One of the most difficult struggles many artists face is the discovery of the one thing that drives them to create. We often, as creative people, find our minds pulled in so many directions that we lose focus of the heart of our work. Perhaps we dabble in multiple techniques, different mediums, and even start 22 different projects that we never seem to complete......sounds familiar, huh?
Don't feel bad about this process, we must always be in discovery and looking for inspiration. Trying new and different ways to be creative is what keeps our mind and our work fresh. Try taking a look at your very first works of art. Here are some examples of mine:
Only 3 years ago I was in the beginning stages of my discovery. If I had stopped there and not experimented with lots of techniques and even included other mediums, I would have never been able to create what I make today:
Just look at how vastly different these pieces are! It's the result of daily work, lots of failure, lots of success, and most of all it's the process of finding my voice. I initially feared coming to this point. I was afraid that it meant giving up all the playing and fun I had in my studio. I thought it would mean creating the same old, boring pieces over and over again, yet, it has been the exact opposite!
I find myself utilizing this feeling of empowerment and focus on a particular style in hundreds of ways. The visions in my head are endless! I have found that there is a process to finding your own voice and would love for you to take a moment and think on these things in order to discover your own:
- What inspired you in the very beginning of your art? (take a look at your first works)
- Have you noticed a pattern in your art? Something that keeps turning up?
- Do you have a very favorite technique?
- What parts of your personality come through in your work and what do others see in it?
- Do your pieces reflect a certain style, time period, or mood?
- Why do you create it? For yourself? For others?
- When you study a finished piece what is the emotion you feel and what do you hope to evoke in your viewer?
When you have answered these questions I hope that you will get a sense of your own voice. Remember, it takes time and not everyone is ready to discover it just yet. It's about being patient with yourself, patient with your art, and constantly searching for the "AHA!" moment!