Do you have a unique style?
I admire artists I know whose style is instantly recognizable that I don’t even have to see their name to know that an image/illustration is theirs. Sharon Derry of Secret Leaves is like this for me and Melissa Sweet and Kim Klassen.
I aspire to that.
Maybe it’s just me but I actually feel a certain amount of pressure to find it already, dammit!
It’s a bit of an existential crisis because for us creatives, our art is so personal, such an extension of ourselves that this whole “style” discourse is actually an on-the-ground way of asking the ultimate questions: Who am I? What is my purpose?
These days, I’m finding a lot of comfort in the words of Bayles and Orland in Art and Fear:
The unconsidered gesture, the repeated phrasing, the automatic selection, the characteristic reaction to subject matter and materials—these are the very things we refer to as style. Lots of people, artists included, consider this a virtue. Viewed closely, however, style is not a virtue, it is an inevitability—the inescapable result of doing anything more than a few times.
Novel, right? They say, “Style is the natural consequence of habit.”
What if it’s that obvious?
What if there’s no need to search because there’s nothing to find:
Your unique style is the natural result of what you do over and over.
What happens if you apply this metaphor to that ultimate question:
Your unique self/life is the result of what you do over and over.
Life is a sum of all your choices. ~ Camus