I got no style.
For a long time I struggled with the question “what is my style?” I looked at all the artists and noted some of their distinct styles that set them apart from one another. I tried to develop my own unique style, but somehow it just quite didn’t fit. I felt too frustrated and antsy. Worse I didn’t really get the best kind of responses for whatever styles I’d adopt, and that just lulled me down deeper into a pit of distress.
Then one day I noted a quote from a seminal figure of the art world: Pablo Picasso. He talked about having no style, something that struck me as kind of odd coming from the master. He said this:
“When you come to think of it, I am probably a painter without style. ‘Style’ is often something that ties the artist down and makes him look at things in one particular way, the same technique, the same formulas, year after year, sometimes for a whole lifetime. You recognize him immediately, for he is always in the same suit, or a suit of the same cut. There are, of course, great painters who have a certain style. However, I always thrash about rather wildly. I am a bit of a tramp. You can see me at this moment, but I have already changed, I am already somewhere else. I can never be tied down, and that is why I have no style.”
I was pretty enlightened by this comment. It was as if the Master was talking about me. Because that’s exactly how I was. I am not a patient gal; I can never stay in one place for very long. One minute I am here, the next minute I am somewhere else. You can say that I got ADD, which I’m pretty sure I do even though I’ve never been formally diagnosed, I got all of its symptoms. Does that mean Picasso was an ADD too?
So that was it. I was a girl with no style. Because I can’t commit to one style or the other. I gotta just try them all. And act upon my instincts. What works for one piece of art doesn’t work the same way on another piece. Every subject is treated differently.
I cannot tell you how this discovery has been so liberating. No longer am I struggling to establish my own one unique style; I am free to create however I want. And that’s what art ought to be. Free to roam and explore. And now I got a new set of dilemma: how the hell do I tame this wild no-style wonder?
So, what do you think? Do you believe in having a style, or no style? What do you think of Picasso’s assessment? I’d like to hear your opinions.