Finding Your Own Voice

The Things We Learn

By: Linda Riesenberg Fisler Oct. 25, 2021

This week in preparation for our launch, I worked on our Media Kit and Fact Sheet. Both are very important to your career and are especially important if running your own business. Make sure you check ours out in December when we post it right before launch.  (We can help you create one too, so don’t hesitate to ask if you are interested.) Knowing I usually stick to art blogs, hang with me as I talk about what led me to this post.

While studying data from many sources for the Artistic Harmonies Association, the process enabled me to look across the landscape of past and present creation. At some point, I wanted to try to find the voice of the paintings without looking at the years created.

For this post, I want to highlight how much time current creatives spend on their work. Are they always trying to find their voice? Do they discover it and keep refining it? Are they influenced too much by today’s competitions? Do today’s competitions reward not for uniqueness but for redundancy or how well artists can imitate their work to the standards set by successful artists?

The last question threw you for a loop, didn’t it? If not, good for you! Is there anything wrong with adapting our style to a style we love? That’s a question for the masses, and it would be an interesting debate. Unfortunately, I can only speak for my journey. You can draw your conclusions. It comes back to some Myths and Realities of Creating a Painting (a podcast interview with Carolyn Anderson.)

First, let’s tackle an interesting statistic I found this week from NAMTA. They surveyed over 7000 artists, mostly interested in materials, but I wanted to share two slides from the study with you.  They have to do with time spent creating and what level they consider themselves to be (hobbyist, professional, etc.) 

Painting, drawing, and mixed media/collage have consistently been in the top three over the last three surveys conducted. If we look over the percentage cited regarding the Student, Pro, and Hobbyist listed, we see the portion of paintings created is similar.  Hold on to the thought.

The time devoted to our pursuits changes across what we label ourselves (pro, student, or hobbyist) is vastly different.  Is there a misconception about how much time we spend creating dictates whether we are professional or hobbyists?  If a hobbyist cranks out a masterpiece, is it any less exquisite?  How many of us consider ourselves a hobbyist because someone decided that professionals act in a certain way or creates x amount of artwork a year?  Do you lose inspiration to paint, making the work more formulaic and less our voice if we only crank out paintings that don’t stretch us?  Does our voice become the formula?

One of my takes on the data above is that successful artists/creators produce the artwork because they created a business plan that led them to the necessity (number of artworks produced a year) and labeled them a pro.  Can you be a professional at a hobbyist level?  We believe you can achieve what you want at the pace you set. We also believe that there are multiple paths to finding your voice, style, and happiness.

Tune into the Chat, Create, and Cocktails event on November 4th at 8:00 PM Eastern and I’ll share some funny stories about my journey and why I think the way I do about our voices, our painting, and our work! Subscribe to the newsletter so I can send you the link to Zoom with us!

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