1. Do your research
How can you find your own style if you don’t know what’s out there? Start broad and educate yourself on the different art movements that are most popular. Check out abstract art, impressionism, realism, cubism, conceptual art, etc. All of these movements have tons and tons of different styles within them.
Going to museums and browsing is great, but not always as convenient and accessible. Lucky for us, we have the world at our finger tips. Yes. The magical power of google. You’ll notice yourself gravitating towards different movements, styles, techniques, and artists. Once you have found a style you’re into, dive in and learn everything you can about it.
2. Experiment with different mediums
Explore trying out different mediums and experiment freely with tools and materials. You may find that you love working with acrylic paints or maybe you’re more interested in graphic media. Whatever the case, this will influence your style. That being said, try not to limit yourself to one medium. Just because your style fits in with charcoal doesn’t mean you can’t try some pen and ink once in awhile.
3. Get inspired
After you’ve done some browsing, find something that really inspires you and roll with it. Try to get more involved with the art community, take a few classes, share your work, set goals. The more art you create the easier it will be for you to find your style.
4. Accept that nothing is really original
Nothing is really original. It’s just a fact. Anything you create was inspired by something whether it be direct or indirect. Even the greatest, most original artists aren’t actually original. Artists steal all the time, they steal from nature, they steal from other artists, they steal from simple patterns in human life. So no matter how original you think you’re being, just know that you were inspired by something somewhere along the line. However, this is not a bad thing. It doesn’t mean we aren’t creative beings; it just means we rely on inspiration to bring forth something new.
5. Revisit old passions
What were you once passionate about that you might have dropped over the years? Your artistic style is a reflection of you as a person. Your passions, hobbies, and activities are all things you have chosen over the years and contribute to your taste. You may find that your taste has changed over the years and will continue to change as you grow.
6. Take your content and color palette into consideration
Another consideration is your content and color palette. This will really help you refine your niche. You may not think about this much, but do you ever notice that artists typically create similar compositions with similar colors? For example, Georgia O’Keefe rarely moves away from her flower paintings and pastel color scheme. This works in her favor because not only is she a master of this style, but you would definitely be able to spot one of her paintings in a line up.
7. Sketch, sketch, sketch… Oh, and did I mention? SKETCH
Always keep a sketch pad around to just get out your ideas. I cannot express enough how important it is to just let loose and let your creativity flow on paper. This means NO striving for perfection. The point of sketching is not to look nice or realistic but to just get ideas from your head to your pad. The more you sketch the better. I always suggest that you take 5 to 10 minutes out of your day to sit down and just make pen to paper contact. It can also be helpful to keep a little sketchbook in your bag or backpack for those out of the blue, on the go thoughts and ideas.
8. Last but not least, HAVE FUN!
Finding your style should not feel like a burden, nor should you put a time limitation on yourself. This isn’t something that can be forced or rushed. Remember that art takes time!