I've been struggling lately, feeling a bit like a dilettante (well, a lot like a dilettante), playing with "artsy stuff" but to what end? I've always loved anything with a creative side and have picked up a number of "hobbies" throughout the years. I get all caught up in them, purchasing every art tool, medium, book and class to feed my obsession, but I have not ever really settled on just one thing, never really defined myself as an artist or created a signature style. I look at some of the artists who I gravitate toward and they all have a very distinctive style, even when they move outside their go-to medium, their style carries over and shines through.
In contrast, I feel like my style morphs with each new interest I have, each new class I take. I can't seem to decide whether I want to do lettering, watercolor painting, pencil sketching, portraits, landscapes, urban sketching, etc., etc., etc... Every time I see someone who does these things really well, it inspires me to want to try it. But when I focus on one or the other for too long, I start feeling uninspired, like I want to try new things.
Maybe there's nothing wrong with that. I'm not trying to foist my amateurish skills on an unsuspecting commercial audience-- although I've been tickled pink that I've had a few requests for that lately-- so maybe just following whatever interests me, without defining a style, is okay. Or maybe, someday, when I least expect it, I will be able to look at what I'm doing and see some sort of consistency, something that makes it mine.
In the meantime, I'm just going to continue learning as much as I can from those masters who inspire me. Right now, I'm doing that through Joanne Sharpe's Artful Alphabets class. Lots of great ideas from Joanne and a wonderful, sharing community of fellow students have me stuck on lettering right now. Here's my attempt to apply the lettering to something beyond just writing the alphabet (I've got my ABCs down pat now!).
And if you're looking for real inspiration, please check out what my friends at Paint Party Friday are up to this week, too!