Ken Manninen
In pursuit of my inner artist


As you would have noticed in my 'artist biography' section I am searching to find my artistic voice.  I just read Find Your Artistic Voice by Lisa Congdon and found it very helpful.  Lisa interviews a number of artists to get their thoughts about voice.  My key learnings from this book are: 1) artistic voice is your point of view as an artist and not some divine inspiration; 2) your voice in made up of your style, skill, subject matter, medium, consistency, your unique perspective, your life experience, identity, values, what matters to you and all combine to make your voice different from others.  Notice style is only one component of voice and some artists have multiple styles; 3) your voice comes over time by continuous experimentation, practice, inspiration and intuition; 4) the four predictable phases of finding your voice are spark, risk taking, questioning, and creative flow; 5) all creative work comes from what came before so let go of trying to be completely original; 6) it will help you in finding your voice to list your favourite artists and what aspect of their work you admire; 7) fear is a natural emotion to protect us from feeling bad but embrace it because it is an integral part of the creative process and motivates us to work harder; 8) the process of creating has a messy period and when you work through it the outcome is usually worth it; 9) embrace monotony as it will lead to creativity; 10) becoming an accomplished musician takes practice; so does art; 11) don't force your style or voice; 12) failure is part of the process and leads you to new things; 13) the creative process unfolds in solitary reflection where there is less chance of interruption; 14) talk to other artists about your work; 15) consume knowledge then channel what you learn into your art. 

I highly recommend this short book for those of you struggling to find your artistic voice.