Your Voice

Finding your voice in any art consists of learning, perfecting and botching it up in your own special way.
– Anawanitia

To find your own unique style, is not as difficult as you may think. People say it takes years to develop your own voice as an artist. I disagree with that statement. When an artist begins painting, they always begin trying to paint what they like. Some will have their own voice right off the bat, and others will emulate their favorite artists. I guarantee you that when an artist copies from another artist, they will say to themselves, “I love this artist…. but….” And this is where the inner artist comes out and changes what they dislike about their favorite artist’s work, thus developing their own style. After a while, almost always, the artist will get bored using the techniques of their favorite artist, and will seek out a new favorite artist. When that happens, especially over and over again, the artist will juxtapose the techniques they learned and apply them to their paintings, resulting in an entirely new never-seen-before painting. 

Technique is something that is equal and opposite of finding your voice. Technique comes with practice and determination. There is nothing else to say on that topic for the moment.

The trap of finding your voice and marketing that style is repeating art to the point of stupidity, such as the late Thomas Kinkade. Christian Lassen is along the same lines with his sea life pictures, however, being an artist he his; he began to dabble in other types of techniques and subjects — much to the dismay of his followers because they got used to seeing the ocean paintings. Today Lassen paints more interesting pictures and with better skill, and still sells paintings although he is not as popular as he used to be. The point is, do not fall into the trap of painting only what you know will sell  as it is detrimental to you as an artist, as well as detrimental to your fans. 

I fell into that voice trap, and it was to my demise. For years, I had a line of art called Art of the Cosmos. Painting after paint after painting was astronomy, cosmology and archaeologically based. I did not paint anything else, thus I was bored to tears to the point where I did not want to paint anymore.

One fine day in 2005, I had the urge to take my easel outside and paint. A new endeavor for me. I went out and painted for a few hours. My painting was horrible, but I had fun. (Actually, like the first 10 looked as though I had never picked up a brush in my life, but I survived). So I did it again the following week. And again, until I got five decent pictures. They sold. Cha! I found a new market quite easily actually, and kept my old market. But most of all, I grew as an artist. And no, you do not have to paint for monetary gain, that is just my quirk, because I like the finer things in life like… food… and I dislike little things like.. day jobs.