Art Styles: Fads, Themes, and Feelings

Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Opinion | 2 comments

Styles and fads are a topic which routinely runs through my brain.

After having restarted my painting journey again a few years ago I have been a rather silent observer to others artwork, trends and the things that seem to hit the highlights and it has always left me puzzling…

Who begins it all? How does it catch on? And most importantly – do artists have to follow suit?

For example, lately I have been seeing  a lot of geometric shapes coupled with bright splashes of color and drippy/runny bits mixed into it. It has been a theme across several artists I have seen and their work is of course very popular in the galleries.

When I myself thought for a moment…how would my art look if I were to throw some squares into it? My immediate reaction was “No no no no”. Geometry and me do not get along. It would hurt my brain. But then I wonder how everyone else feels and if they would take out the ruler in preparedness of the blossoming “trend”.

This isn’t limited to a style like this though. For a long time now “big eyed girls” have been ruling the art world.
I personally have seen more branch off styles of Jasmine Becket Griffith’s big eyed doll girls than any other style out there. But then again, is Jasmine the chicken to the egg?

There is pressure on an artist to find that signature style. From the immediate acknowledgement of Glenn Arthur‘s tattooed women, to the precise color palette of Casey Weldon. Finding some sort of niche as an artist seems to be of high priority in order to become established. My concern is that during this fragile period it is too easy to be impressionable and to mold yourself too deeply into what is popular at the time, or off what another artist has already developed.

I love the current Pop Surrealist art scene and am happy to know so many wonderful artists within it. Finding a style for me seems to be taking a century and even though I am constantly tugged at to follow a certain suit…my color palette always seems to be ranged, I never make my model’s eyes too big, and I am always stuck in a nature setting. I look through my messy and chaotic sketchbook where my mind meets paper and see mature large eyed women who all look suspiciously like myself and I keep that in mind and think “what my inner being draws out is where I should gear my paintings.”

What do your sketches look like, even the most base crazy squiggles? Do you feel  like you yourself are influenced or molded by the current trends of the art world?
And as a art enthusiast rather than creator – do you follow the trends like seasonal fashion or are you rooted in a certain set of ideals?

Let me know your thoughts and opinions on the subject!


  1. Ive noticed that, when i go check out the galleries here in Santa Fe, NM, alot have the same style paintings done by different artists. I try to do what comes natural to me. I was told to jump on the bandwagon create landscapes or retablos because thats what was selling. but when i started my artwork it wasnt about selling, it was about finding myself spirtually, that certain calm in a wirlwind of madness and expressing it through medium.
    I really never engaged myself with certain trends of the art world.i never really engaged myself into the artworld other than what my friends and family (artists) were doing.for me its to difficult to mold myself into something Im not.(only in acting is it fun). I was infulenced by the many greats in all mediums.
    Recenty, a year or two, I came across Nancy Reyner doing a workshop at artisans, promoting her book the acrylic revolution, with many different techniques accompanied with different gells and what not.I found I couldnt get what I liked doing those different styles,,so I then incorperated them with my technique,and lo in behold i got what I wanted.
    My sketches are exactly what you discribed as crazy scribbles, not in an sketchbook though. Its the original painting, i call the rough draft.I work the same way when i work on my writtings, my drumming, and my paintings.I let my subconscience take over. usually without a concept, I do the craziness, from that I draw out an image or images, then I define it.If I love it, it stays if not, I paint over it and start over.The concept reveals itself after it is finished with nameing it…Ive noticed the older i get the less I have to start over.Thanks for letting me rant.I love your openness,the video,& paintings.

    • And thank you for yours! It seems this is some sort of behind the veil topic and artists somehow never talk about it.
      They dont talk often enough about the struggles beyond what everyone hears ,”its hard to make money” – but it is also hard to make good art and it is also very hard to be a recognizable voice or vision out into the masses of todays virtual art scene.
      I cant say I am right or wrong in anything I have written, and perhaps I have even offended some people. But I think it might, like with you, strike a cord with your own version of the struggle to push past what is popular and what is uniquely you.
      It truly is a long journey. And I like that you mentioned that the more time goes on, the less time it takes to get your vision down onto paper. It’ll become funneled and concrete. It is my hope that all artists will persist with what it is they love and enjoy (this is myself included) and that at the end of it when theyre hands and skill catch up with their good imagination the rest will fall into place alot easier.
      I think having it be such an internet fueled age aids to these trends and fashions in art – which is why we should all turn off FB when we are working and just focus on what it is we are actually trying to accomplish. And here I am ranting again haha. I am happy you liked my little opinion piece, and have a very inspirational day ^^


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