I have heard many theories on finding ones style–both for the artist and the writer. There are those who believe you cannot do anything to find it–it happens upon you and that’s that. Others thing there are specific steps you must take to develop it.

I am of the mind that, to a point, it is healthy to look to others work for inspiration. It is also healthy to copy their work in our sketchbooks and diaries. In doing so, we learn the language of their style, so to speak. Once we have the language down, it is easier for us to analyze it, understand those components we like best, change it, and ultimately make it our own. I certainly do not promote blatant copying of another’s work–what is important in practice through replication is that we learn to look at art like an artist, or read like a writer–asking ourselves constantly why something attracts us or why it works. How did the author do that? Why do I like that colour combination so much?

We do not live in a bubble–to be aware of others work and understand what we like and dislike about it is to be educated in our given field. The problem can be when you spend more time looking for and at inspiration and not enough practicing and developing your own style language. Too much inspiration is crippling–it is the double edged sword of the Internet to be both a wonderful resource as well as an intimidating vat of ideas.

I hope this video is a help!

~Barbara

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