When I first started out doing murals I was very hesitant about figuring out what kind of style I wanted to do. If I wanted to have a specific style or if I wanted to dabble in different styles/techniques.
Benefits on not having a defined art style
Flexibility: Without a defined art style, artists have the freedom to experiment with different techniques, mediums, and approaches. This can lead to greater flexibility in their work, allowing them to adapt to different projects and clients. This is what I love to do - trying different things.
Creative Growth: Exploring different styles and techniques can lead to creative growth and development. Artists who do not limit themselves to a specific style may be more likely to push their boundaries and try new things. What if your style was happy rainbows when you were 15, ended up deciding your only going to be painting that - you become super successful but you have painted over 500 rainbows and go through something major in your life, do you still want to paint happy rainbows or explore creating something on a deeper level to connect with people.
Versatility: Artists who do not have a defined art style may be seen as more versatile and adaptable by clients. They may be able to take on a wider range of projects and styles, increasing their opportunities for work.
Personal Expression: Not having a defined art style can allow artists to more freely express themselves and their unique perspectives. They may be less constrained by the expectations of their audience or the art market, leading to more authentic and meaningful work.
Benefits on having a defined art style
Recognition: Think of Bob Ross - he received lots of fame for creating beautiful landscapes. A defined art style can make an artist's work instantly recognizable, making it easier for clients and audiences to remember and identify their work.
Branding: A consistent art style can help an artist to build a strong brand and establish a visual identity. This can be important for marketing and establishing a following. Especially if you want to work with larger companies, depending what your goals are.
Focus: Having a defined art style can help an artist to focus their development and improve their skills in a specific area. This can lead to mastery in a particular medium or technique.
Consistency: A defined art style can help to ensure that an artist's work is consistent in terms of quality, style, and subject matter. This can be important for building trust with clients and audiences.
However, even if an artist has a set style, they can still try out new techniques and materials to keep things fresh and exciting. For example, let's say there's an artist who likes to paint realistic portraits. They usually use oil paints, but they might decide to switch it up and try using watercolors or ink for a different look. They could even add things like paper or fabric to their paintings to make them more interesting to look at. This way, the artist can keep their style consistent while also experimenting and trying new things. It helps them to grow and become even better at what they do!
Defined art style: Recognizable, possible to increase your value, consistent, but risk of boredom.
Not having a defined art style: Versatile, explorative, but risk of lack of mastery and confusion.
Personally I love to paint portraits as that allows me to stay creative, I don't share my portraits on my art page a ton, but it allows me to try new things and new styles. In my mural business I have created a style for myself that involves mostly vibrant semi-cartoon landscapes. I do sometimes get bored of painting the same Utah arch, but portraits allow to keep that creative flow.
Overall, having a defined art style can provide artists with recognition, focus, and consistency in their work, but it can also be limiting and lead to creative slumps. As with not having a defined art style, whether or not to have a defined art style is a personal decision that will depend on an artist's individual goals, preferences, and creative process.
What is your take on this? Do you prefer to finalize a style or prefer to keep exploring styles/techniques?