There is a lot of feedback out there nowadays saying that if you want to get your artwork seen in galleries or even try to become “famous” that you have to create your own style.
Hearing this a lot of people make one more assumption: this means you are stuck with one style for the rest of your life, too.
I don’t know who told you this, but I’m here to tell you today it is a lie that you have to stick to one style in your art.
Hi, my name is Carrie Brummer and here on Artist Strong I help creatives like you build your skill and develop your unique artist voice. Today I want to talk about the belief that being known for a single style means you’ll be boxed in and stuck.
You can be known for, sell or focus on exhibiting a single style of art you are known for while also mixing things up, challenging yourself, and doing work that isn’t confined to a single box.
A lot of people have this assumption about artists from history as well, that they stuck to one style. What’s happened is many have been recognized or celebrated for a single part of their artistic journey, that doesn’t mean artists only created art in that single style!
Contemporary artist Kara Walker is one example of working in multiple media to share her message and artistic exploration. She is often known for her paper cut silhouettes but she has also created work in paint and large scale sculptures.
Here’s the thing. When you look at her work you can see a connecting thread, or style, between media because she has created it. That doesn’t mean she’s been boxed into one idea or one style. It means it’s her art!
I have a hunch that a lot of artists we think of as successful have done a lot of experimentation and play but since we haven’t spent the time studying and looking at their art across their entire lives, we draw assumptions about them being pigeonholed or kept to one style.
Ultimately, the only person that can box yourself into one style is you.
Let’s pause here a moment to thank today’s sponsor. This post from Artist Strong is brought to you by The Artist Strong Studio, our community of patrons who believe in and wish to support this community. You can become part of the Artist Strong Studio for a small monthly commitment as low as 1 dollar a month. To learn more visit https://www.patreon.com/ArtistStrong.
A special thank you to current patrons, I couldn’t do this work without your support.
And If you enjoyed today’s video, please subscribe to my channel and stay up to date with all of Artist Strong’s free content.
Your cart is rolling down the hill while the horse is standing and watching. Artists create. Viewers debate the results and choose a label that they feel fits.
Too many creatives stop creating when they get caught up in these supposed “should’s” or “should-nots.” Let’s all make more art.
Yep I agree… it’s unfortunate that people believe the dogma in the art world… but sadly, far too many do…Create for yourself… from the heart… But do it to the highest standard you can and if that means studying things that you need to know.. do it if you want to improve. Intuition is always best … it becomes even more powerful when combined with related (theory) knowledge. Real artists do create and they do it to a high standard, regardless of what galleries, art dogma or the public think. I’ve done that for 50 years (and more) and my work sells well, as a bonus. Don’t stick to one thing … try all sorts of skills… The same design and colour knowledge applies to many mediums and skills. Push yourself and listen to your heart! I work in a huge range of mediums and skills… long live variation!
Thank you for sharing Penny! I hope your comment inspires others to see possibilities in their own art.
I know a very good and well-known artist who tells people who visit her studio that it may look like there are 5 artists’ works there, but it’s all her own. I have had people try to tell me I need to pick a style or a medium. Well, I might actually be better at any one of them if I did that, but I’m doing this for me, not to make a living. If the subject tells me to paint it in acrylic instead of watercolour then so be it. If it just wants pen and ink, that’s what it gets. I’m enjoying myself and nothing else matters.
YES Karen! You do you. That’s the whole point 🙂 I want everyone to feel empowered in this way. <3 Thanks so much for sharing and adding so much value to this conversation.
I follow several instructors and I believe I will probably take away from each what I believe is best for myself!
That’s the goal, isn’t it? Good for you Paul! All of those together make your unique voice.
I think that diversifying keeps me on my toes to newness… to surprise! I want to always be learning and discovering. And what I discover in one style or medium might be applicable, in general or specific ways to others. Thank you , Carrie, for your passion for art and your concern for and encouragement of other artists!
Thank you for sharing and being here Clover <3 🙂