Many professional artists and designers struggle with uncovering what makes them and their work unique. Some may even argue that finding your own voice as a creative is a life-long discovery. While this holds a lot of validity, there are still many ways you can tap into your own visual identity and let this shine through your work.
You might be wondering, why is it so important to invest time in unearthing your own artistic voice? First of all, this plays a huge part in how others will recognize your work. It serves as a window into your perspective as a creative and in turn, makes your audience feel more connected to you and your work. Not to mention, it can make the difference between a client choosing to hire you versus someone else who better communicates who they are with just a glance at their portfolio.
Lucky for you, we’ve got some very helpful resources for working your creative magic. Tune into these five podcast episodes that each offer different methods for discovering your voice and style. Use them to guide you on your journey to uncovering your unique perspective so you can successfully emulate this through your creative work!
Podcast: Creative Pep Talk
Figuring out what makes you unique as a creative is Andy J. Miller’s jam. This is a fantastic listen if you want to learn how to communicate the essence of who you are through your work. Andy offers a systematic approach to figuring out what makes up your artistic voice based on four foundational pillars: Your likes, your DNA, your experience, and your experiments.
“Finding your unique artistic voice might just be the key to creative career success. So what’s the key to finding it? In this episode, we talk about the key mindset shift that helps put you on the road to finding your voice, with a systematic, step by step process.”
Who would have thought that you might not actually be the one who determines your own style? In a truly thought-provoking episode, Sean McCabe blows our mind a little as he talks all things style, what it really means, and how you won’t find it if you’re constantly looking for it. This is a really good one, folks.
“How do you produce work that looks authentic? How do you find a voice that feels like your own? How do you create something original without feeling like you copied or ripped off someone else? I break down it down into 3 parts: your actual voice, what you talk about, and how you say it. I talk about finding your unique voice in a written or spoken sense, but then also apply what we uncover to discovering your own artistic style.
Podcast: Women of Illustration
Although not mutually exclusive, there’s a big difference between a niche and a style. Both are important when figuring out who you are as a creative professional. As host Dina Rodriguez states, a niche “has more to do with the specific services you offer” and your style “is about the aesthetics of your work”. This is a great episode to get you thinking about what you really want as a professional artist.
“In this episode, we come back with Illustrator and Animator Irene Feleo on the topic of how to find your niche as an artist. From teaching, I created a set list of questions to help you figure out your niche as an illustrator so people can better understand the value you offer. To help Irene figure out her niche, I asked her this list of questions and got a pretty impressive answer.”
Podcast: The Accidental Creative
Host Todd Henry asks us to whip out a journal and write down our answers to these 10 thoughtful questions — for example, “What makes you angry?” This episode is short and sweet (only 17 minutes) but you will leave with some homework: to continue reflecting on your answers because according to Todd, finding and developing your style is a life-long process.
“We must actively search for our creative voice, and clear a path for it to emerge. It is uncovered, not manufactured. We may not even like what we discover at first, but by embracing it we will position ourselves to occupy the unique space for which we’re wired. Here are ten questions that will help you uncover clues to your unique contribution.”
Podcast: Perspective Podcast
Learn how Michael Fugoso took an exploding design trend and worked his way towards creating his own stylistic variation of it. Listen in for this unique approach to developing a style and get inspired to put your own spin on something that’s already popular with the masses.
“Today’s guest is one of my favorite illustrators in the game right now—Michael Fugoso… This guy has an incredible story of finding his path in art and design later in the game than most. However, once he found that thing that made him feel alive, he went all out and took the illustration world by storm with a unique, skeuomorphic style I can pick out from a sea of noise.”
There you have it! Listen in for an important reminder that your distinct style and voice go beyond your work’s subject matter. Finding your own artistic voice means understanding what your values are as a human being, drawing from your unique experiences, and tuning in to what you’re naturally drawn to.
Remember, it isn’t about comparing yourself to everyone else and their work — although taking inspiration from other artist’s unique voice is certainly part of the process. Whatever you are in your field (be it a designer, illustrator, fine art, etc.), we wish you luck on your journey to creative self-discovery!
Looking for more helpful podcast resources? We’ve got plenty! Check out our list of 10 podcasts for every kind of designer, 5 podcasts every UX designer should listen to, and 5 podcast episodes to help launch your freelance graphic design career.