As you set out to create a business from your craft or to better yourself as a quilter, you may decide it’s time to define an artistic style or personality for your work. Many artists are instantly recognized and identified by their body of work.
Defining your style can be much easier said then done. Most often your style will evolve over time and grow from your interests and passions. Sometimes it can be difficult to move beyond recreating patterns from other artists and begin to see yourself as a creative artist with unique ideas.
Here are a few suggestions to begin finding your personal style:
- Take a standard pattern and make three of your own changes to it
- Look at the colors and themes of your own personal home decor
- Think about the artist’s quilt patterns that you most admire
- Are you more traditional and conservative in nature, or a wild spirit?
- Are you drawn to funky novelty fabrics, the beautiful Asian fabrics or traditional floral prints?
- Go to quilt shows and make note of the quilts you are most drawn to
- Take some classes to broaden your expertise in your favorite area
- Invest in books from your favorite artists
- Experiment with color and technique
- Get a design wall (pellon fleece) to be able to stand back and observe your work in progress
- Use a camera – photograph nature, citylife, people and more for inspiration
When looking for your style, be true to yourself. You’ll have a difficult time becoming a contemporary artist if deep down your passions are rooted in the historical or traditional. Look for colors and styles that excite you and then set about experimenting to make them unique and special to you.
While it’s great to study other quilt artists, be sure not to copy. You’ll get inspiration, ideas, and you will be able to grow from each new study.
If you are marketing your products, you may also want to consider the trends and interests of your marketplace. Does your part of the country tend towards conservative or contemporary? Are there popular color trends or home decor trends that you want to follow? Go to your local shops, street fairs, galleries, etc. and take it all in.
Enjoy your journey!