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Seek and You Shall Find: Why this saying does not apply to “finding” your style

An art style is discovered!

This is because to find something means that it already exists. That which will be your art style is new and untouched.

If you want a style that truly speaks to who you are—something that is unique and special to you—all you need is patience. Being patient with yourself and your development are two important steps to discovering your art style. A style will reveal itself overtime; through perhaps trials and errors or the improvement of your skills.

Your style may be comprised of bits and pieces of other artists you admire.

You are not stealing someone’s style simply by being inspired by them. But as the saying goes, "a good artist borrows, a great artist steals"! One reason why you should not force the finding or development of a style is because you may find yourself creating nothing other than a very close copy of another artist’s work. Yet, by exploring different artists’ styles that inspire you, picking out bits and pieces of their work that you really enjoy, and incorporating it into yours in a unique way, you are essentially building up and developing something that is specific to you.

Style is not always defined by how an artist draws, paints, etc., but with what they use to define their work.

A-hah! Palette knives, fingers, string, a swinging bucket, or even specific colors are all different techniques that are or can be incorporated into an artist’s work to characterize their style. Canadian Artist Callen Schaub is known for his abstract art, and his style is defined in the way that he uses pendulums and other objects to make amazing designs! Have fun with discovering your way of working and utilizing the tools around you. The best way to discover your style is by letting yourself go and exploring which colors, techniques, and tools speak to you the most.

Realizing that you have a style may not actually be obvious.

It took me going back in time to realize that I indeed had a style! It wasn’t until I looked back at old paintings and drawings that I realized that I was developing a style from the very beginning, and slowly it was revealing itself to me. What I saw was a steady progression of the use of different elements and techniques that pleased me the most, and then the improvement of those elements and techniques throughout the years, until it was a clear and defined style. If you think that you have not discovered your style, it may be that it's still developing into something more apparent and therefore needs more time.

Evolution of Artist Angel Allen

I bet you that if you were to take a look at your art from the past and compare it to your more recent work, you would see a clear and steady pattern evolving, and that pattern may very well be the evolution of your style! If you're just beginning your art journey, don't panic. This is the moment to have fun, explore other artists, and get inspired!

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