I hope you had a chance to enter my giveaway draw for a seat in Life Book 2017 this week, but in case you hadn’t, the post is here! You can circle back to this post for your Q&A this week, so go enter, and I’ll meet you back here in a second!
Back? Awesome! I have a question about style development in the queue this week, so let’s dive in.
My question is this… At what point or when does one develop your own style?
I love YouTube and Pinterest but I find I do more watching than ‘doing’ sometimes.
I never seen to be able to make my art my own.
This is something I’m still working on, since I wasn’t born with a paintbrush in my hand, so I don’t know very much about the subject of how other people develop their styles. What I *can* tell you is that, for me, personal style begins to emerge when I start to forego the step-by-step stuff and start branching out on my own.
My number one tool in this endeavour is my notebook, which I take with me to every tutorial I watch. As I watch, I take notes about what excites me, new techniques, what I might want to try, colour palettes, and then, when I sit down to do the art part, I turn off the video. I go it alone.
Here’s a sampling of my notebook for Radiant: Faces
This only works for me because I did a lot of copying in my early years. I did the step-by-step stuff. I ‘arted along’, and that was so valuable for me when I needed to learn skills like ‘how to layer’ and ‘how to draw a face’, but once I had those skills down, it was important that I stop leaning quite so heavily on instruction and go off in my own direction.
Getting to know my own preferences has also been a huge part of this. I will switch out the palette, use different shapes/symbols, draw the face ‘my way’ – which I developed over years of drawing faces rather than drawing them my instructors way. I have preferred lip shapes, preferred ways of shading, preferred ways of adding text. All of these preferences were developed over time and experimentation. The result of this is that, even when I’m under the wing of a teacher, my style – or something approaching ‘my style’ comes through.
If style development is something you are wanting to work on right now, I recommend taking a peek at Ever After – Module 2. Designed by Tamara LaPorte, this class is specifically geared towards developing your own style. There will be a 70 minute interview with me in the area of style development in October, and I touch upon the things I mentioned here, and much more. I also have an Ultimate Notebook supplement in my Book Of Days program that walks a student through how *I* take classes so that they can begin to allow classes to help them build their skills while leaving space for their own style to emerge.
The primary way I’ve worked towards developing my own style, though, is *practice*. I take classes. I take notes. I do the work, and I keep doing it. Any kind of development has its roots in the *doing* of a thing. Watching can be super informative, and you can learn a lot, but unless you turn that ‘input’ into ‘output’, you will not see very much change in your skills or abilities.
I posted this in the group for Facing Forward II last week because I felt it was important for people to see what a difference practice makes.
That’s it for me this week, loves!
If you want to work on developing a creative practice, and you’re especially interested in faces, I’m running Facing Forward II right now, and it is geared towards a written + art journaling practice that will get you creating on the regular!