Playing With Style

Artists are natural experimenters. But art collectors, investors and gallery owners want to see consistency. This is a conundrum. You as an artist hear all the time that you should choose a style and subject and stick with it until death in order to make it in the art world.

To say that an artist should stick with just to one style is the equivalent of telling a chef to make only recipes that resemble one dish! Hamburgers only? Seriously? One cannot live on hamburgers alone!

When I got into that kick, I painted astronomy art for years…. I thought to myself “how boring is that? I want to experiment, have fun, paint whatever I feel like!” Now I have many styles, but I still have my voice. You can see it whether I’m painting a serious oil painting or have drawn a playful cartoon. It is kind of like handwriting. You can see the use of colors, the brush or pencil strokes, it’s all signature.

Just like a writer who wrote a fantasy book then turns around and writes a murder mystery, a painter ought to have the same freedom. To satisfy the art world’s homogenized belief system in art, create a portfolio with a series of about 10 paintings for each style.