how to find your creative style

How to find your creative style

You might have been born creative but finding your personal creative style will take some work

Sometimes it feels like some people are born with a style. It flows out of them effortlessly. I’m jealous of those people. But only on the outside.

I know deep down that they have probably worked for years to find their personal creative style. It doesn’t just happen magically with no effort at all.

But how do you find it? And how do you know when you have it.

These are my top 5 tips to finding your personal creative style. Some of these involve creating artwork and analyzing your reasons behind your decisions. Others may ask you dive deeper into your own heart and soul and think about what is really meaningful to you. In the end you should have a better idea of what your personal creative style is and how to truly be a unique creative.

1. Analyze your tastes

We all have those artists we admire and aspire to be. Maybe we like them personally or we love every piece of art they create. We might even try to emulate their art in an effort to be better creatives. That is totally normal. But copying the art that you want to create can really stifle your path to finding your own style.

Try this exercise.

Make a folder of art that you like (you probably already have one on Pinterest) The only rule is the art cannot be in the same field as the art that you create. So if you’re a photographer, only gather images of paintings, or sculptures. If you’re a cake artist, only gather photos of fashion, or furniture. You get the idea? Look outside your comfort zone.

What do you like about that art? Is it realistic? Abstract? Modern? The things you like in other’s art is probably very similar to what you like or what you desire your own art to be like.

I am personally drawn to fantasy type art. I love beautiful figures, lots of texture and color. I hate straight lines and measuring so you won’t see me making any modern cakes if I have any say in the matter.

2. Create something based off of a mood board

Now let’s try another exercise.

Think of a theme that you think might be inspiring. Like galaxies and geodes let’s say. Now pretend you’re throwing a big birthday party and you’re in charge of decorating. Start putting photos into a folder that are all things that would be great at a galaxies and geodes birthday party. What do the flowers looks like, what are the colors you’ll use. Is there a recurring theme like stars that keep popping up?

Take your favorites and create a collage. This is called a mood board. A mood board literally just conveys a mood for a subject. It could be for an outfit or a wedding.

crystals mood board

Now design your piece of art based off this mood board. Let it tell you what colors you should use, what flowers (if any) you should incorporate. What textures and patterns would work in the design. Don’t look at anybody else’s work for inspiration. Use your imagination.

Then think about how you can translate those colors, those textures into your art. You might have to do some experimenting or learn some new techniques, but that’s what this is all about right?

3. Try a bunch of different things

What are you drawn to? What mediums do you find yourself using over and over? Do you prefer precision over freehand? Do you enjoy texture or clean finishes? It’s ok to try to re-create designs you see and admire to see if you really like them or if it’s not for you.

Don’t be afraid to just try a bunch of things. I used to think it would be so fun to make a car cake until I actually made one. SO precise. So much measuring. No thank you! Some people love that kind of thing but it’s definitely not for me.

You’ll notice you keep going back to the same things over and over again in a way that is unique to you. It feel feel natural. Even if your finish work need improvement, your preferences won’t change.

4. Experiment

Nothing is more exciting than figuring out a new technique (or maybe that’s just me). I experiment all the time and never seem to have enough time to tackle the long list of ideas that I have written down.

Experiment ideas come from observations. Usually when I’m in nature or in Target (if I’m being honest). I see something beautiful like a textured rug or a an interested patch of moss on a wall. I analyze it. I deconstruct it with my eyes. I roll through the list of techniques and materials I already know about in my mind. Wondering if any of them would be able to re-create what I see before my eyes.

Then I do a test.

Sometimes it’s an awesome win! Sometimes it’s a big flop. Either way I learn. And that’s invaluable information.

You’ll see a lot of natural textures in my work because I love textures. I love thinking of ways to create textures with edible mediums. Natural textures is one of the main aspects of my personal creative style that people always tend to recognize.

faun in the mood cake by liz marek

5. What do you feel excited about?

If left to your own devises, what would you create? Do you spend your days browsing anatomy books or do you prefer paper folding? Are you motivated to tell people’s stories or are you obsessed with color and shape?

Our passions come through our art. Only you can express what you really care about and tell your personal story. No matter what creative field you are in, if you spend some time tapping into the things that truly matter to you, you’ll find yourself imaging all the ways you want to express that story without even trying.

For as long as I could remember, I have love to draw people. I love to look at peoples faces. The shape of their noses. The way the light reflects off their eyes. I think people are beautiful.

So of course one of the first cakes I ever created was a person. It was a sculpted bust cake for a cake decorating competition called Threadcakes. The premise of this competition was that you designed a cake based off of a threadless.com t-shirt design. I of course chose a beautiful woman with lovely textured ruffles all over her and flowing hair.

I didn’t know it at the time but this was the beginning of establishing my own style in cake decorating.

When left to my own devises, I will always put a person in my design. I love to imagine the story my cake is telling. What emotions am I trying to evoke? This is the funnest part of being creative for me. It’s another thing that people identify as part of my creative style.

I hope this post has been helpful for you and you feel more motivated to go out and find your personal style and stop the comparison game. You do have a creative and unique vision within yourself, you need only take the time to look.


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  • Reply
    February 21, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    Hi Liz,
    I find my creative style to be so diverse and it is very hard for me to settle on just one “category” of style. Probable why I have never had the nerve to get a tattoo because I could never commit to something so permanent. How do I get out of this mind-set?
    Will I ever be able to define my creative style because of this?

    • Reply
      July 9, 2019 at 3:23 am

      Well, one way to find your style is to stop the idea that you can only have one style forever. Think of a painter. They go through phases where they are super into blue or abstract or landscapes. Just dive into a style that you love and live there for a while. It might stick forever, it might change after a few weeks or months. Give yourself permission to explore and not be married to anything 🙂

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