Monday 14 January 2013

Finding my style

I often think about style and art journaling.  And  how to find my style.  There are people whose work I admire who have a very distinctive style.

Dyan Reavely

Roben-Marie Smith

Kate Crane

What I've noticed about these pieces of work is that they are all brightly coloured and busy. Full of pattern.  Dina and Roben-Marie frequently have areas of white on their pages but Dyan and Kate always paint every available space.

Some other work I'm drawn to is Mary Nasser.  Her work is all about maps.

And then there are the faces!  I don't do faces.  But I love the art that Rachelle Panagarry produces.

Oh and then there's text.  I just adore Valerie Sjodin's art journals.

And yet, when I look at all the art journal pages I have pinned on my Pinterest board I can see a theme there.  And it isn't brightly coloured and patterned.  Although those pages are there too.

There's pastels and neutrals.  Lots of white space.  Some minimalism.  Lots of duck egg blue. (Robin egg blue if you're from the U.S.)

When I'm reading Somerset Studio or the Stampington Art Journaling magazine my eye is drawn to anything neutral, duck egg blue, pastels, neutrals, peach colours.

And yet more often than not my work ends up dark and messy and patterned and not what I had in mind at all.  I am trying at the moment to only work with particular colours rather than randomly picking up what comes to hand.  I think Dyan's new White Linen ink is going to really help me.

I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and on websites looking at other people's work trying to find inspiration.  But I often end these sessions feeling despondent.  There are so many amazing people out there doing amazing artwork.  And so I hesitate to start.  It isn't that the blank page intimidates me.  I never get as far as opening the sketchbook or finding the paper some days. 

And yet this blindingly obvious comment stood out yesterday when I was reading Art Journaling.  A quote from graphic artist Promise Tangeman:
'Don't waste time looking for your style.  The truth is you already have it, 
you may just need to create more in order to see it.'

So that's what I should be doing.  Creating more. 

Have you found your style yet?


  1. Your comments on your art journalling style remind me very much of my journey with scrapbooking. I admired the lightness other people seemed to produce in their pages but mine always seemed dark and solid. This has evolved over time but I still done think I have a recognisable 'style'. I think it's all about experimenting, finding what works for you and having fun.
    There is something that makes the art journalling harder than scrapbooking and that's mixing colours in paint and ink. Have you come across the theory that there are cool and warm version sof every colour? It's explained very well in a book entitled 'Blue and Yellow don't make Green'. Having read and digested I found that I could keep my colours clear and bright rather than dark and muddy.

  2. I love the quote at the end of this post and I believe that. Our art evolves as we do and it ebbs and flows and shifts with experience and exposure to other events in our lives. Although I was first drawn to work such as Donna Downey, I find that in my art journal I like more simplistic pages. Also in my sketch journal, I try out different mediums/images and see what catches my eye when I go back through it and then practice those images that I made that caught my seems to be working. Love what you wrote.

  3. Yes never worry about your style as it will show in your work - I never thought I had a particular style as I am so changeable but quite often people see things I have made and say its so me so there must be some kind of style there somewhere! Also I much prefer the blank page stage and rarely have any problems starting a project off its the finishing that scuppers me! Just enjoy it.

  4. Love the quote. Don't think I have a particular style yet as just experimenting still.

  5. I love Dina!
    But what I really want to say is that a great exercise for finding your style is to mark the pages of yours that you love and then figure out their similarities and why you love them.

  6. Hi Bernice,
    I came here from Julie Balzer's blog...I'm just doing her '30 Days Art Journal' class, & I'm learning so much from it.
    I love your thoughts on all the different styles out there, I have to say I love Julie's messy, random approach. I did a class with Dina in 2011, & her style really appeals to me too. I LOVE colour!
    From what I've seen of your work, you have a great style!
    Thanks for sharing that great quote, as well as all the different styles of journalling.
    Enjoy your journalling journey,
    Alison x


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