Finding your style (by Elli Milan)
Your voice is: Your aesthetic (what you find beautiful) + your taste (you should always work to elevate your taste) + your process (your materials and how you go about producing your painting)
Your style should evolve slowly over time but alway be cohesive and recognizable.
Your voice should be totally YOU to the core, and be authentic and genuine.
Your process should reflect your personality and temperament. You should LOVE your process and not feel stifled, bored, or uninspired.
How I found my voice was staying true and authentic to my personality and how I love to paint. For years I stayed locked into painting really slow moving paintings that were realistic and tight. There was no excitement or freedom to the process. I sat for hours slowly blending and mixing perfect color and trying my best to follow my source photo exactly. In my mind I thought realism and traditional methods were the ultimate form of art. I didn’t think about the dread I faced when I would go into my studio or how boring it all was. I didn’t realize I knew exactly what the paintings would look like before I even started.
One day I realized, I’m a person who likes a little bit of a plan, but I love surprises. I love to be spontaneous. I move fast and wanted my paintings to change and transform quickly. I love to splatter and throw paint. I love spray paint and making somewhat violent marks. I love the freedom of letting the painting tell me what it wants. I love not knowing exactly what is next.
Once I started to produce artwork true to my temperament, I began making more intuitive and powerful artwork. I could see myself in the work. The art wasn’t so static and predictable.
Honestly I can paint any subject matter, a figure, landscape, animal, or abstract and I feel like it all has my style because it is all the same process. My advice for artists is to make sure you love how you paint; that you truly enjoy the process. Be sure you can spend hours and hours behind the paint brush without getting bored or feeling drained. When you have found your process that energizes you and brings you unimaginable joy, I would say you have found your voice.
Tips to Finding Your Voice
Find 10 artists you really love and admire their talent
Consume yourself with art, you must breathe it in
Look at different interiors, and imagine where you would want to see your art hanging
Paint, paint, paint! The ONLY way you can find your style is by hours and hours behind the paint brush
Try our 100 Paintings Challenge
Find out what makes you cry and what makes you angry. This will give you knowledge on finding out what matters to you, and ultimately what your voice is. Your voice will always line up with your destiny, and what you were meant to say to the world. All artists have something inside to say and express, its innate in each of us. You have to dig deep and find out what it is.
Look at the world around you, and find what is beautiful. Everybody sees beauty differently. This is what makes your voice unique!