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Having a unique art style is something hard to achieve, but it is possible. It requires lots of dedication, passion and patience. In this article, we will guide you through the process of progression, to help you learn how to find your voice in your Art. 

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Have you ever heard that making Art is more than just drawing? It is, indeed. Anyone can learn how to draw with time and dedication. But just drawing is not Art. Art has an aura. It is like a salad of all these elaborate mindsets and skills that compose this overwhelming experience of seeing Art. Art deals with authenticity, and it is about mastering all these skills to express your voice- the so often mentioned art style. As drawing, to develop an art style, you need a lot of dedication and love for what you do. 

 

Art Studio photography, undated. Via Artspace.

 

But what is an art style? 

An Art Style is a mix of everything that makes an artwork feel like you. And some learn that more quickly than others. Still, style is definitely something that can be learned, manipulated, and developed over time. The answer to the question 'how to find your style' can be tricky because the path is different for everyone. But in short, style is a composition of voice, techniques, colours, mediums, subject, etc. The art style is the reflection of you in any art piece. 

Daniel Evans, Untitled, Undated. Via Medium.

 

How to find your art style? 

Finding your art style is something that takes a long time to achieve. We can assure you it involves a lot of practice, commitment and research. There are tons of guides on how to achieve your very own signature art style out there, and you may try to speed up this process, but let me tell you: this will just not work. You will probably end up just mimicking someone else's work without even knowing it, and that is not ideal. Being inspired by someone's works is entirely different than mimicking it. 

 

Yayoi Kusama, “Yellow Pumpkin”, 1994. Kusama art style can be easily identified by her use of dots. Via MyModernMet.

 

See more works by Yayoi Kusama on Kooness.

 

To clarify this, we should remind you that with the amount of historical background there is in terms of art movements, styles and artists, it is almost impossible that any creator is going to be original. Not only just that, but we create based on our experiences and creativity does not come from the clouds- meaning that Art is inherently inspired by the things we surround ourselves with. And that is okay! Being aware that your Art is inspired by all these other things is a step towards owning your unique style. Also, while breathing in all these inspirations and funnelling it towards your practice with twists and mixes, it will provide the viewer with a whole new perspective on the world; becoming inspirational; reverting the cycle. 

And that's when you know you achieved your unique art style.

 

Jeff Koons, “Bouquet of Tulips”, 1995- 2004 in the back; “Ballon Dog Blue”, 1994- 2000, on the foreground. Via Artsper.

See more works by Jeff Koons on Kooness.

 

We gathered some tips and steps to guide your path towards becoming a fantastic artist. Remember that being and becoming an artist with a unique style is all about the process: progression and experimentation. 

1. Master the basics: copy as much as you can! 

How to develop your Art Style? To do so, you must embrace the process. And that means, learning about everything there is to be learnt from and practice it. Most artists start engaging with their creative output since a very young age, and if you still have those drawings, maybe it is a good idea to look back at them again. Drawing is a communicative skill that helps us develop an understanding of the world that surrounds us. And what we can notice by observing those early drawings is that we were trying to copy the shapes and forms of things before developing a formal language to maybe explain it. Copying is a crucial skill to master for any artist. To understand your creative personality, you should be copying as much as you can! Copy from artists that you like; Copy the things around you; Copy, copy and copy! Master the Art of copying to understand where your style fits you and the world around you. 

 

Artists copying the Old  Masters paintings. Photo by Alain Lecocq/Sygma/Sygma. Via Artsy.

 

2. Master the tools and make yourself comfortable

Mastering the basics is always the main advice from any established career practitioner. And these are the main things that you develop at art school. Art school can be expensive and mastering the tools and techniques as well. But learning on your own time is still as effective as going to art school, and it will definitely be cheaper to do it. There are tons of different mediums with dozens of unconventional techniques to try out and explore. This is always fun because you will understand which mediums and techniques resonate more with your personality and likings. Not all techniques are set yet, and you may find innovative ways to use a specific tool of medium. Lots of artists find that these same innovative techniques are their unique art style and keep on making art with it. So, as said, make yourself comfortable with everything that exists out there to find out what doesn't exist, and maybe create it yourself!

 

Keith Haring, "We Are The Youth", 1987. Via Keith Haring Foundation.

 

See more works by Keith Haring on Kooness.

 

3. Play around and do not be afraid of exploring different things

Making yourself comfortable with the existing components of art-making and mastering the copying skill can sometimes be tricky to detach yourself from. But that's okay too! As we said, it is all a process, and you should not rush it. Whenever you are ready, you will push yourself forward to explore and break boundaries within your progression. Experimenting new things is scary, but at the same time, it can be so much fun. There are no restrictions or rules, it is all up to you. And better! It is easier to trick hard criticism on your works because as it is all about playing around with whatever you encounter, mixing up things, it is harder to pinpoint an opinion. Do not be scared and play with your findings as much as you can. No rules!

 

Takashi Murakami, Untitled,  1962. Via Kooness.

See more works by Takashi Murakami on Kooness.

 

4. Refine your taste: list the artists that resonate with you 

After mastering all the steps mentioned above (if you feel ready) it is time to commit to some research. Researching is often something not mentioned to the artists, as if you should only focus on practical skills. But if you are not aware of your context, you will never know how to fit or progress. Your context is anything that is behind you or anything that is happening currently, something that shapes your surroundings. Our suggestion is: know the basics of art history. The internet has all the necessary tools to help you quickly find your way around it without spending too much. And suppose you do not find it interesting to understand what was happening 300 years ago. In that case, it may be helpful to at least understand the shift between two periods: Modern Art and Contemporary Art. After understanding the historical references, it is time to research artists and understand what are the names of the artists that resonate with you more. 

 

David Hockney, “Garden”, 2015. Via Artsper.

See more works by David Hockney on Kooness.

 

5. Practice more!

Whenever you find the artists that echo your creative taste, keep them on the back of your mind for further use. Try to analyse their artworks, and try to understand what is it about those works that click; Try to understand if it is specific shapes, colours, textures, subject, material, medium, etc.; Do not bother with trying to understand why you like those elements just yet. Just engage with your tastes and own them- understand how you can adapt those to your own practice. Once you engage with those elements fully, it is time to practice (again! Art making is all about practising). Copy elements of those artists that you like and mix up. Go over the previous steps and mix everything you master so far: tools, techniques, mediums, taste and experiment again. Play with the compositions while incorporating everything you know about yourself already.

 

Gerhard Richter, “Strip”, 2011. Via Gerhard Richter official website.

See more works by Gerhard Richter on Kooness.

 

6. Find your voice: what other things interest you that maybe could be incorporated in your practice?

After playing around with all these notions, it is almost sure that you are more confident in your practice. You mastered everything you had to master, and now you are closer to find your art style. This next step is about engaging with your voice. Being an artist is about entangling all these other things that interest you outside the art world and present them as a matter of interest towards a larger audience in a new perspective. Maybe you are interested in feminism or fiction stories, or perhaps you are just interested in the mundane beauty of things. These are all examples of how your voice can be mixed up with your artistic interests to understand your unique art style. Your voice is ultimately the reflection of you in the artworks- your art style as a mirror of yourself.

 

Picasso, “Weeping Woman”, 1937 . Via TATE

See more works by Pablo Picasso on Kooness.

 

7. Proudly own all these things that make you different from any other artist

Whenever you get to this step, congratulations. I am sure you understand how you're the process of getting is here is more important and fun than getting here. Making Art to develop a unique and personal art style is a whole process of self-discovery through the tools that Art provides you. And now, that you understand what kind of Art makes you, you, it is time to enjoy it and put yourself out there in the world. One last thing, own it your style and keep innovating, reinventing yourself. Artists style are often progressing over time! Do not feel forced to maintain something if you no longer can identify with it. Art changes, we change. And that's good! It is a sign of growing and evolving. 

 

Jean-Michel Basquiat, "Untitled", undated. Via NY Times.

 

Now that we finished our guide to help you find your art style, we can conclude that finding your style is about obsessive traits/elements, routines and things that you do that make you, YOU. You will notice that the more you practice, that there are elements that keep popping up in every artwork and that's the thing you’ve got to hold on to. That's the element that people will associate with your name every time they see it. Your art style is pretty much your brand signature and your self-marketing tool. Embrace it and use it to make your name known globally. 

 

Ai Weiwei, “Forever Bicycles”, 2011. Via Artsper.

 

 

See more works by Ai Weiwei on Kooness.

 

A recap and some other things to take in consideration: 

  • Remember that these things take time

The process is much more enjoyable and much more meaningful than your ultimate goal. Nad the process is what makes your work so good in the end, so please give yourself some credit along the process. Enjoy the time it takes to develop. 

  • Trust your guts and embrace your mistakes! It is all about the process

Sometimes things will not feel right, and sometimes it will- it is all part of the process of growing and improving. Mistakes are often a good sign and an excellent opportunity to analyse and understand why you feel like it is a mistake. The mistakes will guide you towards more outstanding results.

  • Last, but not least: make lots of Art! 

It is never enough to mention that making lots of Art, practising the Art of making every day is never enough. Through the making, you will understand you more and more each day.

We all know how frustrating it is the process, and maybe you thought a thousand times that you will never find your art style. But changing that mindset is key to progress. Your art style will be found in your progress. Take your time, enjoy your progress and produce lots of artworks- that's the biggest advice anyone can give you. 

 

Cover image: Artists copying the Old  Masters paintings. Photo by Alain Lecocq/Sygma/Sygma. Via Artsy

Written by Tania Teixeira

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