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How to Find Your Art Style: A Guide for Beginner Artists

Published on Nov 21st 2022
how to find your art style

Pursuing art is about more than practicing technical skills: if you want to become a talented artist, you will need to learn how to find your art style. Developing your own, distinctive art style is imperative to have an individual identity as an artist. Once you understand how to find your art style, you can approach your craft with greater confidence and produce unique works of art.

New artists may be asking themselves, why can’t I figure out my art style? No matter how much you perfect your painting or drawing techniques, you won’t know how to find your art style unless you take the time to discover what inspires you and how you value art. With this guide on how to find your art style, you can begin developing your own creative identity. 

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How Do You Find Your Art Style?

Art Activities

If you are just starting as an artist and trying to figure out how to find your art style, consider participating in various art activities and events. Signing up for a one-time activity is less pressure than signing up for a course and can be a great way to engage your creativity in a casual environment.

Smithsonian Magazine shares that studies are increasingly proving that relaxed art activities can support brain health and mental wellness, thus contributing to further artistic development.  

One of the best casual art activities is a paint and sip. At a paint and sip, you and your friends can relax with a glass of wine while you give painting a try. Paint and sips usually involve a guided painting activity, so you get to explore your style and discover acrylic painting ideas for beginners while sticking to the framework that the instructor provides. 

It’s not hard to find a paint and sip near you — paint and sips have become quite popular as an entertainment activity and are available in practically every major city, such as paint and sip in Sacramento, paint and sip in Los Angeles and paint and sip in Chicago.

paint and sip tips for how to find your art style
via Canva

Art Classes

The obvious path to take when you aren’t sure of how to find your art style is to take an art class. Art classes give you a community of fellow artists and an instructor who can guide you through painting tips for beginners and expose you to a wide range of artistic styles. 

You don’t need to have any art experience to sign up for an art class. Almost every community has an art program that offers beginner courses for adults that can help you learn how to find your art style.

If you’re feeling a little shy, or if an in-person class isn’t accessible to you, you can look into online classes. You can take all kinds of art classes online, such as online painting classes, drawing classes or watercolor painting for beginners

As your skills progress, you can continue to take art classes and explore various paint mediums and styles, making the question of how to find your art style an ongoing exploration. 

group of people taking a painting class
via Canva

Study Art

Learning how to find your art style takes more than practicing your art skills, or, for that matter, taking a how to find your art style quiz free online. If you want to figure out how to find your art style, you need to have an understanding of art history.

Familiarizing yourself with major art movements and styles from different cultures will give you a point of reference for how to find your art style. After all, most contemporary art is in dialogue with the art of the past. 

You can study art in various ways. For instance, you can take a course on art history or art theory, either in-person or online. You could also read books about art history and how to find your art style.

Art books usually have high-quality photographs of famous artworks and useful analysis of the artist’s background and creative approach. Similarly, if you are trying to learn how to find your digital art style, you can find an ample amount of graphic design blogs and portfolios online. 

The easy answer to how to find your art style is to go look at art in person. If you have access to an art museum or art gallery, take advantage of it. Regardless of whether you’re going to a famous museum or a small college campus exhibit, looking at art up close and personal will give you a new perspective on how art is made and how art can make the viewer feel. 

young artist studying art at his desk
via Canva

Find Inspiration in the World

Artistic inspiration often occurs outside of the traditional boundaries of fine art. If exploring how to find your art style is genuinely important to you, you should be looking for inspiration everywhere.

When you’re admiring nature or appreciating a well-decorated room, try to soak it all in and use it as an opportunity to determine how to find your art style. Consider the colors, shapes and textures that appeal to you.

The same goes for emotional experiences. If you are having a joyful time with loved ones or lamenting a difficult moment, take the time to consider how you would express those feelings through art. 

find inspiration tip for how to find your art style
via Canva

How Long Does It Take to Find Your Art Style?

Keep Practicing 

So, are artists born or made? While everyone is capable of unique artistic expression, learning how to articulate that creativity takes time. For most artists, the challenge of how to find your art style is a lifelong journey.

You won’t know how to find your style in 30 minutes. The project of unique and meaningful expression is never finished. Thus, good artists will continue to hone their craft and keep practicing.

Practice is especially important if you are a beginner artist trying to learn how to find your art style. Becoming more comfortable and confident with certain skills or painting techniques will allow you to start adding a more personal flair to your work. 

Learning and perfecting new skills also allows you to explore art styles that otherwise aren’t available to you. For instance, if you are interested in multimedia art styles, you will need to be comfortable working with a multitude of materials.

woman practicing her watercolor art on canvas
via Canva

Experiment 

If you are unsure of how to find your art style, don’t be afraid to experiment. Experimentation is essential to discovering an authentic art style. Not every style or approach you explore will be a success, but figuring out what does and doesn’t work for you will help you form a more articulated aesthetic. 

There are no limits when it comes to artistic experimentation. An easy way to start is to focus on a specific skill or create an obstacle for yourself. You could try drawing without lifting the pencil from the paper or painting a portrait using a limited color palette. 

Review Your Work

You don’t want to be too harsh with yourself when you’re in the early stages of figuring out how to find your art style, but you do want to look at your work critically.

The process of developing an art style will go much more quickly if you are continually looking back at the art you’ve created and analyzing your progress.

Reviewing your work doesn’t necessarily mean sorting your pieces into good versus bad, but rather considering the elements that please you and the parts that you would change if you were to make the piece again.

When you look at past artwork you can also rediscover a technique or style that may not have appealed to you at the time, but you now think would be interesting to incorporate into your current approach. 

how to find your art style by reviewing your work
via Canva

Accept Change

Change is a part of life, and it’s also a part of art. The question of how to find your art style will keep popping up throughout your creative journey because who you are is constantly evolving, and your art style should evolve along with you. 

Your art style can change for a lot of reasons. New experiences and shifts in your values can lead to a change in your artistic perspective. Your physical health may change, resulting in a necessary adjustment to your artistic technique.

No matter why your style evolves, don’t hesitate to embrace it as a new opportunity to create beautiful, unique works of art. 

What are Some Common Artistic Styles?

Realism

Realism is a great style to start with if you don’t know how to find your art style. Realism is all about depicting the world as it truly is, without fantastical or romantic elements. Many artists incorporate realism with naturalism, a movement focused on accurate proportions and linear perspective.

Surrealism

Surrealism is a fun art style when you’re experimenting with how to find your art style. The surrealist movement began after World War I and sought to articulate the interior mind through bizarre and unexpected imagery. 

Impressionism

If you want a quick summary of art styles, you may ask, what are the three common artistic styles? Anyone looking for common art styles should start with impressionism.

Impressionism is extremely popular today, but it was rather controversial when the movement started in the latter part of the 19th century. The style features visible brush strokes that create blurred images to capture the qualities of light and color.

Impressionism is a gorgeous art style and is worth incorporating into your artwork as you figure out how to find your art style, but be sure to find an original way to do it. It’s easy to fall into the habit of recreating the impressionist style rather than figuring out how to find your art style. 

Landscape between Storms by Auguste Renoir
"Landscape Between Storms" by Auguste Renoir via Canva

Expressionism

The expressionism movement grew out of impressionism, and could arguably be called the descendent of impressionism. This style focuses on expressing emotion instead of the physical world.

If you want to know how to find your art style by taking inspiration from expressionists, you can look at art by Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch or Wassily Kandinsky. 

Baroque

The baroque style is a much older art movement than the others included in this guide, dating back to the 1600s. Baroque art emphasizes movement and lush details.

If you’re wondering how to find your art style without being too derivative of recent art trends, drawing on older works, such as the Baroque era, is an excellent idea. 

Minimalism

In visual art, minimalism explores simple elements to create distinctive, contemplative works. Minimalism frequently incorporates color and geometry. For instance, minimalist art can focus on a block of color or a series of bright lights. 

How Do You Make Your Art Style Unique?

Make a Mission Statement 

The challenge of having an artistic identity isn’t just discovering how to find your art style, but ensuring that your art style is unique. One way to make sure you have a distinctive artistic identity is to write a mission statement.

An artistic mission statement describes your intentions with your art, your inspirations and what you hope to contribute to the world. By having an artist’s statement, your art style won’t be reduced to a color scheme or aesthetic. Instead, your art will have a meaning that is integral to who you are as a person. 

hands holding an art journal with writing in it
via Canva

Draw From Multiple Influences

If you want to figure out how to find your art style in 30 minutes or less, you will likely end up with unoriginal and boring artwork that’s derivative of someone else’s ideas. When deciding how to find your art style, you must explore multiple influences.

You won’t have a unique art style if you are painting exact copies of nineteenth-century impressionism. Study various art movements and pull from a wide range of sources for inspiration to craft a style that is original to your taste and values. 

Continue to Challenge Yourself

Once you know how to find your art style, you need to continue to challenge yourself and produce innovative art. Few great artists stick to one single style throughout their entire careers. If you find yourself over-relying on one particular format or style, try approaching your art in a new way. 

You can challenge yourself by taking a course in a new art technique or medium, experimenting with styles radically different from your own or making art in a new environment outside of your typical studio. 

how to find your art style by challenging yourself
via Canva

Knowing how to find your art style takes a long time, and a “how to find your art style” quiz free online won’t solve the problem for you. Personal expression is a seemingly impossible task, trying to bridge the gap between your interiority and the experiences of others.

However, with practice, commitment and reflection, any beginner artist can start developing a meaningful and memorable artistic style. 

For even more fun art ideas, check out other experiences happening on Classpop!