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Finding Your Own Artistic Voice

Finding Your Own Artistic Voice

Eric Maisel

7. Not repeating yourself for the sake of repeating

Repeating successful work has a way of reducing our experience of anxiety and can bring financial rewards as well. But it may also prevent us from moving forward and from discovering what we hope to say. A balance to strike might be to do a certain amount of repeat work, for the sake of calmness and for the sake of your bank account, and to also add the reality of new work to your agenda.

8. Revisiting your earliest passions

Life has a way of causing us to forget where our genuine passions reside. You may have spent decades in a big city and completely forgotten how much the desert means to you. You may have been so busy painting and parenting that your burning passion for creating a series of cityscapes fell off the map somewhere along the line. Finding your voice may involve something as simple and straightforward as making a list of your loves and starring those that still energize you.

9. Integrating your different threads

Maybe you make two sorts of art, abstract relief paintings and realistic flat paintings. This division may have occurred at some point when, perhaps without consciously thinking the matter through, you decided that the one painting style allowed you do something that the other didn’t. It may pay you to revisit this question and see if the two styles can be integrated into some third style that allows the best of both current styles to come together. Whatever you discover from that investigation—whether it’s to move forward in a new way or recommit to your current methods—you will have helped yourself better understand your artistic intentions.

10. Accepting never-before-seen results

It can feel odd to speak in your own voice and then not recognize the results. Because what you’ve created may be genuinely new—and completely new to you—it may look like nothing you’ve ever seen before. That can prove disconcerting! Don’t rush to judge it as too odd, a mess or a mistake, or not what you’d intended. Give it some time to grow on you and speak to you. Your own voice may sound unfamiliar to you if you’ve never heard it before!

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