One of the most common questions artists ask themselves is this: How do I find my style?
Style is 'a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed.'
In other words, your style is what makes your art recognizable as your own.
This is something we all want our art to reflect, no matter how varied our subject matter or choices of medium. We hope people will see one of our pieces and be able to discern it as our work.
Collectors who buy our art generally are drawn to it because they love the way you paint, the feeling that comes through in your art, the colors you choose, or the content you focus on.
The question is... how do you find your style?
Especially when you are studying under or inspired by numerous artists (which is generally the case) and their style of work is widely varied, it can feel like you are swinging from one aesthetic to another depending on whose work you are most familiar with at the time. If I have been looking at a lot of Sargent paintings, for example, I find myself trying to paint like Sargent to better understand how he made decisions and solved problems. When I am immersed in more highly rendered art, such as that of Bouguereau or Waterhouse, my work dually reflects their influence.
Appreciating different types of art is a wonderfully valuable mindset. You're able to learn so much more when you are open to different styles and mediums. This doesn't mean you enjoy every style of art, simply that you don't limit your admiration to one specific style.
For myself, abstract art is not as beautiful or impressive as impressionism and doesn't capture life as expressively.
As elaborated in my previous post, I believe learning from a broad spectrum of art is also helpful. Choosing workshops and classes that teach you techniques and skills which will enhance your understanding of your chosen medium and subject is a great way to develop your abilities.
What makes your style unique?
That you are the artist.
Now, this may seem like the obvious or over-simplified answer, but it is true!
Your style will be visible in your work because you were the one that made it.
Even as you explore different themes, your 'fingerprint' will become more and more distinct over time.
Paint or draw what interests you. The quote "write what you know," applies to art as well. Paint subjects that are meaningful to you, that are significant through sentiment or experience. You will be able to capture the feeling, atmosphere, and rhythm in a personal way that is more moving and impactful - and you will be more inspired!
Keep practicing, working, and improving!