A few days back someone told me to stick to a single style of painting and they tried to convince me that all artists do like that. It was a genuine well-meaning advice and I get it. When I see professional artists, I can notice the similarities in their paintings. And it's also true that when we keep making a specific style again and again, we get so good at it that it becomes our signature.
However, it got me thinking when and why that happens. Maybe those artists have been painting for a long time and have found a style that brings them maximum happiness and creative satisfaction. Or, maybe they were lucky to have recognized their calling early in life.
I took a look at my journey. I never went to an art school, so I didn't get a chance to experiment with different ways, mediums, and techniques under professional guidance. I started painting consistently quite late, so I have to learn from my experiences. Although, there is no need for me to explain my state of mind to anyone, I thought of writing it down as during my conversations with other budding artists, I feel that some of them are struggling with similar thoughts.
My life right now is kind of my own little art school. I experiment with whatever I like. I can never say what will happen in future, but till then, I keep creating whatever I like to create, without the burden of evolving a style. It will happen naturally when it does or maybe it won't. I know I love florals, abstracts, flowy compositions, textures, unusual mixing of colours, getting my hands dirty and painting with my fingers, and so I'm going to build on that. Whatever I make is a reflection of my experiences, instincts, and emotions, so in a way, it does have my unique signature.
Social media, instant gratification, time lapses, and rosy pictures make us feel that we have to achieve everything faster, or we might miss out. It also makes us feel that we must have that picture-perfect feed that looks like an art gallery. But, as I keep repeating, we all have our own art journeys.
When I realized that I have my whole life ahead of me as an artist, I started seeing every step, every failure, every triumph, every learning, every discovery as an essential part of my journey. My daily experiments, interactions with other artists anywhere in the world, attending art events, learning from masters online/offline, all form a part of my life-long creative curriculum.
As I jump from one experiment to another, I know that I'm not in any rush. I savor every moment and feel the excitement of discovering something new. I'm running a long marathon, and I build myself one fiber at a time. I have my whole life to create without regrets, to enjoy what I love at my own pace. Are you with me?