Today a friend shared her thoughts on two related blog posts about personal style and finding your own voice, which is something that every artist seeks. I found them very inspiring and relevant. I have included some quotes below along with links to the full blog posts.
15 Painted Cups - Finding Your Own Voice, And How Not To Be A Douche says:
"...but I think everyone still falls prey to being entranced by the work of other artists sometimes. Now, I'm not saying I'm going to stop obsessively trolling my Google reader list and Twitter for delicious new ceramic art to drool over. I'm not going to stop experimenting with techniques I'm inspired to try either. But I feel secure in knowing that my work is influenced by my own experiences, passions, and memories, and no one elses, and that is what makes it mine. When I'm in the studio, I draw from so many things in my life besides ceramic art to inform what I make, and no one is going to have the exact same interests that I do. I may still be working on a style that's completely my own, but I know I'll get there if I just keep making."
"I look at a lot of other ceramic artists work, and I definitely get inspired by it. I like to think I get inspired without feeling the need to outright steal anyone's style or designs, though I may dabble in a technique just to try it out and add something new to my repertoire. Even then, I still feel a little nervous trying something someone else is doing, because I want to be sure I can make it my own."
Additionally, Kristen Kieffer writes about Signature Style and says:
"I honestly think if an artist sets out with style as the goal rather than as a byproduct of making what he enjoys based on what inspires him, he will fail. (Though I’m sure there are artists who receive recognition this way, I don’t think they are happy, respected artists.)
Style is the amazing culmination of everything an artist has experienced, loves and is, manifested in an object."