Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Finding Your Artistic Voice

Have you ever struggled with what kind of art (music; writing; etc.) you want to do?  We live in a world with so many rich choices it can be mind boggeling. Are you like me and love everything and want to do absolutely everything?  This can be a good thing since I believe diversity makes you very well rounded and a more interesting person.  It can also be a bad thing.  So many choices mean we don't focus on any one thing long enough to be really good at anything! 

There are those of you whose path seemed predetermined at birth.  You picked up a paint brush and some oil paints and ureka!  It was magic and you never wanted another medium.  Some of you do landscapes and find never ending inspritation from the vistas before you.  Some of you played a jazz tune the first time and now every note you play has that familiar edge, as though it was a part of you.  Like you were meant to play that way.  I envy you.  For many of us the path is not so clear. 

A great deal of us finally find something that speaks to us along lifes way.  A passion that has not presented itself before or is reawakened later in life.  Something that we find so compelling that we can't get enough. That, is when the magic happens.  Finding your passion is the beggining of finding your voice. 

Next you must master your craft.  This takes years.  Life get's in the way.  Unless it's your career path as well, you must make time for it and time gets shorter as we get older!  But here's what I tell all my students:  you have to master the skills before you can use them creatively.  Only when the skills become rote do we have the freedom to investigate our creativity through our art.  I'm not saying you are never being creative in the early stages of your art.  But I am saying it is much easier to experess yourself if you have more than a basic vocabulary!  So is it impossible make good art when you are just beginning?  Some of the pieces I am most fond of are those that have the freshness of inexperience!  One lesson is to always keep learning to keep your art fresh.  Skill is not the end all. 

Now you have your passion defined and your skill set in place.  Now what?  What makes you different?  What makes you special?  I believe we are created with unique and individual traits.  In the same way, I believe each of you has a unique and individual way to create using your art.  A "style" or voice that is only yours.  I also think we all have something to say that no one else can say quite the way you, and only you, can.

But hold on.  You are going to change and so will your art.  Therefore, so will your "voice".  It's a comfortable place to find your "grove" but a dangerous place to stay.  Let me suggest that as you grow as an artist your voice gets deeper and what you have to say becomes clearer.  All that takes time.  Life is process and so is your art.  The trap is to find something so comfortable you never grow beyond it.  While there is safely in having the skills and knowing what your message is, an artist must continue to grow.  To find something new and fresh to speak about.  At some point people will tune out if they've heard the same thing a thousand times.  And isn't art a conversation, really?  Aren't we really expressing something through another "language" of sorts? 

So I guess my message today is:  All this buzz about finding ones voice is a nice idea, if that were all there was to it:  Found passion-check.  Learned skills-check.  Have something to say-check!-heck.  How dull life would be if that were all there were?  How dull is art that say's the same thing over and over again? 

Think about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment