We begin learning by imitation. This is necessary for survival in the world into which we are born. Then, comes the differentiation…the recognition that you are neither your mother nor your primary caregiver. Waving your hands in front of your face, you begin to realize that these are your hands and under your control. The very beginning of individuation!
In writing and art, you might begin by imitating, copying techniques, practicing methods, mixing colors as directed, learning the language, advancing your use of tools and studying your genre of choice, etc.
As you further your education, what is bursting to emerge is that which is essentially yours. How do you weave together all that you’ve learned and then, in which direction are you going to take it? Many artists speak about style. Some artists fear being copied. Other artists are flattered at being imitated. Every artist wants to receive credit for their creations.
I do think that there is within each one of us is that which is essentially your own. When you are in the copycat stage, there is an awareness that this is only the springboard that is going to take you to your very own style. Style can be seen as the way in which you uniquely put the various constructive components of your chosen art together. There is a certain something that emanates from your writing or art that comes to be seen as your style. At first, perhaps, you yourself can’t see it because it is so basic to you. I’ve found that others often recognize my style of painting before I do!
In your daily life, there is a way you go about things. From the way you greet the day, to the foods on your shelf, to the arrangement of furniture in your home or how you dress. I doubt that any two individuals do any of these exactly the same. Through experimentation, daring and trust–whether writing, sculpting or painting, –you are going to find a way to express that which is essentially yours.
WRITING PROMPT: How do you perceive your writing or painting to be essentially yours? What do others notice when they read your poetry or prose? What do others point out when they look at your art?