I've been thinking a lot about the art I create lately. I've been feeling lost. It's not that I dislike the art I am making. I am just not sure if it's "me". I think The Make Art That Sells e-course changed how I look at my art. I want to make art that I love but it also has to be marketable. So, I am questioning everything I am creating. I just want to enjoy making art but I also want to sell it so, where is the balance? How do you balance being commercial and being true to yourself? I decided I've been overthinking things and my problem may be that I haven't found my style. I've found some of it, but not all of it. My art is also not quite focused for a specific market. So, I've gone into analysis mode and started thinking about where my love of art comes from. Why do I love art?
When I was growing up I loved (and still love) Disney Films. I watched the Disney Channel when if first came onto cable and they actually showed all the classic cartoons. I have quite a collection of (now out of print) books on Disney Animation. I used to trace the characters and color them in. I still love to look through the books and I now get to watch the movies through my children's eyes.
In my 20's and 30's I worked in several different bookstores and my favorite department was the children's section, especially picture books. I loved the stories and the art. The best part of picture books is that the art can be so different. Below are pictures of just some of the books in my collection. I have a lot! I think my favorite thing about picture books are the characters created. The trick to creating an excellent picture book is that the words and the pictures work well on their own but are perfect compliments to each other. I was recently reading a Frog and Toad (by Arnold Lobel) story to my son and he was cracking up at the story and the pictures.
So what does all this mean for my art and what I create? I'm not sure yet. I think I have some of the whimsy from Disney, some texture from the Impressionists and characters from children's books already floating around in my art. I just need to keep drawing and working and drawing some more. I have been experimenting with other media too. My beginnings in art was in the craft world. I was a certified Donna Dewberry Muralist. As much as I enjoyed being a crafty painter I'd like my work not to look "crafty". This is my personal preference. Most important though I need to remember what kind of art makes my heart sing.