Don't Waste Time Trying to "Find Your Style."

Think about the creatives that you really like. Can you define their “style”? I bet you can.
All artists, photographers, designers, and other creatives strive to have a style that is recognizable and unique. How you brainstorm it, compose it, crop it, see it, change it black and white, render it, and design it, can all be defined as “style”. Everybody wants it. However, there is a BIG misconception that at some point in everyone’s artistic journey you miraculously “find” your style… as it if is something to go looking for.

I definitely never just “found” my style.

Because when you go looking for it….you will most likely end up finding the SAME ONE that everyone else has. We can see that in our industry already. That’s what trends and fads are. They are styles that people have “found” and claimed as their own eliminating uniqueness and creativity all together.

When talking about STYLE, I change the language from “finding” to “identifying”…..So how do you identify your style?

Your style is not something to be found. Your Style is recognized over time. Your Style is always evolving. Your Style is… in other words… you.

Do you ever have that feeling in your gut of just exactly how something SHOULD be? Let’s use a photographer as an example. You know that moment when you are shooting the same subject with another photographer and you think, “That needs to be shot from here, at this angle, with this setting.” Or that feeling of, “This is what I would do if I were in that situation.” That may sound arrogant, but it’s not….that is your STYLE talking. You may not be able to see your own style for a while, but the more you shoot, create, make, and design, the more your style will be revealed over time. Soon others will be able to recognize your style too. Or they may even be the first to notice! create, create, create, and then look back to see how you have evolved and developed as an artist. And your style will be shining bright.

Your style is a bi-product of your creations, not your end goal. Don’t waste time looking for your style, because you won’t FIND it. The truth is…. you already have it. You just may need to create more in order to see it.

How To Deal With Comparing Yourself To Others

Comparing yourself to others may have some benefits from time to time, BUT as artists it usually can go south pretty QUICK. RIIIIGHT?!?! And in some seasons it can be hard to recover.

This past week Laurie asked the question: “What advice would you give to someone who struggles with comparing or feels insecure about their [work/business/life]?” And it really got me thinking about how we deal with this issue. We all do it!! GUILTY!!

Although I am not any kind of self confidence wizard I listed out a few things that have really helped me navigate through the artist’s “depths-of-despair”, as Anne of Green Gables would put it.

REALIZE THAT THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS AS THEY SEEM

I’ve learned through experience that things aren’t always as them seem. It might look like The-Perfect-World for that person/company/business from a distance but you never know what’s going on behind the scenes. I’m sure they’d tell you it’s far less than perfect (in so many ways).

DETOX

If you focus so much of your time, energy, and brain power analyzing other people/businesses/companies you start to loose sight of who you are and who you were made to be. You start feeling intimidated, competitive, jealous, uncertain, worthless, fearful, and pretty soon you’re in the Depths-of-Despair. Tim Sanders Says: “Uncertainty is a spiritual enemy that will siphon your rocket fuel [confidence]… It turns go-getters into giver-uppers.” DETOX these toxins. In a time of rebuilding your self confidence sometimes you just need to step away, detox, and re-group (whatever that means for you and your situation).

CULTIVATE A SPIRIT OF THANKFULNESS

We are all created uniquely. No one has your *unique set* of giftings, personality, talents, passions, skill level, etc. Clearly articulate yours by jotting them down. Be thankful for them and turn your focus towards making them better. See every opportunity as something to be thankful for. Count your blessings. We all have a LOT to be thankful for. Cultivating a thankful spirit will turn your life perspective upsidedown.

ENCOURAGE OTHERS

I believe this is a BIG one and something we can all improve on. Put others before yourself by encouraging them even when you are feeling low. Have you ever heard someone say “If you are having a bad day…just start smiling/laughing… and you’ll feel better?” I think we can apply that thought to encouraging others as well. Sometimes you just gotta DO IT! And the after effects heal your heart, soul, and mind. We are made & put on this earth to love others so it only feels good, healthy, and natural to do so…for the other person and for yourself.

AIM HIGH*ER*

“Shoot for the moon and you’ll land among the stars” -Les Brown
So, What IS your moon? Identify it and put your focus there. I wouldn’t imagine it’s the peer that your comparing with. So stop waisting your time and energy comparing and focusing in the wrong places.

I’d like to hear what YOU do when the comparing game starts to head south? How do you deal?