Who Are YoU?

A recognizable style.  Most artists have one or two.  Many work most of their lives mastering one medium.  Often one is a fine artist OR makes commercial work. I know this is rapidly changing. The lines between disciplines are blurring and that thrills me!  While I am not competent in any discipline other than visual art, I’ve got plenty to keep me busy.

I paint portraits, illustrate children’s books, wrote a kid’s book, make fine art, teach, and instruct a creative expression class on a hospital psychiatric floor.  I have painted silk, run workshops, made street art and illustrated brochures. Each endeavour delivers whatever the market will bear monetarily, but all inform and excite me (except for the brochures).

I work in oils, acrylic, digital painting, simple printmaking, silk, and pastel, and play with oil sticks, watercolor, clay, wire, photography, multi media, collage and just about any material I can get my hands on, including beet juice and congealed butter in my dinner plate.

The downside of course, takes me back to my first paragraph;little to no recognizable style. Even within a given medium, I’m inspired to experiment with different ways of working.  I laugh when I look at this blog’s  Illustration Friday archives just after clicking the tab on my Pause Series.   I think I’m still fishing around for one thing that suits me best. In the meantime, expect images of any sort from this blog.  At least my inconsistency will keep us all guessing;)

Published by elenacaravela

My world is a wonder of visual candy and foreboding shadow shapes vying every waking moment for my full attention.

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  1. where you see “no style” i see versatility. not to mention the fact that you’re obviously still growing, and what’s better than that? so much experimentation that comes so easily to you! i’m jealous 😉 thanks for stopping by my blog, i’m so very flattered that someone with your skill and talent would take the time to peek at my stuff

    1. Oh Carol, you are too kind. I really enjoyed your blog and I’ll be back! I just happen to be about one hundred years older, and spent all my years making art. Still VERY excited about making art and experimenting with every material I can get my hands on. Keep you your good work:)

  2. oh yes indeed this tapped into much of my confusion /concerns with my own work too! i agree it is a limit in attracting commisions etc but i have (for thetime being) decided to go with the flow and hope it coalesces together somewhere. x

  3. Being creative means “the sky is the limit”. Beet juice and butter… why not ?!
    Nice article Elena.

  4. The painting really grabs your attention. You are very right about style too. I think I have one but still working on it. I think to not have one because you are working with so many different forms of materials….how can that be bad? Sounds awesome. 🙂

    1. Thank you Jenny. I love your blog too. I’ve been resisting a “follow”, only because I already follow a zillion, but I couldn’t resist in the end. Please forgive if I’m not always able to comment, but I’ll enjoy:)

      1. With your great talent, I figured you have a lot of following so I understand if you do not respond right away. I was once an oil painter but just do not have the drive yet to paint again…Your blog is such an inspiration. Perhaps one day, I will paint again. Thanks for the following once again.

  5. It’s a beautiful painting and I really like it’s style … does that help? No, most likely not 😉

    It’s a funny thing when people you may or may not know tell you they could pick your work based on it’s style … a part of me is thrilled that my work, when collected together, does seem to have concurrent themes and elements that other people can recognise … still another part becomes quietly terrified that now I’m in a rut and simply producing in accordance with some individual formulae 🙂

    1. NO, I’ve come to the conclusion that from a commercial standpoint, it’s advantageous to have a recognizable style-necessary really. There’s just too much out there for art directors, or galleries to get a handle on and support you if they cannot clearly see what you do. They also are looking for consistancly to “market” you. My son’s work for instance, is wildly creative, but everything he makes is clearly “his. From a purely creative standpoint, I don’t think it makes a whole lot of difference, recognizable or not so much. I find it somewhat frustrating because I can’t seem to find one way of working that really represents me. As wise commenters have stated, perhaps that’s my sort of style. A little unwieldy, but that’s me. If you’ve got a style down, not to worry, just keep pushing within that personal style. It can’t become a rut if you are aware and add a new element to each project. Have a good time with it. And, thanks Geoff!

  6. Too often style is superficial, about the fact you’ve found one way one can do something easily that looks attractive and then sticking to that one way for everything you create. This doesn’t mean you should abandon that approach, but rather, build on it. It’s about figuring out why an approach or technique works for you (it’s often subliminal initially).

    Sorry about the speech! You’ve raised an interesting topic.


  7. Such a big deal is made out of having one’s own style. What I find is that there is quite a bit of borrowing going on in the art world. I think we should stop making such a fuss about it.

    1. Agreed, unless one is in pursuit of commercial work. Even the fine art world is up to a little “branding”, if you will. Personally, although a “style” would be advantageous, I’m having too much fun playing with lots of materials and trying new things. I’m making peace with it.

  8. I love this painting, it so different from what I have seen by your hand before, although it clearly has your mark and reflects your style. So I do disagree with you, you have a distinct style based on your vision. This painting has different colours that some I have seen from you, it’s a little more like caricature, but it’s still you – as I have gotten to learn you. I love the colours and I particularly like the “fishes” blowing by in the wind – knowing they are not fishes. I guess style comes down to how you define it. For me it has nothing to do with the technique you choose to use.

    1. Otto, you are the definition of insightful;intuitive, perceptive, discerning, astute, wise, appreciative, intelligent and sensitive. Thanks so much you for your interest in my blog and work. Clearly, you always offer a wise perspective:)

  9. I agree with the comments above, especially that your versatility is your style. I admire your adaptability and ability to work with such a range of mediums.

  10. Elena you identify a problem many, if not most, creative artists will empathize with. From the time the student qualifies there is a constant battle between finding the space (time) and security to be creative and grow artistically, and the need to provide a roof and a meal. The teaching profession is full of creative artists; actors and dancers stack shelves at their local supermarket; musicians grab a gig where they can, or teach or busk; fiction writers have great difficulty gaining acceptance by a publisher and even then must spend far more time marketing their work than writing. The need to earn can also subdue, if not stifle, creative flair.
    Only exceptional talent, supported by great good fortune, seems to be immune to this merry-go-round. The stereotypical image of the idealistic young artist starving in a garret carries a powerful message. Being determined to succeed (expressing what you have to say in your own stylistic language) demands sacrifices, often huge sacrifices, and not all are willing or can afford to make those sacrifices. The result can be a simmering frustration at not wholly achieving one’s potential.
    In short, I can’t solve your problem. I can only assure you that there are many, many who feel as you do ……. and I’m one of them!

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful response Louis. It’s really ok. The “branding” phenomenon in illustration, even fine art pushes one to master one thing, I’m never going to shock the art world, but the upside is that a broader scope makes one a better teacher, and that’s an important role for me. As long as I can make some kind of art almost every day, in some form, I’m happy:) It’s simply something that I need to do.

  11. Dear Elena, I know some of artists have a recognizable style… But this is not what should be… what you feel go on like that… This could be your style too… Just let your creative mind and your whispering inner voice what leading you… (sorry I hope my English explained well 🙂 ) I love your art works, Thank you dear Elena, Love, nia

  12. I don’t think that you necessarily need a style, I often find that it’s good to have many; to be a chameleon if you will. With the ability to change, it is easy to adapt to customer needs, mood changes and just for the fun of it. You are a remarkable artist, whatever medium of style you choose. Keep up the great work!

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