you have to have your own look and voice that people can recognise. The kind of unique style that makes people recognise your work right away.
There isn’t a simple, clear-cut way to figure out what your art style is. Instead, it’s something that changes and grows as you go along your creative path. You don’t just figure it out one day.
It’s okay if you haven’t found your style yet.
This blog post explains what styles of art are and how each artist comes up with their own. It also asks questions to help you find and develop your own style.
WHAT IS A STYLE OF ART?
There are many different kinds of art. How these different kinds of art look are what gives them their styles. It shows what an artist thinks and how they see and interpret the world.
We might see a painting by Claude Monet that called out French impressionism, a Renaissance masterpiece by Leonardo De Vinci, or one of Pablo Picasso’s styles of painting using monochrome brownish and neutral colours.
Your style as an artist should be a reflection of your own voice.
Do you like soft, muted colours or splashes of bright, bold colours?
Do you want to get people to care about the environment or another good cause?
How do you want your ideas to look on canvas or paper?
You don’t have to know everything there is to know about art in order to make your own.
Have you ever thought about what style of art you like the most and tried to imitate in your own paintings?
If you like a few different styles, that will help you find your own. Think of it as the inspiration you need to build your own style and artistic voice.
Here is an exercise you can get started:
Find and write down at least three of your favourite kinds of art. If you don’t know where to start, just ask Google and type “painting art styles” or “types of art styles” into the search bar of your browser and read some of the articles that come up.
Then, write down three things about each style that you like, love, or find interesting. Again, there are no wrong answers. This exercise is meant to help you figure out what you like and don’t like
Some things you might like about a certain style are the shapes, colours, bold paint strokes, simplicity, complexity, the subjects, how real or abstract it looks, a mix of different mediums, etc.
If you don’t want to do homework right now or you already know which art styles you like, you can skip this Action Item and keep reading.
HOW DO ARTISTS FIND THEIR OWN STYLE?
So how do other artists find their style in the end?
How can an artist or creator set themselves up for success?
1. BE PATIENT.
You can’t make yourself come up with something new. We all know how frustrating it is. We worked with a young artist a few years back, I remember she was wanting so badly to have her own style right then so she could make great art whenever she wanted.
It doesn’t quite work like that. Finding your style takes a lifetime, so try to enjoy it along the way. It will make your journey as an artist so much more rewarding and make it less likely that you will get tired of it or give up.
2. PRACTICE. PRACTICE. PRACTICE AND A LOT OF PRACTICE
You know. If a creative person wants to make great things right now, this is the most boring answer. But you can’t get around it. Like any other skill, you have to put time and effort into your art if you want to get better at it.
When you practise, you learn something new. With this knowledge, you’ll grow and understand more. The last thing is style.
Here are a few ways to keep getting ideas while you keep doing what you like to draw or paint best:
Keep a sketchbook with you so you can doodle it when ideas come to you.
Follow some YouTube creators and artists who show how they do what they do.
Joining a structured online course through sites like Coursera, Udemy or Skillshare
Even if it’s only 5 minutes a day, set aside time every day to practise.
Go outside, find a place to watch people, and draw what you see.
Take part in online art challenges which give you a drawing prompt for every day of the month.
It’s better to practise regularly several times a week than to do it all at once in a while. Pick a way to practise that works for you and keep doing it.
3. TRY NEW THINGS
Great artists aren’t afraid to try new things or try things they haven’t done before. Experimenting is a great way to learn about different kinds of art, and it should be a regular part of your creative process.
Taking risks always pays off. Even if you try a new medium or style of art and it doesn’t turn out well, that’s a success! That means you don’t have to try out another medium or style while you figure out what you like you might already be working on some side projects and experiments, but if you don’t know where to start, making a simple list of art styles or mediums you want to try could be very helpful. Make sure you allocate time for you to explore different techniques, this type of practice and learning can help you refine your styles.
This is just an example, but try it out and have fun! You could try different styles with the same medium, or you could draw the same thing over and over with different mediums.
The most important thing is to try things out with an open mind and without judging what you come up with.
4. INSPIRE /EMULATE OTHER ARTISTS AND LEARN FROM THEM
So, here’s the deal. It’s great to practise, try new things, and be patient, but to really learn, you need to look at what other artists are doing.
Most artists would agree that it’s no longer possible to make art that is completely unique. Everyone is affected by someone or something that came before them.
It is very important for artists to find other artists they like and admire and try to emulate the things they like about their work. pick out the styles or the techniques that you like and introduce them into your own work.
From my own experience and working with thousands of artists that if you keep on painting or creating, in a year or even a few months, your style will be defined and keep evolving and this is the magic and beauty of creating your art.
To figure out how to improve your style, you need to emulate what other artists do and learn from them.
BUT ISN’T IT BAD TO COPY or EMULATE ANOTHER ARTIST’S STYLE?
Let me explain this:
When you take someone else’s work and pass it off as your own, you are stealing.
Stealing is when you try to make money by copying someone else’s work as close as you can.
This is wrong. You are taking an artist’s work without permission. Do not do this, please.
When you use parts of the work of other artists to make something that is your own, you are not stealing. It’s a way to learn.
When you trace or copy the work of another artist just to learn or practise, you are not stealing. It is progress.
Plagiarism is when you copy someone else’s written words. Stealing is when you take another artist’s work with the intent to sell it or claim it as your own.
There are a lot of very creative people in the world who are always taking what they see in the work of other artists and turning it into something else.
You can listen to music by tens of thousands of other artists. In the past, artists had to learn from other artists through apprenticeships or by reading about art styles in books. Now, you can find many different art styles on the internet to learn from.
Smart artists copy or emulate the artists they admire so you can find your own style and how you are only as good an artist as the artists you hang out with.
So, don’t be afraid to like and even copy the work of another artist. Just make sure you’re doing it to get better and find your own style.
Another way to find art styles is by using the right keywords or hashtags to find them. Example: Looking for #oilpainting or #negativepainting helped you discover artist work that resonates with your art style. In fact, you can ask to Google anything and you will be surprised what you discovered.
Once you discovered a style you like, Spend a few minutes on each artist’s work and think about what you like about it. Is it the subjects they paint? the way they use their brushes or the colours they use? Is it their message or their voice that makes their work important? What about their art made you fall in love with it?
If you take the time to figure out WHY you like these artists, you’ll be able to figure out how to develop your own style and voice.
5. OTHER WAYS TO FIND YOUR UNIQUE STYLE AS AN ARTIST
Okay, so you know you need to practise a lot, try new things, and all that good stuff. But what are some other, more concrete things you can do right now that will help you find your art style?
Here are some more ways that can help you:
Find elements or patterns in the painting or design you’ve done before.
When you look at your past work, you can see patterns, especially if you always paint the same things or use the same medium. This is how I coached artists/surface designers to take out elements from their art and use them to create pattern designs.
Artists are often their own worst critics, which makes it hard to look at their own work objectively. But try to see it as if it were the work of a good friend.
For example, when I looked through my artist’s works, I can define their unique style from the different paintings they created. I always look for the common threads in their art.
When you get into the flow state and enjoy what you’re painting or drawing and it seems to come easily, it’s worth pursuing!
Here is food for thought: if you’re painting something you love and it makes you happy, you’re on the right track. Paint the subjects or the themes you love or enjoy.
When you look back at what you’ve done, ask yourself these questions:
What does all of my art have in common? (pictures of people, buildings, nature, etc.
What kinds of art are you making?
What kinds of art are you using to make this happen? (watercolour, oil, pastel, pencil etc)
What paintings look like they were easy to make?
Which ones took a long time to make or finish?
When you are starting out, you may not have lots of work for you to review. don’t worry about that. We all started the same from ground zero.
Keep working on what makes you happy and what you want to draw or paint. The art you make should always push you, but it should also be fun.
6. JOIN ART CLASSES OR GROUPs ONLINE OR OFFLINE
There are a lot of places online where you can talk to other people and share your work in a space that lets you give and receive constructive feedback.
You can talk with other artists, both young and old, those who are just starting out and those who are the best at what they do.
One of my favourite places to learn is also YouTube. It’s free, easy to use, and full of tutorials and tips for new artists.
Take the time to find an artist you like and subscribe to them. They will help you grow as an artist and give you a lot of ideas.
7. ASK YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Lastly, ask your family and friends what they like about your art.
Isn’t it true that friends and family know best?
Everyone has a different opinion about art, but your friends and family should know a lot about who you are and what you like to paint.
They might be able to help you with your work in ways you hadn’t thought of or give you ideas you hadn’t thought of.
I hope that this long blog post will give you some ideas. Don’t forget that every painting you finish and every hour you spend practising grows your style and voice as an artist.
Everyone has to start somewhere. Each person moves at his or her own pace. Be patient with yourself, enjoy the process, and give yourself permission to try new things as you go along your creative path. Your style will emerge.
Want to learn more?
We’re here to help you to take action just like we’ve helped thousands of other entrepreneurs, business owners and creative professionals all around the globe.
Now is the time to let your passion SHINE.
Now is the time to Make Tomorrow Today!
To your success,
Vinh Van Lam & Stuart Horrex
Your Coaches ArtSHINE industries