Last night, as I went through my artwork from a couple of years ago, I realized just how bad at it I used to be. I used to think, back then, that I was good at what I did, but looking back I realize that I was terrible at it. I couldn’t bear to look at it for more than a couple of minutes, not because it was terrible, but because it lacked a very important element: personal touch.
Initially, I couldn’t quite put a finger on what exactly was wrong with all those artworks but, eventually, I realized that they lacked the kind of whimsical element that I like to add to all of my artwork. I don’t know how to explain it to you, but I think that if anybody asked me what my art style actually is, my response to that would be ‘whimsical’. And my artworks from a few years ago were neither whimsical nor inspired, and it just didn’t sit right with me.
One of the reasons why I don’t like them anymore is because I finally understand that my work from back then was only bad because I was just trying to do what everyone else was doing; I never tried to bring my own element to it. Of course, it turned out badly. I’m doing so much better now because I don’t force myself to do whatever everyone else is doing; I don’t push myself to churn out some half-assed content just for the sake of putting new content out there. I don’t do anything creative unless I feel truly inspired and I think it has made all the difference in the world.
One of the main reasons why we do what we do is that we want to put a little more of ourselves out there. Whether it’s our thoughts, our words, our perspectives, our art— it doesn’t matter because all of it is a part of who we are, as people. So, when we decide to go ahead and do what everybody else is doing, we are, kind of, going against the very thing that makes us different. It’s a lot like betraying yourself and hiding yourself away in the shadows. It just doesn’t sit right with me.
Of course, it is very important for all of us to try out a lot of different styles before we finally find the one that actually fits; it’s a lot like shopping for clothes or giving your wardrobe a whole makeover, really. In fact, every artist I’ve come across so far has dabbled with different styles before finding out what they’re actually good at. Some of them are more versatile than the others, but they’re all doing their own thing and that is amazing! I’m glad I finally know what exactly my ‘element’ is.
If you’re still at a point where you haven’t quite figured out what that element is you, don’t worry too much about it. One fine day, you’re going to come up with something so good and it’s going to feel just right; it’s going to feel just you. That’s when you’ll know that you’ve found the one thing that your work had been missing so far. It’s pretty much one of the best feelings ever.
I hope you guys find out what that element is for you. If you already know what your style is, love that for you! But if you’re still figuring it out, I hope you allow yourself the freedom to play around with different styles before you find ‘the one’ for you.
As for me, I’m going to go back to the artworks that I have dug out of my archives and I’m going to give all of them a complete ‘makeover’! Different variables, different results, am I right? Here’s hoping that a little bit of inspiration with a whole lot of personal touch to it will make all the difference.
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Featured Image by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
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