Style issues

I love etnic, free, naive art as a sort of pattern.

I love etnic, free, naive art as a sort of pattern.

O.k. I would really appreciate some help here. I’ve been dealing with this problem for quite a time now, bother different artists with  questions, tried many things to see where I feel most comfortable … Yes, I do have style issues.

Decorating trees is one of my obsession.

Decorating trees is one of my obsession.

 I like many styles, I do feel comfortable doing designs in many techniques and many styles. I love ornaments and ethnic stuff, love naive patterns and simple decorative icons. But in the other hand I rediscover my lof for illustrations and painting. As I am still at home with my kids I decided to try many things and I tried mixed media and collaging as well and – yes- I loved it!

I tried mixed media and I loved it!

I tried mixed media and I loved it!

And I got really many different ansewers when I asked if it’s better to have only one style or is it better to have several if you want to offer them for licensing. Maybe the most useful one came from artist friend Paula who said that it is good to be versatile and have more than one style as long as you have a nice, well rounded collection in each style. I also liked Matis one that it’s ALWAYS good to explore, but to establish yourself as an artist, you need to generally have 1-3 distinctive styles that people recognize as yours. Hm, do you see why I am becoming a little bit comfused here. Any help and advice vould be appriciated.

Illustration could easy be my additional offer ...

Illustration could easy be my additional offer ...

So is it good to have different styles in different mediums and motives or is it better to stick with one or two? What do you think?

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6 Comments

  1. Katja Zagorc May 2, 2011 at 11:22 #

    Petra, jaz se na to res ne spoznam, lahko pa, če že sprašuješ, povem samo svoje skromno mnenje 🙂
    V treh alinejah 😉
    1. – citiram: “it is good to be versatile and have more than one style as long as you have a nice, well rounded collection in each style”
    2. – spet citiram: “it’s ALWAYS good to explore, but to establish yourself as an artist, you need to generally have 1-3 distinctive styles that people recognize as yours”. Osebno sem za 3, vsaj pri tebi 🙂 Huda škoda bi se delala, če bi svoje ustvarjanje “skrčila” na en sam stil!
    3. – Bistvo ustvarjanja je itak ustvarjanje! Ustvarjaj, kakor pač čutiš tisti trenutek! Talent imaš neverjeten, znanje tudi, ideje tudi, sky is the limit! 🙂
    Sčasoma se bo pa itak samo od sebe izkristaliziralo, v katerih treh stilih si najbolj doma (treh, ne enem ;))
    Kaj od vsega tega boš ponujala naprej v “biznis”, se boš pa že sproti odločala 🙂 Bistvo je, da ustvarjaš iz sebe, ker tako bo vedno vse “dobro narejeno” 😉
    To je to – kot vidiš, si si v glavnem že sama odgovorila in naših globokoumnosti v resnici sploh ne potrebuješ 🙂
    Enkrat, ko se vsi pocajtamo in se končno kaj vidimo, ti bo pa Zoran lahko še kakšno pametno povedal, meni ne nese daleč, sploh pa ne tako na hitro 🙂
    Ne obremenjuj se preveč in raje uživaj v tem, da lahko ustvariš, karkoli ti srce poželi – jaz bi, če bi imela tak talent 🙂
    Lp vsem,
    Katja

  2. Elizabeth May 2, 2011 at 15:30 #

    I wish I could understand what Katja wrote. The first lines that are translated has important information for your concerns, Petra. It is important to have styles that can be remembered as yours no matter which medium you work. Artists has to expand their creativity and then focus in order to maintain a style. We can change the medium but if we stay true to owrselves we will have different styles that can be recognize as ours!

  3. Sherry Ball Schoenfeldt May 2, 2011 at 16:41 #

    I struggle with this one too – I like to do every single thing I try. But as I do more and more work and look back over it, I see a style emerging. And it’s only been by trying it all that I’ve come to see what I love MOST.

    I don’t sell that much art so maybe I’m not the one to listen too. But what is your goal? If it’s doing what you love, then do what you love. If it’s making money in addition to doing what you love, maybe you only put a select style or two on your site or maybe you show different styles at different shows.

    I truly believe that you have to try a lot of things before one smacks you upside the head and you KNOW it’s the one. Kinda like dating – not everybody finds THE one on their first date!

  4. Dana Barbieri May 2, 2011 at 18:36 #

    This is a great question. One I often ponder myself. I like many different things as well and just today was thinking maybe you don’t have to have one look only. Who says? I do think that people that are “successfully selling” their art do have a particular look/motif/medium etc. that people then just associate with the artist. That is what they come to love and expect but I guess the trade off is that they can then get a bit boxed in. And I am afraid I would get really bored. I don’t know if their is an easy answer. I agree with Sherry about just trying tons of things and make lots and lots of art and I think it will just all come together. I hope. 🙂

  5. Petra Kern May 2, 2011 at 20:12 #

    Thanks ladies, these advices are very good.
    Elizabeth – thanks for mentioning focus. I think it’s very important and hard to maintain.
    Sherry – my goal is making money in addition to doing what I love. After my maternity leave I will send designs as offer to different companies to license. I love the comparison with dates 🙂
    Dana – thanks for mentioning boredom. I could really relate to that.
    Katja, midve bova pa itak osebno, ko pobijeva vse viruse 🙂

  6. carrie harper August 31, 2011 at 17:50 #

    Hi Petra, I really struggle with this question too, I have many styles that are so different most people think they are done by different artists. I am just now getting interested in becoming a licensor and getting my work out to the marketplace. It is a time when I am focusing onto a more consistent style. Exploring mixed media has really helped as it’s always exciting and I never get bored. Your style appears to be very consistent and well suited to licensing! You have so many lovely designs, I’ll be interested to see how it goes for you….. keep us posted! <3 2 U

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