Friday, April 27, 2012

Defining My Style

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!

41 comments:

  1. Very lovely!
    Isn't it fun to discover everything!!!

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  2. I love the hop from one thing to another... I used to be just like that in an extreme way and now I find that there is less hopping and more standing in one place, which is great... I would have said you had a distinct style and I bet if you pulled out a whole heap of work and arranged them all so that you can see them you would see your style shines through... love the page too... just perfectly ...xx

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  3. I love the page, the colors are sweet and just have fun doing what you like doing. :o)

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  4. I love your "lettering" page. Fabulous! You just keep exploring to find what makes you happiest to do. I'm sure your style is there waiting for you to "discover" as you look at what you've created. Happy PPF!

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  5. Lettering is a real art! You do it so well.
    HPPF!!!!

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  6. Love the picture...looks great. It's healthy to hop about and try new things. You'll find what suits you and all that hopping will be worth it...and your having fun while your hopping. All sounds good to me.

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  7. Fabulous page! I say just do what you wanna do, be who you wanna be, go where you wanna go whenever you feel like it. btw I've always admired your lettering anyway but this is really lovely. Chrisx

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  8. I really like the lettering. Beautiful!

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  9. Beautiful page. Stop worrying and enjoy the adventures. Happy PPF, Annette x

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  10. Style do not need search for it, your what you have, we all have but we do not realize, only sees the spectator. Saludos

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  11. Well, it seems to me that you have an amazing talent for lettering - something I am rubbish at!! I do know exactly what you mean as I see so many talented artists using a certain medium or a certain technique and think how much I want to try it too. I suppose I have a style in that I mostly use pointillism regardless of the medium but I still like to try new things and, who knows, maybe there's a different style I'll end up adopting that I like even better. I think it's good to try out different things - it keeps you inspired and as Tracey said I bet if you put your work together you'd see a common theme running through them in terms of style!

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  12. Ooooh, your lettering is beautiful, something I am no good with at all.

    I read something recently about research that says some of us are "scanners", always interested in learning something new rather than focusing on one area.

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  13. I like what you've said. "A little step may be the beginning of a great journey." It's a wonderful thought. Love your piece. Thanks for stopping by my PPF! Have a great weekend.

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  14. OH, I have had those feelings too! I decided I am amassing a variety of skills that will be useful at the right time. For example, the work in customer service I did owning a restaurant gave me a great advantage as a school teacher. The digi scrapbooking I did for fun has been extremely handy when making newsletters, flyers for events, and things like that. I never expected some of my arty skills to be so handy in other areas of my life. I decided to just trust my instincts so if I wanted to sample every art form that got within arms reach- then that was okay. It's purpose would be revealed to me at some point, just not now.

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  15. Hi Molly, I agree with what others are saying. As long as you are enjoying the ride, don't feel guilty. Many of the mediums have similar criteria for making good art. Your journal is off to a good start. Beautiful lettering is definitely an art form, and something you can use in many areas of your life ever after. Thank you for your comment on my blog. happy PPF

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  16. I really love this! Both the beautiful lettering and the painted stepping stones.
    Personally, I love learning new things and like signing up to take art workshops to learn new techniques.
    Michaelangelo has a great quote: "I am still learning."

    ♥♥♥
    Happy PPF!!
    Mary
    Mixed-Media Map Art

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  17. Happy PPF and thanks for your nice comment on my blog. I don't do all my drawing in the moment.. I take photos and use them.. at least until the rain quits and I can get outside to do life things.. so you can do that too. I make notes of what attracted me to something also. I think maybe journaling would be good for you as you can do it all in one place and use the journal as a spring board into a painting or something else that the journal work inspired you to do. Happy hunting for what you like as that's fun also.

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  18. such a wonderful feeling to this piece, a wonderful mix between your lovely lettering and your stones.

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  19. So true! Your work is beautiful! I've been obsessing over rocks lately. Great piece! Happy PPF!

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  20. Nice post! Your work is lovely, great quote too! Valerie

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  21. Delicious stones to cross the river.

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  22. stepping stone and lettering and message are divine ~thanks, namaste, ^_^

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  23. It is so much fun to try all the different styles out there and eventually see how things start to look like you!
    rinda

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  24. Gorgeous piece..beautiful and poetic!!You are fabulous! and shine on..keep shining..do whatever makes your heart sing...
    Victoria

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  25. Beautiful lettering, .... And i agree, it's easy and tempting to skip around from one thing to another, i keep doing that too, even though i get stuck on one or two things for quite awhile. Nothing wrong with trying new things, eveually they meld together and sortof slip into one new type that's all yours! Well, that's my hope at least.

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  26. Oh, I think we all do that! I totally get it - it can be a blessing and a curse ;)
    Lovely lettering and quote here - and your watercolor blog header is beautiful too.
    Thank you for your sweet message and I hope you have a great weekend,
    Kristin xo

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  27. What a really great post. Inspiring and motivating. You go!! LOVE love your lettering, too. :)

    Happy PPF!

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  28. Wonderful lettering! Molly, don't be too hard on yourself! I think we just have to enjoy ourselves and eventually our "style" will develop. It's a subconscious thing isn't it? because if it wasn't then that would be sort of artificial. Haven't really thought this through but I think the more you expose yourself to different artists, methods, techniques, materials, then you will have the tools and inspiration you need to shine! Patsy from
    HeARTworks

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  29. Great post, I know those woes well, too. First thing you learn, when starting art : you got to have a signature style! So annoying, as my style is all overall the place, and I would hate to be stuck with only one way of doing things. So I decided I wont, and continue experimenting and enjoying myself instead.
    Love your journal page, so pretty and wonderful lettering!

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  30. Your post mede me think about my artistic road. I have always wanted to merge doodles and drawing, and finally I think I have found a way to it. I'm like you. I'm always interested in many things. But I think it's good. Curiosity is the first quality for an artist. Experimenting, changing, improving. We don't really must have one only style. Style changes with growth.
    These lettering classes you're taking are awesome!! Keep it up!

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  31. Love your post.....I totally relate to it.
    I have struggled for years with my "ART HOPPING", all into this and then that...bought all the toys for it, and there they sit.....but that's totally o.k.....WHO SAYS you have to be centered on one thing....there are NO "ART POLICE"....be exactly who you were Created to be.....CREATIVE!!!...Create and don't think about it.....

    blessings,
    Cindy♥

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  32. You sound like me. I can't settle on one form of art and have a room full of art materials from many different disciplines. I used to think there was something wrong with me, but have since discovered that I'm what is called a multi-passionate. I like to do many different things and I rotate through them obsessing on them each in turn.

    My cure is to go with the flow. Don't try to fight it, but use it to its maximum. When you want to do one thing get as much out of it as you can before you inevitably shift to the next interest. It is expensive to keep buying all that equipment, but let's face it, buying art materials is fun :D and as long as you don't strangle the budget, why not? :D

    I'm still looking for my style. I often coin myself as being an artist in search of her art. I don't think I have a style yet, but I tell you what, I'm having great fun looking for it.

    Enjoy yourself and remember only you can do your art. There is only one of you on this planet and you are unique. No one else can do what you do.

    Oh, and that lettering is divine!

    Best wishes,
    Liz

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  33. Just beautiful lettering, not an easy thing to do! Lovely piece in all.

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  34. your watercolor paintings are stunning, and your lettering is amazing !!

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  35. oh, i so LOVE this journal page!! The lettering is incredible... makes me wanna take a class RIGHT NOW!! Just beautiful.
    Love the composition, the message, everything. Thank you for sharing! Such a gorgeous watercolor.... xoxo

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  36. Wow, that is exactly how I feel. I'm still struggling to find my style so I know exactly how you feel. Glad my step by step helped, in truth I just make it up as I go along and hope it turns out.
    Love your watercolour and the writing is beautiful.
    Von :)

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  37. In reading this I think you have stated exactly what sooooooooooooooo many of us feel. I had an art collector friend once tell me I was a Sunday Artist...that means not really good just playing in paint and having fun. I was kind of depressed although it is true. I don't have the fine tuned skill or natural ability to be a "fine arts" artist. But I keep doing, searching and creating...who knows maybe someday I'll be recognizible too! ps I have several sold pieces over the years...so I take pride in that.
    cheers, dana

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  38. Fun and whimsical lettering. Very light and yet strong hand.

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  39. Molly, I love this post...your honesty! I can so relate! I think it's awesome to have lots of different interests and it's really a gift to "be inspired". I also think that we pick up what we need to learn along the way and eventually it all morphs together! I get antsy if I work on something exclusively so I jump around alot too....but I (lately) have been going back to drawing. To sketching. I like this challenge. Maybe you haven't found your challenge yet! Either way....the art, this creativity, these new discoveries benefit us in so many unseen ways! This is what I believe :D

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  40. Hi Molly,
    found you through AEDM and started jumping around your blog. Gosh, your lettering is incredibly good. I totally understand how you feel about not being able to find a distinctive style. I, too, am searching. I find myself inspired by YOU and want to learn to do lettering, unfortunately, my handwriting sucks (lefty) so I'll have to work extra hard just to be marginally adequate.

    If you'd like to stop by, I host The Artist's Play Room, every Saturday there's a new theme and a new linky to add your artwork to throughout the week. I'd love to see you join us, I see a bunch of your commenters are participants already. You'd fit right in and you may even find you have a more distinctive style than you thought as you look through both your and other's work. :o). Find me at www.JustAddWaterSilly.com, hope to see you there!
    Best,
    Jenn

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