Sometimes when I’m not really feeling very creative or when I see an absolutely amazing piece of art by someone else, I sigh and think “Dammit! Why doesn’t my art have any personality to it?“.
Normally, when I think things like this, I’m looking at some of my most generic and uninspired pieces of art – like this one from a couple of days ago:
And I’m generally not thinking about or looking at other pieces of art that I’ve made (which actually have some personality to them), like this:
Anyway, why have I mentioned this? What use is it to you?
Well, whilst it’s easy to see whether a work of art has a lot of “personality”, it’s often hard to define exactly why and how it does – and why another piece of art doesn’t.
But it all really comes down to what the artist was thinking and how they were feeling when they made the painting and/or drawing. And, more importantly, how well they are able to express that feeling and/or thought in their art.
For example, trying to express a profound thought about nature of consciousness using three rolled up balls of paper in a rubbish bin is probably not going to be as interesting as expressing a shallow thought about nail varnish or action movies by making a beautiful painting.
The whole “My art has no personality!” thing tends to strike when we either can’t think of a suitably interesting part of ourselves to transform into a work of art or when we worry too much about how other people will react to something based on our authentic thoughts and feelings.
When this happens, we usually end up “playing it safe” and making something “nice” or “ordinary” that we think that other people will like. The only problem is that this kind of art feels “hollow” when we’re creating it and it doesn’t really contain the kind of unique idea or composition that one of our more “personality-filled” pictures has.
And, if you haven’t been feeling inspired for a while, then it can be very easy to look at your last few pictures and think “This is terrible! My art has no personality!”
If you start to think this, then remember that it isn’t true. Go and look at your old art or at some of the private doodlings in your sketchbook and you’ll probably find plenty of art that has a lot of personality to it. So, although a few recent pieces of your art might not have any real “personality”, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all of your art is hollow and impersonal.
In addition to this, if you develop your own unique art style, then you can also trick people into thinking that your art has more personality than it actually does.
Yes, a drawing or painting you’ve made might feel “bland” or “impersonal” to you – but, if someone who has never seen your unique style before takes a look at it then they’re more likely to think “Wow! This is unique and brilliant!” than they are if you use a widely-used style like manga art or traditional comic book art.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say here is that if you’re worrying that your art doesn’t have any personality to it – then it’s probably because you aren’t putting enough of your personality into it. This can happen for a lot of reasons but, like with artist’s block, it isn’t really a permanent problem – even though it might seem like one at the time.
Sorry that this article was so simplistic, but I hope it was useful 🙂