|"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is |
invisible to the eye." --Antoine de Saint Exupery
Illustration by Mary Englebreit. Visit her website, here.
I used to think it was necessary to switch hats to be successful. By day I'd paint floral still lifes and that's when I'd wear the JSS/MC hat (John Singer Sargent & Mary Cassatt, I know I'm pushing it, but indulge me!) By night, I'd channel Norman Rockwell and illustrate children's books. It's great to have art heroes but having your own voice and knowing what it is --is the ultimate goal for most artists. But how do you get there??
One thing I've discovered: Your own voice emerges over time through the practice of painting.every.day. It doesn't matter what project you work on or who you "channel." (I'm not the only one who does that, right? Heh.) If you are earnest about it and apply yourself in a consistent manner, all the things you wish to have manifest mix and simmer in the synapses of your unique brain... and eventually show up in your work. The mental painting notes, the art that inspires will begin to inform your brush... It's like magic when it happens. You can't think it into existence though. You have to actually paint a few miles of canvas first. This is something I'm still discovering. Having patience and working through it is important. I've also found that as my skillset expands my internal compass has become more organic and my need to "switch hats" has lessened. Sometimes it's hard to catch your stride, but painting every day is the by far best method I've found. What do you do to make your art as unique as you are?