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Topic: Trying to get into painting.  (Read 1243 times)
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« on: March 02, 2012 08:25:29 AM »

I'm trying to get into painting... but I haven't really done a whole lot of it in the past, and I sometimes
have a hard time envisioning what I want to produce.... I guess my imagination sucks.  I did a painting
for a friend.  She wanted a fish.  I thought and thought about how I was going to approach it, but had
no idea.  So I did a Google search for some inspiration.  I found it, and it turned out really cool.  But to
me it seemed like the artist that really stood out to me had a lot of influence on the work.  I know that
is OK, and I didn't forge any of his pieces, but I would really like to find my own style, and look for my
own work.

It is slightly frustrating to me because I do not want to feel like I am taking too much style/look from the
pieces I see online/anywhere else.  Is there anything I can do to try and find my own satyle with out feeling
like I am taking someone elses?

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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2012 12:44:21 PM »

Honestly, I think looking at other people's pieces are how you develop your own style. I'm from a theatrical background, we take inspiration from artists & their works all the time. Specifically as a scenic artist, my job is to replicate a piece verbatim from the designer. Instead of feeling bad about copying a piece, it was a learning experience, I learned how I liked to paint & how I didn't like to paint. I also developed my own way of handling the paint despite having to replicate others' pieces. Besides, how will you know that surrealism isn't your thing unless you take a shot at it? Or impressionism? Or realism? You can pick & choose elements from all of those styles & make it your own, but you aren't going to know what you feel you can own unless you give it a try.

Also, there's nothing wrong with taking inspiration from other things. I did a van Gogh style painting for a course, I had a handful of inspirational images that I can point out how each particular image fit into my piece, but my finished piece didn't look like any of those images or any of van Gogh's pieces. It turned out pretty cool & really became my piece despite the inspiration coming from another piece.

I guess that's not helpful in how to find your own style without looking at someone else's, but I hope it's helpful in thinking about how bad of a thing it is to try out different styles or take inspiration from other artists. Smiley

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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2012 01:32:02 PM »

Picasso said, "Great artists don't borrow from other artists, they steal."  Meaning that you take things from other artists and then make them your own.  I agree, try everything that appeals to you to try, and from there you will decide what makes your heart sing.  Also, I don't believe in style, actually, because I do all kinds of work.  I only believe in doing what most inspires me in the moment.  What do you love in the moment?  For me, most of the time it is color and energy in a moment, so I tend to do a lot of quick, energetic acrylic abstracts.  But I also like the way a plain black line, a little shaky, captures an ordinary object or person, so I do pen and ink sketches.  I'm becoming intrigued by how watercolor techniques can suggest representation of objects, so I'm playing a bit with representational watercolors. 

My advice, study up on how the get the most out of your supplies so you'll know what you can do with them, by buying books on painting, then just start making marks until you're having fun.  And try not to put your first efforts down or feel bad about them.  Every mark you make takes you closer to a 'better' one.

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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2012 08:07:52 AM »

I think I understand what you mean. I felt the same way, just not with painting, but with making jewelry. I only reproduced stuff I had seen elsewhere and felt quite uncreative. But with time I changed the stuff I had seen a little bit and somewhen I got own ideas. It just took a while of "copying"  other stuff. Just be a bit patient and try everything out.
Besides (by now) I have to agree with the others. There's nothing wrong about being influenced by others.
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