Ryan James


Tips on finding your style.

( promarkers and photoshop piece )

Even though I've always drawn I'm fairly new to painting and colour. I was always more a pencil and pen person doodling rather than sitting there with an explosion of paints and crayons. I actually did a degree in illustration and it was only in my final year that it was talked about that I couldn't paint. I don't know how, even after going through art college it wasn't picked up that I had no grasp of colour and how to use it. Just to give you a clue on how bad it was I was so far behind that I didn't even know that you had to use water on your paint brush when using acrylics. I was just putting it straight from the tube onto the page or canvas and I couldn't figure out why it wasn't looking good!? I began slowly working with colour pencils and then markers and finally worked my way up to paints. I am not exactly where I want to be in terms of skill but I am improving every day and with this year being dedicated to my creativity I am already seeing an improvement in my work.

 ( pencil drawing )


One of the things I have struggled with over the years is finding my “style”. Friends tell me that it's apparent with what I do but I do bounce back and forth in between varying things that I draw and paint and make. The more I'm delving into art and talking with more artists it seems to be a community problem. I think throughout the art education system it is so hammered into us to brand and market and package ourselves that I think it ends up stunting the evolution of our personal creativity. It makes you wary about trying new things and taking leaps because it steps outside of what you have branded yourself as. At least that's definitely how I've felt at times. I also think that sometimes when you find your “style” what you are really looking for is the space where you are comfortable and comfort and art don't really seem to go together in the minds of most artist I meet. We seem to naturally seek to scratch that itch to make something that pushes us to the next stage of where we want to go.



I have been recently learning to let go of all of that stuff connected to my work and focus myself solely in the fun, curious and scary space of exploring new things to make. In doing so I am unravelling what I have learned and making way for what I know to be true for me. I think that as soon as you have found your “style” then it's time to change something. You will always grow and evolve and your art will grow and evolve with you. Those with a discerning eye will always be able to spot your unique and special imprint on everything that you do. Abandon the search for a style and instead search for a place where you no longer look at or judge your work in that way. I think that it's only at that point that you are really embracing what it is you love to create. I know I am not all the way there yet but I have definitely taken the first steps!



Thank you for listening,



Big Love,



Ryan James





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