I am always amazed that each year when I make a commitment to my goals (i.e., write them down and revisit often), stuff starts to happen; opportunities, information and key people appear before me! Since I read Maggie Stiefvater's blog regularly, it was no suprise then that Maggie is currently writing about, you guessed it, Style: Maggie on Style Part I and Maggie on Style Part II.
Another wonderful artist/blogger/teacher, Katherine Tyrrell, who I also read regularly on Making a Mark, (if you are a colored pencil artist or generally like to draw, go directly to her blog!) recently posted a comment stating that she bagan to identify her style when she began to organize her work for posting purposes.
Ahhh, now I had somewhere to start. So I decided to dig out some really distinct styles of work, all using colored pencil, from the past 3 to 4 years. As you can see, I have been all over the place! But, when I made the decision to "BE an ARTIST" I also decided to not play it safe and instead, to experiment and take some risks. My good friend and artist, Linda Wesner, took a look at some of my work and said "Good for you; you're playing in your sandbox!"
I am very, very comfortable rendering fairly strong realistic work, which I am not unhappy with. And yet....
Obviously, my work can be very, very different, so here's my plan:
- To look again, this time very closely, at my work and to analyze it based on: (a) what has sold; (b) what pleases me as a finished piece; and (c) which ones I enjoyed creating.
- To try to find some common denominators within all of my work.
- To take those commonalities and bring them together in some more experiemental pieces.
- And then, start the process all over again and, eventually, begin to see my distinct style emerge!
I don't know if this will work for me; I will keep you posted. My thinking may be contrary to what many people think, but I do see my art as work, work I love, but work nonetheless. And like any successful work, it takes planning, thought and constantly honing your craft.
In the meantime, I'll be in my sandbox, and happily so.