Friday, July 31, 2009

On the subject of style

So the idea of style (I think I've written about this before) is still one that I can't wrap my head around. I feel like every so often I pick up a new medium, or a new format, or a new style of illustration/painting/design, etc., and I get really into it for a while. Then, I just get tired of it and want to do something else.

I don't know if this has some sort of strange block going on, or some primal defense mechanism about success or failure, but it can get really frustrating sometimes. I know the road to success-it's shit loads of hard work and following your dream. But what if you don't know what you want?

I want to be a well-known artist that can live off his art. Cool, main goal set. But I feel that's such a broad goal. Realism? Art Brute? Lowbrow? Comics? Graphic Design? Wtf.

I know that "a style will find me," and I've only been doing this whole art thing seriously for two and a half years, but damn, it's frustrating.

I wish I had the motivation/drive like Gue to sit down and hammer something out for 2 weeks straight. If you check out his piece, that shit is dope. I've had a class with that dude, he's awesome and he works hard. I feel like I'm waaaaay too distracted these days to even attempt a painting that takes more than 6 hours to finish.

I feel like a lot of the cognative dissonance that is going on in my head right now stems from the fact that I know that if I paint/draw/create in a manner that I love, I'll make it. But I feel like I don't even want a certain style at all. I like having the freedom to do a series of paintings that are super loose, stupid, and are painted really quickly like this one:

but then I also sometimes enjoy sitting down, taking a bit more of time, using reference and thumbs and color comps and all that stuff and coming out with something more refined like this:

which admittedly is not the best example of a more finished piece of work, but the point should be clear enough. And then, I got all into screen printing last semester and did stuff like this:

which I guess isn't too unlike the way I currently do my pen/digital coloring illustrations, such as this example:

And then, of course, there's also my more abstract, visceral, stuff I've done:

which is to say, different from anything else I've done. Sigh. I guess I'll just keep painting/drawing/crafting/illustrating/creating and hope that some day I'll find something that fits.

Perhaps an added anxiety is the fear of not making it. I think if maybe one style became more commercially successful than the others, I would stick with that, but then again I wouldn't want to do something just because it paid well.

I don't know of any artists that "make it" with four or five different styles - they all get really good at one and do that. Perhaps I'll just try and remake the ideal of the renaissance artist, who does varying jobs just to keep things interesting. Guh. Well, I guess I still have 50+ years or so of makin' art, so hopefully I'll find "my style" sooner rather than later.

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