Yesterday we got back from a fantastic weekend, just a couple of days spent with some very dear friends of ours down in Devon. You know, it’s true what they say, that friends are like medicine. Certainly being around these guys and having them in our lives definitely makes us feel better. So, now we’re back, my wife and I are feeling refreshed and raring to go for the week ahead.
Anyway, today, I just wanted to add a really quick post just to highlight something that I encountered while we were down there for the two days. You see, I’d gone there with the intention of coming back with an oil painting that would be something I could hang on the wall in our new house to remind us of good times down in Devon, and also to remind us that in the very near future, we’ll also be moving down there permanently.
So, we checked out a number of different studios and galleries but one studio in particular, well….
Walking in there, there was so many different kind of paintings all over the walls as it was quite a big place. There were landscapes, there were portraits, there were nudes, there were animals, there was still-life; there was all manner of different things.
It turns out that all of these paintings were by one particular artist, despite them having drastically different styles and looks. She greeted us when we came in, asked us what we were after, and I explained about wanting an oil painting, quite a decent size to go on a big wall in our front room in our new house.
However soon into the conversation I would say I was instantly turned off and wanted to leave…
“What is it you want? What is it you like? What colors do you want? What kind of mood are you after? Are you after something contemporary, modern, or classic? Do you know an artist who’s work you really like that I could copy for you because I could copy from anybody?”
It was this last comment about being willing to copy an artists style that ended things. She was basically saying that no matter what we wanted, she could fulfill. No matter what price we were after, she could fulfill.
But, you know, this is an art studio, we’re looking for something unique, maybe a one-off piece of art from an artist that had their own style, but there was this artist who was telling us no matter what we wanted, we could have.
Now we do have paintings on the wall, or at least we certainly did have in our old house. And there are certain artists I really do like their work and literally anything that I see that they do I’m tempted to buy because I like. But this artist was telling us that she could copy any style, so really, what she’s telling me was is that she has no style of her own. In fact, with all those paintings I mentioned that were around the studio walls, they could have been from a dozen different artists, they were all different styles but they weren’t…they were all from this one particular artist.
So I guess what I’m trying to get across here is even though we might want more clients surely we want clients to want us because of what our style is, what we’re like and so on, otherwise it ALL boils down to how much. We certainly don’t what I would say to prostitute ourselves to do absolutely anything and everything to satisfy clients. Clearly as in my own experience that drives clients away. The goal here, certainly for me and I’m guessing it is for you, is to always have your own unique style. You can go and photograph a landscape, you can go and do a portrait, but because you have a style, there will be something about them that tells people that that they are yours.
Anybody who follows this blog or follows me on social media would know that I really do buy into the whole copying lots to develop your own unique style just like in “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon talks about.
Copy, copy, copy to eventually develop your own unique style, but don’t just copy to satisfy clients.
I hope that makes sense,