Find Your Rhythm

As an artist I often find myself struggling with my own identity. Sometimes I forget who I am or what I want to say to my audience. With social media being at my finger tips I find that with all the amazing artists around me it’s very easy to get stuck in my head and lose my voice. Why is it that today it is easier to imitate than to find authenticity deep within ourselves. I personally, have come to understand that there is nothing but clutter in my head when I have several different art platforms pinned to my browser. I look at art because I enjoy seeing what others create but whether I like it or not some times those images are embedded deep into my subconscious and when I sit down to create I end up creating things that are heavily influenced by other people’s work. Now, hear this I don’t do this on purpose sometimes I don’t even realize my work being similar to someone else’s.

It is important to foster individuality for only the individual can produce the new ideas”

Albert Einstein

I’ve heard compliments from people when they’ve told me my image reminds them of X artist or Y artist and while I appreciate the thought, I personally don’t like it. I don’t want to be artist X or Y because I try very hard to be real and authentic and to have a voice of my own. It took me a while to understand how to separate myself from this. My solution – was to unplug myself completely from social media, or follow people who create art but not in the same medium as mine. I have very actively disconnected myself from googling images or artists I love because I want to create a baseline for myself and stand out as ME and not as an echo of someone else.

It’s very common to seek inspiration all around us but how do we find it when the muses are not singing to us out loud? I find myself drawn to books, poems, lyrics, paintings and movies. I do not work in any of these mediums and if I put my headphones on and give it a good five to ten minutes something usually hits me like a rock and I have a good three to four images ready. I do also tend to sketch them down immediately or use words so I don’t forget. Granted my method might not work for everyone, but I know one thing is that unless you cut the outside noise out you won’t be able to tune out outside influences to find your own voice.

I will never suggest cutting yourself completely off social media because I have met some of the most amazing people on social media. I would however suggest that if you see something that inspires you – take it down, draw it up and work with small things like changing placements of items in the scene or maybe replacing them with objects that define who you are. Another way would be to switch the color palette along with the objects to make a whole new story and adding bits and pieces of you. You will notice by changing an image up to 35% you will make it more ‘YOU’ vs X artist. This is something I learned in design school; if you can’t remove an image from your head and you are drawn to replicating it then change it up to 35% and see where it leads you.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself”

Friedrich Nietzsche

Individuality has become so difficult these days even though each one of us is unique. Our head is usually filled with voices that either tell us we’re not good enough or we’re not creating anything different from what is being produced all over social media. The only way to break that cycle is to look deep within and maybe write down what it is that makes us unique. I like to use this app called ‘pattern’ that tells me about how I’m feeling on a day that I’m sitting down to create and I take that as my lead and start from there. There are plenty ways to find inspiration that is not VISUAL. If we on purpose make a point to find inspiration in the words of others or take cue from symbols or colors that resonate with us on a level that gets us in a state of flow we will be able to create what separates us from what’s around us.

I urge you to try these techniques mentioned above and feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I will be back with another post further breaking down how to find our voice – until then keep creating keep inspiring and be you!

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