My style is something that I’ve found to be ever-changing and evolving. It’s difficult for me to take a step backward and recognize and describe a common denominator for what I make. I surely have my favorite colors, brands, and tools to use- but when I’m making art for myself or art for clients my style can be a bit chameleon-ish depending on what I’m trying to do. I enjoy light and bright colors that feel airy. I like fun and dreamy. But those aren’t really enough to define a “style.”
In undergrad, I took a sculpture class and my professor defined my aesthetic as “delicate.” He meant it as a compliment, and I took offense to it. That was one of my favorite classes where I learned to weld, bend steel, cast plaster, and was encouraged to utilize experimental media. I felt like a badass in that studio space surrounded by a bunch of classmates and artists who were doing the same. When it came to my final project – meant to conceptualize all that I had learned that semester- I developed a low-relief paper manipulation technique and spent hours with x-acto knives, large-format specialty papers, and cans of spray starch going cross-eyed from all the tiny cuts and folds I was placing. Meanwhile, my classmates were smashing old TVs, creating kinetic site-specific drips of paint, and dipping hot metal in motor oil “just to see what would happen.” I was surrounded by boldness.
Was mine “delicate?” Yes, but also extremely detail-oriented, made by a perfectionist, and new. Over time I’ve learned my irritation of the word was because I was comparing myself to my classmates, and to other well-known artists. The artists in my Post-Modern and Contemporary Art History texts weren’t “delicate,” they were daring and fearless. It’s taken me years to learn to accept and be okay that my style isn’t ever going to be called “bold” or “badass” even if that’s how I feel when I’m creating. I’ll take “delicate” any day.