My wife & I have been painting for a couple years. We've developed a style you could say. We paint ocean inspired beachy stuff in acrylics in a punchy cartoonish way.

Well, at first we did. We also paint waves from a realist approach too, more recently. Also we've been painting abstract backgrounds with butterflies as the foreground...

We make our own canvases and also paint skateboards. We also sell and make various reproductions of our stuff, and we're over the moon so far with the response we've had for the initial time our little biz has been running; about 10 months.

Our problem is as we progress and look to other avenues of advertising and getting our name out there, we find ourselves needing to be in more art festivals and looking at the possibility of licensing, we're afraid we're stretching ourselves too far.

It's a dilemma we're happy to have being able to sell varied styles of our work but it's really untested as to whether we'll get into as many art shows as we hope to when we have conflicting styles in our application pictures. Most shows allow 4 images and we tend to offer 1 skateboard and 3 canvases, either 2 butterfly and 2 waves..or realistic waves and 1 butterfly..It gets confusing, and is probably as equally disjointed to the potential jury that decides our fate too. 

So how to know which subject matter to stick with or whether to risk going with them all and hoping people see the similarities in style that relates to all the pieces?

Maybe what we lack is discipline, we should faze out some categories and stick with others?

Here's a picture giving an example of too many styles...

Let us know if you have a similar problem and how you over came it...

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  • Larry Berman posted a link not long ago that touches exactly on what you are asking. Pretty much what Brian said. But you might want to check it out. Good article.
  • I think that if you had all these in one booth it would confuse people. Is it one artist or 2 or 3? I know artists hate being consistent in their work but in order to be successful, you need to be. That doesn't mean you can't be creative and go beyond your style, just keep them kinda grouped together. If someone saw your surrealist beach paintings at one show and saw your abstract nature paintings at another, they would probably never realize it's the same artist. They may love the beach style but not the nature and they could walk right past your booth. In the art world people seem to need to see your paintings several times before they make a purchase. Since you and your wife paint them, one could show one style and one of you show another style at the shows.

    • Thanks Brian, 

      I totally agree with the confusion of people not knowing the artist by their work in two different subject matters especially different painting styles. I suppose as we're starting out we are going to go in all directions at once until we find our feet..

      Sheri & I share in some of the painting although some are just mine. I'm completely torn between what to paint.

      I started out with the surrealist stuff, but as I learned more about painting I wanted to venture into trying to paint something that looked real. We added the nature and butterfly stuff to mix it up as we were getting bored with painting waves all the time. Your last point, are you suggesting We exhibit with 2 booths, each with a different style? Although that sounds like a good idea it would cost us a small fortune to do.. I think we are going to have to get rid of the nature stuff and stick to the 2 types of wave; surreal/real. At least then there's some consistency in the subject matter if not the style in which they're painted.

  • Very cool work, Lee. I love the energy and vibrancy -- I'm making this tip of the day, as I know many people have been down this road also.

    • Thank you Connie, I wasn't fishing for compliments honest.  I appreciate the help. I kinda know the answer by what Brian mentioned. Sometimes you just need to hear it from others to drive it home. I didn't realize painting involved such hard decisions.. 

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