ArtSHINE Bright Star: Ann Hutchinson
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As artists and designers’ coaches, we’ve discovered that many spend months, if not years, chasing their elusive signature style, which distinguishes them as artists. Some artists become stuck on it and find it difficult to move on until they figure it out.
The first mistake is that artists believe that having defined their distinctive painting style they should stick to it in similar mediums forever. For example, if you’re a still-life artist working in watercolour, that’s you. Or an acrylic artist painting florals remain in that defining style. That is not inspiring. It doesn’t pique curiosity and is not appealing to an artist. Fortunately, you don’t
have to do that. Defining your style as an artist is more about having a common thread that ties your work together.
Artists love to evolve, adjust and explore, try new things, like the uncertainty of happy accidents and experimenting. This could be using unusual colour combinations, the way they make marks, or the way you approach your subject and your viewpoint on it. It could be that your process heavily influences your style as that produces results.
Additionally, your style is influenced by how you view the world as an artist and what you’re passionate about. Using the example of landscape, if Artist A is all about shapes and graphic forms, their landscape will look different to Artist B, who is all about energy and movement. Artist A would have more of a block, graphic quality to their work, whereas Artist B’s approach would be very expressive.
They are still painting the same topic and subject matter, but because they come at it from their point of passion, they’re creating very different pieces of artwork. The same goes for whether you paint seascapes, the human form, or still life.
When we think about style, don’t get hung up on the medium and the subject. Just see and find what that common thread is.