Why Finding Your Style is Overrated February 18 2016, 1 Comment


Back in the early days of digital scrapbooking, when layout artists were fewer and farther between, I spent a fair amount of time in the galleries commenting and fawning over scores of gorgeous layouts.

There were a handful of layout artists that I could recognize by sight; their unique look stood out from the crowd, for though the craft was new to us all, they had solidified their signature style early on and were nailing it, each and every time. And me? I felt like I was flailing about, green with envy!

Because, while I tried out all the new trends and tons of different types of layouts, I still wasn't creating like those rock stars I'd seen in the galleries. Where was my style?!  It seemed like no matter what I did, this illusive concept was just beyond my grasp.

During my months of "searching," I would occasionally pop back into the galleries for inspiration… and low and behold, what did I find? Many of those same layout artists, creating their same signature pages over and again, flawlessly. And then I began to realize… that’s never going to be me.

I am a fly by the seat of my pants kinda gal. I love to play and try new things. Their brand of consistency isn’t who I am... and I am just going to have to be a-okay with that. At that moment, I began to embrace the possibility that maybe having a personal style just wasn’t in the cards for me (or perhaps not having a style was my style?). And with that acceptance, everything became easier.

Without the self-imposed pressure of searching for a certain way to create art, I was free to just be myself and get comfortable doing what I love. I created and created without concern for the final product, without worrying if anyone would recognize the work as mine, with regard for the process rather than the product. I felt liberated, at last!

For those of you who are already gurus whose style comes naturally: more power to you! If you love what you’re creating, then do you! But, if you’re anything like I was, and you’re out there right now on the road to discovering your "true style,” beware… Try not to get caught up in the muck and mire; save yourself some time and just get to work making art that you love. Because while there are great things about having style, it is certainly not a requirement for creating beautiful things.

And you know what? Just like all the good things in life: when you stop looking for style, it just may find you. Over the years, because I was drawn to certain supplies and techniques, I do think I eventually fell into a sort-of style of my own. But, to this day I try not to get too tied down. I like to keep my options open, to try new things and experiment with new designs. I hope you will be able to do the same!

These days I go where my mood takes me. Perhaps I get down and dirty with some paint, washi tape, and art journaling supplies; or maybe keep things all digi, clean and simple with a template, a great photo, and a handful of elements; I've even been known to use my digital art supplies to create some fun projects off the page. Today my "style" knows no bounds.

Looking for a way to keep things fresh and fun? Check out the piece I wrote back in January called Stretching Your Stash: 1 Kit, 4 Pages where I used a single kit from Tangie's ah-mazing stash (Bountiful / Bountiful {Mixed-Media Papers}) to create four separate pages using four separate styles.

Is style important to your creative process? Leave us a comment below and tell us about your experience!

To find out more about the Art Journal Emporium or the Art Journal Caravan, visit http://shoptangiebaxter.com.

[posted by Karli-Marie]