I have spent the last several years experimenting with a variety of art mediums, techniques, styles, etc. Some were easy/obvious fits while others were a constant struggle and seemed to suck the joy right out of my life (aka I have come to accept that I am not now, nor will I ever be, a paper quiller). Through all of this experimentation and exploration, I have found what I consider my aesthetic, my style, art that “feels” like me. One of the greatest compliments I have received is that others know immediately that something is my work. Are there some variations? Sure there are. But there is a specific look/feel/emotion to it that is consistent throughout all of my artistic endeavors regardless of what medium I am working in.
For example, I have recently discovered fused glass art. (OMG!) It is exhilarating to see my style shining through in the pieces I am creating. I am still learning and experimenting but am over the moon with excitement so far. Here are a couple of examples.
This is a pendant I made out of fused glass and then cut and wrapped with silver wire.
This is an example of what I am calling “graffiti glass.” I hope to expand on this technique and incorporate it into larger pieces.
Even though this is a brand new medium for me, I am consistent with the choices I make in terms of color, style, technique, etc. And because I am doing that intentionally, even in a new medium, I am able to connect with a whole new audience while at the same time staying true to myself and reinforcing my brand.
So what does my art say about me? Well I hope it says that I am a child of the 80’s who loves the loud volume and color of that era, a little rebellious, colorful, full of life, a little rock and roll, a little hip-hop, a little funk, a little grunge, inspired by street art and graffiti, fun, and also introspective and in touch with my emotions. And of course, that “There are no rules!” (Smile) But mostly, what I want my art to say about me is that I have something to say in the art world. I am here. My art matters. I matter. This art is in your face, loud and proud.
Does it say all of that? When I look back on my body of work (Flickr, Facebook, Pinterest, Website, even on this blog), I can see that some pieces don’t speak to all of those things. Sure, as a brand new artist a few years ago, I just wanted to share everything. But now, maybe not so much. Maybe I have acquired a large enough body of work and it is time I go through my art closet and purge what no longer “fits” or is now “out of style” for me. What about my online presence? Even the name of this blog and some of the earlier content doesn’t quite fit anymore. Maybe it is time for a little refresh. I find myself saying more and more…if it doesn’t reinforce my brand or send the right message about my art or who I am as an artist, maybe it is time to go.
And what about me as an individual? Sure my personality in in sync, but what does my physical appearance (my hairstyle, my fashion choices, jewelry, shoes, handbag, how I carry myself, etc.) say about me/my artwork? I think I have some work to do in this area as people that don’t know me that well are often shocked by my artwork.
I know a metal sculptor who makes the most outrageous sculptures with sharp/jagged edges, cool patterns, and crazy LED lights. Some sculptures even have a fire element to them. Actual fire! The artist is confident and fun, has streaks of funky colors in her hair, and wears really strong/fun clothes. She and her art are in sync. They are one. Her art is an extension of who she is.
While I am not about to dye my hair hot pink (though I am sure I could totally rock that look!), I could use a bit of freshening up. I have fun shoes, I wear loud jewelry, scarves, etc. but could probably turn the volume up even more. And maybe it is time to ditch the 90% black closet and make more fun/loud/creative fashion choices overall. I dream about walking down the hall at work or at an art convention, looking like the well put together, but still loud and proud, wild-woman that I am inside (and people whispering “She’s the artist.” as I walk by).
What about you? What does your art say about you? What do you want it to say? Think about what words describe you/your artwork. Are they the same? Should they be? Does your physical appearance/image you project match your artwork? Should it? What is your brand?