Finding your style – is it the way to get your art noticed?

Painting of Manchester's Gmex Centre, Former Central Railway station and Beetham TowerDecades Apart- Cathy Read - Watercolour and acrylic ink - 40x50cm - £570 framed

Is it important for an artist to stick to one style or should diversity reign?

I spent hours wondering how to promote myself. Before coming to a conclusion – I need direction!

Creating art was not the problem!

No, I possessed a diverse range of paintings reflecting my love of experimentation. From Collages to Oil paintings, from Landscapes to Portraits etc etc…

But while reading an article I was struck by this point –

Diverse art from one artist can be confusing for people.

Not a thought that had occurred to me!

I see the argument…

Who’ll recognise your style if your style keeps changing?

Now, put like that, it makes sense! Doesn’t it?

Do one thing…

do it lots…

and you’ll do it really, really well!

Focus on the art you’re good at and don’t worry about repeating yourself…

Well not too much, anyway.

Since first discussing this topic I’ve found a style…

©2012 - Cathy Read - The Temple of Youth - Mixed Media - 50x40cm
©2012 – Cathy Read – The Temple of Youth – Mixed Media – 50x40cm

But, like many artists, I still want to explore the new.

Along came another revelation…

You can have more than one body of work!

And there I was thinking it means everything you produce. 1 artist=1 body of work. Simple as that!

…naive I know. A downside of being self taught is you don’t always know what you need to learn. There’s no curriculum devised by experienced others. In other words you can miss out on some really obvious stuff!

But I digress…

The point is, I was restricting myself unnecessarily!

This revelation is now guiding my practice.

Focusing on One Style is the way to progress! You expand your skills and increase your depth of understanding.

But by working on a Series.  There is scope to develop some diversity over time.

And it’s a tried and trusted format that serves most artists very well.

So, am I missing anything else glaringly obvious?

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4 Replies to “Finding your style – is it the way to get your art noticed?”

  1. ive been following a collection of pictues for the last few months,
    helping me to understand art and move forward in finding my direction.
    for the 1st time ever, ive been looking at how people look at there own art,
    judge there art, see and act with other artists.
    trying to find out how they think and create there styles.
    also how galleries act and work with artists, and how they choose the surroundings.

    you have just hit the nail, right on the bonse.

    do what you do best and lots of it,
    like difining your signature, it will speak you.
    you can fake a picasso or fraud a monet,
    so how would they do you ?

    i have just today found my answer.
    not from you ! although it is the same message.
    2 buses at a time, as they time 🙂

    after viewing the collection to the end and seeing the chosen winning pieces,
    and doing a little click + scroll !
    it has given me another path to walk.

    so one step forwards and 2 steps back,
    comes irrelavent if you dont no the way !

    hope your words are as plain to see for others ;]

    1. Hi Artcritic, and thank you for your comments. I’m glad I was able to help, even if I was the 2nd bus to come along! Sometimes we need to hear something more than once before we can see the truth or flaw in it.

  2. Cathy

    I’m art school trained and have the same understanding of 1 artist = 1 body of work. I would add that in my opinion that one body can encompass many different styles, however that doesn’t make it multi-bodies of work just a diverse one.

    1. Interesting that you should have the 1 artist=1 body of work view from Art school as well. I’d understood the 1 artist = more than 1 body of work concept came from Art School teaching. I’m obviously wrong!
      I used to think like you do, but I’m not so sure anymore. Quotes like these below make me wonder.
      “I have just completed a new body of work and I am trying to describe it
      so that people can understand it better.”
      and
      “When I tell artists they need to focus and build a cohesive body of work, I often meet resistance that sounds like yet another excuse: “But I like to do so many different things.”
      (This topic could be the subject for a whole book.) Yes, you can work in as many styles as you want, but two very different bodies of work require twice the effort to market them. For three different bodies of work, you will exert three times the marketing effort.
      And so forth. Each body of work that looks like a different person did it will be marketed to a different audience.”
      From Pages 38 and 67 respectively of Alison B Stansfield’s “I’d Rather be in the Studio”.
      I think there is a widespread confusion having done a quick Google search!

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