On Finding Your Artistic Voice and Making an Impact on the World

“Talent is when you have something to say but genius is when you have something interesting say.”

The Elements of Artistic Style

Art is your medium of expression. It is the platform by which you communicate with the world. In a world where everybody is a winner it is really hard to tell if your work is ingenius or if your just being placated by your peers.  You may have plenty of talent but talent is the result of years of labor intense building upon your craft.  On top of that you may have focused too hard on the technical aspects of your work making your study far too systemic for exploration.  Style is essential to having an impact on the world.


Be Recognizable:   

Artistic style is like a thumbprint, it is particular to the artist who created it. Your art will have to embody your personal character.

If you get to know the work of Dali or Picasso you begin to see an overall consistency within the body of work. If I see a painting  with long flowing penmanship, a dynamic attention to detail, a precise layering of paint, like an old masters work, along with strange phantasmagorical imagery, I know that I am looking at an art piece by Salvador Dali.

There should be a distinctness to you work that viewers can only trace back to you.

Study the Styles of Others:

The study of Art can be omnivorous! Keep a database of all your favorite artists.  That includes: musicians, painters, sculptors, philosophers, entrepreneurs or anyone that inspires you.  Most likely the way that they inspire you, in some way,contributes to your own personality.  If you follow the element of artistic style your personality will be woven into the fabric of your art piece and so will  all those who you emulate.

Broaden your Horizons:

In order to make your art a lasting and meaningful experience you yourself have to have lasting and meaningful experiences.  Artists take people out of their reality.  If you have vibrant experiences or dreams then your art will be vibrant too and people are drawn to vibrancy and beauty.

Draw Outside the Lines:  

Don’t focus solely on technique. In order to create you have to play around.  Have tons of fun.  Treat your work like play.  When you reach a level of mastery those dynamic elements will be toys for your amusement.   Now you can draw from your vast experiences and put things together like an erector set or legos.


To explore the realm of the human experience I like to study Philosophy.  For me I want my art to be deep and thought provoking and nothing is more so than the study of philosophy.

 note:  You can draw from whatever you want whether it be entertainment or your own history.  You don’t necessarily have to study philosophy in order to have an amazing message in your artwork.  

When we think of philosophy most people think of conniving old men in togas engaged in discourse about ascertaining the absolute truth.  Philsopophy is actually quite modest.  It is the most efficient modelling of human reality that we have.  Philosophy for ages has been obsessed with trying to interpret the human experience and draws upon a wide array of knowledge like:

1. metaphysics: the study of abstract dimensions.

2. Logic: Rationality and reason.

3. Aesthetics: Beauty and Art.

4. Ethics: Questions of morality and how men should interact with others.

5. Epistemology: Study of the empirical world.

I feel philosophy helps me to make my art deeper and more thought provoking.  Regardless of what study you find interesting in your studies the message you are trying to convey should come out seamlessly in your artwork.  Art is a way for us to see things through the subject of another.  It takes us out of our solipsism and helps us to engage reality in a whole new way.

COOL Beans


The Best Artists Ask: What is Art? -Art for Arts Sake


Fountain 1917, replica 1964 by Marcel Duchamp 1887-1968

It is very difficult to properly determine exactly what this thing is which we humans call art. Some would say  art is that which makes us feel emotional or swept away by something created by someone else while others believe that art is that which causes us to critically view human reality and reevaluate society, politics, economy, culture etc.  Since there are so many different meanings and definitions it should be said that the greatest art is that which has no other purpose than to facilitate the understanding of art itself-“Art for the sake of art.”

Art is Interesting

The Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer argued that art was just a representation of the natural world.  The best art, in his mind, was that which could create an illusion of reality or summon a sense of reality in the viewer.  He literally used the example of a wax figure as the perfect art form because upon approaching a wax figure, believing it to be a real person, one does not realize it is wax until further inspection.  Thus art was fraudulent yet there were only two truth elements that art aroused in its viewers: Beauty and Interest (curiosity). 

Art asks Questions


janine-antoni-touch-2002   So art was something which did not disclose truth in natural reality like objective fact but it disclosed an “ideal” truth.   In the 20th century the modern art movement known as “Conceptualism” began to center its focus on expressing more abstract concepts that were not so easily represented pictorially.  This caused people to reevaluate their previous notions of the concepts.  Some of these ideas that the conceptualists began to convey were:

  • time
  • place
  • identity
  • spirituality
  • language
  • the body

Art is Beautiful

There are those in the school of aesthetic theory who believe that they can determine the artistic quality of something based on it’s beauty.  The idea of sublimity was  a quasi-religious veneration of nature.  Art which produced a “sublime reaction “induced” extraordinary phenomenon in the viewer.

Photography is Plato’s Ultimate Artistic Medium

To Plato art was an imitation of nature.  So if the goal of the artist was to reproduce the things he sees in nature as accurately as possible then all artists would be photographers because nothing visually portrays reality better than the medium of photo.

Art is Creative IMG_0024

Thomas Hobbes had a far broader interpretation of art.  He saw art as the artificial or that which directly stemmed from mans manipulation of natural events.  He divided things between the “Natural” and the “Artificial.”  Nature, he thought, was a “The art whereby God hath made…” while the Artificial was the things that stemmed from mens own creations.  In this sense everything man made is art.

Interpreting art is a creative process itself  Readers and viewers of texts and images necessarily create their own meanings.  According to Roland Barthes no author or artist can fully dictate how others will decode an existing work of art.   Art is subjective and means different things to different people.  As Schopenhauer said, “The inner truth of a representation as to it’s corresponding ideal cannot be perceived by others.”  Quite simply the art is yours to make of it.  I implore you to ask the same question right now.  What is art?


Themes of Contemporary art: Visual art after 1980

Jean robertson, Craig McDaniel published 2005


Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Controversy 1831