In the previous post I was discussing how an artist searches for their signature style and often goes through periods of distinct stylistic change. Why does this pose a problem for the artist? Here are a couple of reasons:
- How will people recognize your work if it is always popping up with something different?
- Galleries want you to have a definite style that is instantly recognizable as it’s own brand eg. – it’s a ‘Picasso.’
- Are you going to let yourself be stuck with a particular artistic label or style?
- How do you niche your work so people do recognize it as a ‘Picasso’ while still retaining creative flow and integrity?
Therefore how do we actually achieve visual coherence. Recurring themes is definitely an area which can work for you and become the life saver that holds your body of work together. It gives you a way to experiment and push your work because you can treat any given subject in so many different ways. It also gives you the opportunity for making a series of works that create a breadth and depth that might not be otherwise achieved. Another benefit overall of working in this way is that you give yourself the chance to thoroughly explore a subject.
When I look at my own work with this focus, I can see there are definite things that have kept resurfacing over the years. It is important to recognize this because you can then use that information in writing your artist’s statement. It gives you a platform and place to present your work with a professional edge.
Themes I have found recurring in my own work are; aged elements and textured surfaces; doors and windows; landscape vignettes; cut and fractured images; a strong sense of colour; a feeling or sense of mystery.