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Who am I? Where am I? . . . and more importantly, what kind of artist do I want to be?

Artist Identity Crisis – “Why does my art style keep changing?”

I’ve been in the midst of an identity crisis of the creative variety.

Throughout Inktober 2019, I arrived to the realization that sketching and inking characters no longer spoke to me.

This was heart wrenching—the nagging fear that I was no longer in love with the creative process of illustration took the wind out of me. So I decided to take a break from creating art altogether. Maybe taking a step back would rejuvenate me. . . right?

This break lasted for about a month an a half. I didn’t feel 100% about my love for art, and was afraid to fully come to terms with what this experience meant. So before deciding to jump back into creativity, after what I labelled a moment of “artist block”, I purchased a Parisian paint-by-numbers set and slowly chipped away at it. Note, that it’s been about 3 months and I’m less than a quarter of the way through.

Although this guided art piece will probably remain uncompleted for about a year, it ended up sparking something new in me: the desire to paint landscapes.

During this time, my mom gave me an ambitious project. She asked that I paint on a 3-by-4-foot canvas to be displayed in our living room. So since I had 2 weeks off from work, and a ton of free acrylics I got off of Craigslist I dove into it.

I won’t go into too much detail, since I ended up filming the process:

This painting is significant because it forced me back into creating. Sometimes an external project or challenge is just what you need to recover from an art slump. It also had me looking at scenic reference photos; thus, reinforced my desire to paint scenery. Before this point, the long-game plan was to eventually move into character design. But something about capturing a scene and transporting a viewer to a different locale—however temporary—was just too appealing to pass up.

It called to me, thus I decided to shift my art direction.

These are a few of the pieces I’ve created since focusing on landscape and urban sketching. They’re far from perfect, but have given me a new reason to create.

A/N: Exactly a year ago I was on a farm in Brasil. This was a trip I booked after quitting my job in what was once my dream industry. And during this period, I made a promise to myself along the lines of:

If something loses it’s magic for you, thank it and let it go (Marie Kondo, anyone?). Growing and changing involves dreams, feelings, and mindsets altering constantly. By holding on too tightly to something, you might fall into the trap of plowing through when it no longer lights a fire under you. Time is too precious to spend doing something you don’t love during your spare time, after all.

In the world of creativity, I promised myself that once making art loses it’s spark I wouldn’t mourn over the loss of a hobby; but instead, use my spare time to discover a new passion.

Easier said than done, I know. But I’m happy that it didn’t need to come to this—not entirely at least. My temporary road block was a result of growing out of a subject rather than losing the drive to create art as a whole.

So, I found a new subject.

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