In this post we’ll explore how to find your art style. Some links used within this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if a purchase is made on their site. Thanks for your support!
In this day and age, it has grown easy to become disconnected from your art style. Or perhaps, never even settle into an art style that you feel comfortable with calling “your art style.”
Many artists find themselves jumping from art style to art style. Maybe it’s a style or method that we see getting a lot of attention on social media, or something we fondly remember creating as a child. Some of these leaps from style to style are a necessity for a commercial artist; however, some can be avoided. How do we decide? I’ve found that it is effective to have a series of tools that help disconnected or unsettled artists find their style.
Yes, think of this post as your pathway back to your core artistic style after visiting other lands. When you need a reset. A refresh. A do-over.
Tips for finding your art style
Below you’ll find a list of five ideas for finding your art style. These ideas vary greatly and are not going to be right for everyone. Some of you might need to get quiet and focus on yourself and your work to find your art style (Tips #1 & #2). Others of you may need to get out of your head and get inspired (Tips #3 & #4). Take some time to think about each recommendation and what you need at this time.
Create something daily.
Want to know how to find your art style? This is my top recommendation for doing so. Create, create, create. While courses and tutorials are super insightful, creating art every day is invaluable. The lessons that are learned through this process cannot be understated. Daily design challenges can be found numerous places online. If you are interested in creating art of surface pattern design or textile design, I recommend joining us in the Textile Design Lab for our upcoming daily design challenge starting on February 1st. For this challenge we will focus on trend driven prompts and creating patterns and motifs that are popular in these markets. Join us in the Textile Design Lab.
Discover what is already there.
Look around your environment. Look in your sketchbook, look in your notebook. Hunt and dig a little bit. What are you drawing without even realizing it? If you’ve ever had to sit through a long meeting or a long class, what sketches or doodles are on the sides of your notes? Look at your grocery list. Are there any doodles in the margins of your list, maybe? These are clues to help you discover your style. Get started with this free video training.
Read a book.
If you are like me, I find that sometimes I overthink things and get in my head a bit too much. If you find yourself in this spiral it can be helpful to hit pause and dive into a good book. Here are a few recommendations of books that will help you to find your art style:
Similar to tip #3, exploring something new is a great way to find your art style and get inspired. This could be a new art technique, a personal wellness practice, or it could be a new market for your art. For example, a Textile Design Lab member recently mentioned CryptoArt. I had no idea what this was and began researching the market. It is fascinating to me and I found myself super inspired to create art for this new market. It seems so fresh and new, and this was inspiring to my creativity. For you, it might be exploring a new pattern layout style or new creative technique.
Create for you.
Please listen closely to this one. Not everything that you create needs to be shared. Not every sketch needs to be posted to Instagram. And your sketchbook doesn’t need to be this beautifully polished presentation of your ideas. Too many designers are spending too much time stressing out over how people on social media are going to react to their work and this inhibits creativity, innovation, and joy. Keep some secrets to yourself. Or if you really need to share everything, show your sketchbook to your pet or houseplant. I love social media and I support designers promoting their work online, but make sure you are also creating work just for you, that is raw, and rough and messy and not polished.
How to Find Your Art Style
In the end, I think the key to finding your art style lies in staying inspired to create as much art as possible. For artists like us this should be a source of joy and a delightful journey into the exploration of the mediums we love—or want to learn more about. So, open your mind and let the ideas flow. I’d love to hear any ideas you may have for opening up your creativity to define the styles you most enjoy.
At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and our private design community, The Textile Design Lab.