It happens to all artists. We look at other artists' work. We love what we see and then we start to compare our work to theirs. I try very very hard not to do this. I know comparison is the death of creativity. So, if I find myself comparing, I try and take a more analytical approach. I don't want to paint like the artists I admire but I do wonder "what do they have that I am missing in my art?".
So I looked at the Etsy shops of some of my favorite artists to see if I could figure out the quality or qualities these artists have that. I checked out Juliette Crane's, Mindy Lacefield's and Danita's. Each of these women have a very distinctive style and a consistent style. It doesn't matter what the subject matter is, you can look at any of these artists' work and know who the painter is. This was an "aha" moment and a "well duh" moment too. I can tell a Renoir from a Degas no matter what they painted. So, I looked at the work I have created over the past year. I can see some consistency in my work but I think my style changes when the subject matter changes.
These girl paintings have a similar look.
And so do these but, I'm not sure the style is similar to the ones above.
These animal paintings are similar in style but, do they go with the girl paintings?
And then I've been making this style of animal. I used collage and watercolor on these atcs. Do they go with my other paintings?
I'm still learning I suppose. Developing my style and finding out how I like to paint. I admit I'm still all over the place. Exploring art supplies and what I enjoy drawing. I love color and whimsy. I also love my serene girls. Ugh! I don't know. The only thing I can keep doing is paint, draw and paint and draw some more. The other thing that the artists I admire have in common is years of experience. They've been painting a long time and it likely took more than a year for them to find their style. Comparison isn't always a bad thing. It can help you be objective. You just can't get stuck in the "comparison mode". You have to move on and just paint.