5 tips from Robert Schoolfield on how emerging artists can discover their unique styles.
Robert Schoolfield is a rising star in the Chattanooga art scene with many of his creations now for sale at the Area 61 Gallery. One of the biggest factors in his success has been the unique style that sets him apart from other local artists. Robert believes that finding your own style is crucial for emerging artists, but also know that it can be a struggle. Here are 5 tips he gives for emerging local artists trying to find their style.
1. Don’t Get Discouraged
The first big hurdle for many new artists is finding the passion to create. Finding your place in the art world isn’t always easy and can take time, so don’t give up if you find yourself struggling to unlock your style or get your artwork featured. Robert says that when he first started out he was constantly being turned down for shows and contests. He never let this discourage him though, and instead kept on going until he got the break he needed.
“I still get denied 10 times before I get one gig,” Robert says. “Don’t let it phase you. Just don’t give up.”
2. Never Stop
Another big mistake that Robert says holds many artists back is simply not creating. It is easy for artists to stagnate early in their careers and stop creating as much as they should. Robert says that the main reason he sees people do this is that they let their frustrations or passions take hold of them. They become frustrated with their careers and become stunted by this frustration, or they become so caught up in trying to create the perfect passion project that they don’t make anything.
“Go find your style. Just keep on working and eventually, you will get there, but first, you will have to push through those moments of passion and of frustration.
3. Let Art Reflect You
For Robert, art is an almost spiritual experience. When he creates he does so with the goal of making something that will reflect him and the feelings that he has. Art shouldn’t be created for the audience it might have. It should be created for the creator.
“Let your emotions drive you. Use that passion in you to avoid discouragement and make something that really reflects you.”
4. Always Be Learning
Artists have to be lifelong learners. The second that they stop trying to push the limits and expand their styles or learn new things, they have stagnated themselves and their artwork. Robert says that artists need to never settle. They need to always think that this is just a step on the way to doing their best, not the actual best that they can be. By always looking for new ways to grow they are able to continue to create better artwork and discover new ways to utilize their styles.
“Don’t beat yourself up, but always know you can do better. Don’t look at where you are as the peak, because there is always something to look forward to next.”
5. Take Risk And Get Out There
Far too often Robert sees artists who have potential but who do not utilize it. Fear paralyzes artists and stops them from taking a risk like trying to find new opportunities or taking chances on people. To succeed artists must be willing to step out of their comfort zones and learn where they fit.
“Don’t turn people away. Always seek opportunities and if you get turned down or things don’t work out, just look at it as a new opportunity to go try again.”