As artists, we often fear that we don’t have a unique style or voice in our art. It’s a concern that is hard to define and style typically evolves over time. Many artists argue that they don’t want the restriction of being subject to one style or message. But who exactly said you have to have the same style? Picasso was successful during his lifetime and he certainly had multiple styles and forms of artistic expression. Despite the change in style, there are still shared qualities in all his work that make it distinctly his. 

Let art historians and critics debate over those details. Just make your art. By the virtue of your decision to create it, there will be similarities because all of your art has one thing in common: YOU.

I wonder if the fear of not having a unique voice is an excuse to avoid trying to sell or promote our art? We all have a unique voice, but we have to make art regularly to have it consistently show in our work. And art can take a long time! This is why batching is your friend.

Hey there! 👋 I’m Carrie. Here on Artist Strong, I help self-taught artists with home studios who feel stuck with their art move from wondering what’s next to confidently expressing themselves through unique, original art. To date, thousands have joined the community.

👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽 If you feel like gaps in your learning hold you back from making your best art, sign up and watch my workshop, “How to Create Art from Your Imagination.” It’s completely free, and the link is in the description below.

What is Batching?

Batching is a process inspired by the production line invented by Ford when cars were first being produced. It’s where you take a chunk of time to focus on one kind of task, like writing or painting, to increase your productivity. Research shows that interruptions and context switching slow us down (see the book Deep Work, which I’ve linked below). Choosing one kind of task limits that context switching and helps you get more accomplished.

When it comes to creating Artist Strong content, I will write several articles by hand. Then, I’ll batch typing them up and finally, recording them. It’s way faster than doing those three steps for each individual article.

I also use this to my advantage. If I feel like writing, then I’ll write as much as I can, which hopefully covers the days I don’t feel like writing. It gives me greater flexibility and freedom with my day.

Why Batching Your Art Is Important

Lanterns being batched, paintings in progress by Carrie Brummer

I regularly encourage artists to work in a series (my video and article Why artists work in series is linked here). It’s a means by which we can dig a little deeper to investigate our voice, and be more conscious of our artistic decisions.

A series is a collection of 5 to 25 artworks that share some kind of connecting thread: it could be a message, the medium, theme, or more.

In the context of art, batching is when you create multiple artworks at once, all following a similar theme or investigation. For example, I once batched a series of small paintings reflecting imagery of Arabic lanterns. Each composition was different, but I used similar colors in all of them. 

First I draw out multiple compositions all at once (batching). Afterwards, I would choose one color to work with and then paint it into all of the works in progress (batching again).

There are so many ways batching can help our art.

Why Batching Your Art Is Important

Lanterns being batched, paintings in progress by Carrie Brummer

How is Batching Helpful to Artists?

1. Consistency and Productivity:

   – If you want to sell and exhibit your art, consistency supports this goal. Many people mistake consistency for being stuck with one style for life. You’re not. But you do need many works of similar style to share and sell together. Batching not only makes this consistency obvious in the work, but it also makes it faster to produce more work.

2. Developing Your Unique Style:

   – If you are seeking a unique style and feel like it’s still hidden, batching challenges you to stick with an idea, technique, or medium longer than a single artwork. Real learning and growth occur when we stick with something, dig a little deeper, and get more curious about it. 

I once painted a series of women from history, all at the same time with a similar color palette. This focus led me to my first series to win a grant and enjoy a solo exhibition. It’s not like a Ford production line where workers do a single task repeatedly. We are not making copies or replicas. Instead, batching is an opportunity to make more art, refine our unique voice, and push our art to new levels.

If you’re ready to make art a priority in your life and want to explore making art in a unique style, I have just the thing. It’s called Self-Taught to Self-Confident, and it will help you move from feeling stuck, wondering what’s next to confidently creating a series of artworks that you can share with loved ones (and even sell).

Choose a time from my calendar here so we can discuss where you are at with your art, where you want to be, and how to get where you want to go.

Three Ways to Use Batching in Your Art Practice

  1. Do Your Underpaintings Together:

   – I create a monochrome underpainting to guide my application of color and value especially in my portraits. I use raw umber and white paint or gesso. When I have the medium out, I’ll use it on three or more pieces at a time to jumpstart a bunch of art and help me loosen up and get out of my head.

  1. Share a Color Palette Across Works:

   – If you’re sharing a color palette across the series of works, it’s way easier to paint in the unique shade of teal you created, and all of the works at once rather than storing or having to mix the color all over again.

  1. Create Multiple Compositions from a Single Image:

   – Explore different compositions from a single image. What happens with a vertical versus horizontal frame? What if you crop it differently? This can be a great way to study composition and give you a series of artworks with a clear connecting thread.


“I’m not a production line.”

One of the complaints and or unspoken arguments I hear is that this is simply the Ford production line. It quietly implies artwork created like this isn’t creative.

A true production line has many workers all doing a single task over and over and over again.

We are not making copies or replicas of a single design over and over again. Nor are we sharing these tasks with other artists to create this work (though this practice was common during the Renaissance). But we can see this as an opportunity to make more art, and better develop our unique voice and style. So, instead of being void of creativity, it may offer exactly the limitations you need to start pushing your art to new levels. Let batching set you free!

Why Batching Your Art Is Important

Lanterns being batched, paintings in progress by Carrie Brummer

“I don’t want to feel pigeon-holed.”

Some artists express fears of being pigeon-holed by an idea. And yes, in some ways, you will be when people start to buy your art. A client buys an artwork because they like it. That generally means they will likely want more of the same. But if you have an overarching theme or idea that runs through your work, you still have plenty of room for exploration.

You should be able to generate a community of clients with versatile tastes. 

For example, with my series of lanterns I could continue to investigate ideas about the Middle East, or work with travel imagery in general. They both afford me a lot of freedom.

Showing some kind of consistency to your audience breeds trust, and allows you to build relationships with people so they enjoy learning more about you and your art. Batching allows you to create a series of artworks, which galleries do appreciate, as will your potential clients who buy from your website. It means that more than one person can have a love of your Arabic lantern painting and buy one. And they may love it so much, they could come back for something personalized, or larger!

Once I’m tired of my lanterns, I won’t paint them anymore (and as of this recording and update, my work looks nothing like the lanterns I’ve shared here). But I do have a series of paintings that show my collectors I can develop an idea and work through to completion. It also affords my clients multiple chances to purchase something they enjoy. 


Today we talked about batching, how the Ford production may have inspired it but also how using batching can encourage us to dig deeper with the ideas and work we create. Batching might even help us unleash the creativity simmering inside of us!

Batching can significantly improve your productivity and help you develop a consistent body of work. It allows you to explore themes more deeply and helps you maintain a productive art practice. By sticking with an idea, you might even discover new levels of creativity and innovation in your work.

I gave you three ways to use batching and there are countless more.

Have you tried batching your artwork? Let’s talk about it in the comments below. How can you incorporate batching into your process and make it work for you? Give it a try and report back here to share your experiences. 

Thank you for reading and/or watching! 

Remember: proudly call yourself an artist.

Together we are Artist Strong.