Creating your own artistic style is no easy feat. It takes months, if not maybe even years till you adopt your own unique style that resonates with you and makes you stand out as a an artist.
So then the question remains...
How to develop your own art style?
For as long as I can remember, I always hid behind other artist's works, replicating their styles thinking that I'd be demanded more as an artist that way.
This was far from the truth.
From repeating other more fashioned artist's works I was:
Suppressing my own style from being formed
Constantly comparing myself to others thinking "I can never amount to that"
Made myself "price shopped" by people
Back then, I actually encouraged clients to bring photos or send me links of the henna design they wanted me to **copy.
But then I thought for a moment, would someone go to artists like Picasso and ask him to replicate some other guy's work?
Most definitely not!
**You should never plagiarize and copy other artist's work without giving credit where it's due. If I ever replicated another design, I'm sure to tag the original artist in the post or either state that it was an image found online and that I was unable to source the original designer.
I know, developing your own style is difficult and I guarantee you it won't happen over night, however by following these steps you're sure to know that you're at least a step closer...
1) PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
I know, I know. You must have heard this like a kajillion times. And I'm going to make it a kajillion and one :) There's a reason why this tip is SUPER CRITICAL.
By practicing, you're perfecting your artistic skills by either: having cleaner lines, creating a much more polished look, drawing styles that could be beyond your comfort.
2) NARROW DOWN YOUR ROLE MODELS
It's really easy to swim in a sea of role model's work which you truly admire.
But if you overwhelm yourself with an array of artists right and left, you'll get confused as to what artistic elements you truly like.
I don't blame you, there are A LOT OF AMAZING artists out there.
I know what it's like to keep following hundreds of henna artists on instagram, but this will trigger the "comparison" game which is not at all fun to play.
Instead, narrow down your role models to not more than a handful. This way, you'll be able to easily distinct which artistic elements and patterns you truly admire.
In this manner, you'll actually be able to know what bits and pieces of your role models you like and this can be a source of inspiration to creating your own style.
One thing I did was go through my instagram following list and filter out who I was following.
By following ONLY quality artists who truly resonated with me, my feed was filled with specifically catered inspiration that related more to me.
** FREEBIE ALERT**
3) CREATE PINTEREST BOARDS
Pinterest is such a powerful tool. We're quick to assume that Pinterest is another social media tool that you want to avoid handling, thinking it's another thing on your social media plate.
But the truth is, Pinterest is an amazing resourceful tool because it's the best visual search engine.
By creating Pinterest boards themed around specific topics of interest, you'll be flooded with daily inspirations that will speak to you personally.
The best thing about Pinterest is that it will automatically push content it thinks you'll be interested in.
4) FIND INSPIRATION IN THINGS OTHER THAN YOUR OWN INDUSTRY
Do not limit yourself to just your craft. Expand your mind to find inspiration everywhere, it can be in architectural building patterns, gift wrappers, plastic bags (yup, you read that right!).
Train your brain to consume inspiration from your surrounding or even other non industry related artists who you admire.
You should be like a sponge, just ready to absorb all the content around you.
By soaking in all those elements and introducing it in your henna, it will eventually develop into your own unique voice.
** FREEBIE ALERT**
And there you have it fellow artsy bee! Let's recap the 4 methods to truly allow you to develop your own artistic style:
Narrow down your role models so you're not overwhelmed by a million different styles
Use Pinterest as a search engine and create boards to act as a resource for your inspiration
Don't limit your inspiration from just your industry but expand your mind to absorb other elements to transpire in your art as well