I have been working on a class off and on this summer that is partly an extension of the reading I have been doing and the practices I have been working on during my transition to full time art. I am calling it “From Inspiration to Innovation: Making it in your Own Style”, and it will include lots of great discussions, resources, ideas, and even give us all some practice in how to get from “I love this! ‘Pin’ it!” to creating work that is truly our own.
Most of my experience has been in some form of visual art, so I expect that the course will be oriented in that direction, but my undergrad degree is in Theatrical design and I studied music for enough years that I have some experience with lots of other types of art. This will be a chance to talk with other inspired makers about what gets their minds going, how to tease out new ideas you want to explore, and then translate that to work of your own!
There are so many different takes on creativity that it can be hard to know where to start or to see how this all translates to actually finding your own style and process. Even though I have been doing creative things all of my life, I have still had to work through how to move from making things mostly for myself and for friends and family, to feeling justified in calling myself “an artist”! There were so many questions I needed to address:
- How do I figure out what “my style” is?
- How do I create a “unified body of work” when I have never met an art technique or craft that didn’t intrigue me?
- How do I find the fine line between being inspired by wonderful artists and ripping them off?
- What if I start to run dry of new ideas now that I have the time to actually work through them?
I was incredibly fortunate to grow up in a house where we had an “art room” that was as big as our living room and we got to try out everything from the original white blocks of Sculpey to linoleum block printing while my mother tried to get some work of her own done. I think this is part of why I have always expected to take any lesson or tutorial as no more than a stepping off point – she never had time to show us more than where to start and it was up to us to find our own way! This meant that I knew how to step off the path of a tutorial or class, but I never thought about how to do it in a way that would be consistently successful, so I still suffered a lot of frustration that I didn’t seem to “get it” like other students who copied the instructors more closely.
As part of my transition to full time art, I invested in coaching sessions to help guide me through some much needed introspection about what I was going to be doing and why. Along the way, I collected a number of ideas and practices that have helped me be more successful in not only doing things in my own style but also in being much more intentional about what I take for inspiration from the huge array of inspirations that are available. I would love to have you join me in this exploration and journey toward confidence, so let me know if you are interested!