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  • Writer's pictureTania Miller

Your style. When you don't look for it, it emerges.

For the last two years, I have been tirelessly searching for my style. Each large piece or composition to be painted has been well thought out, always trying to align it to "my style,” or, well, the one I thought I had. A unique, unrepeatable, constant, identifiable style. One day I wondered why, if that was my style, sometimes, it was hard for me to get to it.

After reading Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way, I am in the habit of writing almost every morning. Writing these morning pages, as she calls them in her book, has been a great liberation, which, incidentally, is in development; instead, I think it will never end. Through safe writing, I get to know myself more every day. Now nothing stops me from thinking about uncomfortable things. Ultimately, I can analyze them and understand what they mean to me. After a while, what seemed to be simply a catharsis, turned into a deep analysis delicately revealed over time like the skin of an onion. Without blame, without thinking about what someone else expects of me, without economic goals in my head or any kind of goal, and as much as possible without my prejudices or ideas sown over time. There, in front of those pages, I can be sad or happy, angry, frustrated, afraid, tired, disappointed, or relaxed, it can simply be me.

But it's not just the morning pages that have been helpful. It has been a sum of events, people, situations, and words written by someone else that have brought me closer to my truth, and part of it is my style.

My style, just like the onion that you discover through thin layers, like this, my STYLES are emerging; yes, I said STYLES. I found that I like many things and that they depend on my mood when creating. Sometimes I have a firm idea that may be related to an event or something I read or saw. I don't even know if one day I will be able to paint with a single range of colors. I love bright colors but also terracotta colors. I know I don't like pastel colors very much. I like organic, magical shapes, but I also like figurative shapes. I like details. It will not be until I try more things, much more, that perhaps not a single style will begin to emerge, but a series of preferences for colors, shapes, the speed at which I paint and draw, and you know what? while it comes, whatever I'm doing, it's my STYLE. Style develops with you as you grow from a kid to an adult. What you love repeating today maybe is not what you will love in 5 years or 10, or who knows, maybe next year!

Along the way, while you find yourself, you are closer to being true to yourself. Stop thinking about many things that prevent you from listening to yourself and start creating without overthinking.

I have been one of those who started by copying other artists that I admire for different reasons, sometimes the color, sometimes the shapes, sometimes the technique, and believe me, that helps too. As long as you don't validate someone else's result as your own, it's fine as long as you find your way. Being ethical is always essential.

Get out of your comfort zone and try, try, and try one more time! and also, practice! yes, practice, practice, and when you get tired, practice a little more. May inspiration find you working, as Pablo Picasso said. Don't be like me, it's hard for me to start something if not before all the planets are aligned in order of size and color, haha. I keep fighting this.

It doesn't matter if you have three sketchbooks in use in the same period of time. I have three, ABSOLUTE FREEDOM style (no censorship), LEARNING style (techniques, colors, ideas), and the TRAVEL one, which I'm just about to start. In this one, I'll work with one composition per page, in fact, I already have the sketch for the cover, yes, this napkin on the picture.

I drew it in a restaurant. So, wherever the creativity sparkles, don’t let it go away, trap it in a napkin or whatever you have handy. Record it on your phone, but don’t let it go.

I hope this gives you a little light and you don't have to go through too many unnecessary steps.

Here are two videos where I practice getting out of my comfort zone. Painting without preliminary drawing is a unique practice. It benefits you much more than you think. Good luck!

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