Well, at this point in time, I seem to be going through a massive cyberpunk art phase. So, I thought I’d talk about what to do if you seem to only be able to produce one type of art.
1) Run with it (it will probably change): If you find that you can only produce one genre of art when you make art then, as counter-intuitive as it sounds, go with it. Keep making that one genre of art. Why? Because you’re feeling inspired. Yes, it might be a limited form of inspiration- but it’s still inspiration. It is objectively better than not being able to come up with any good artistic ideas at all.
As limiting as it can sometimes feel, knowing that you can make a piece of art in one particular genre means that you can actually get on with making art. It means that you have to spend less time worrying about what you’re going to draw or paint next.
In other words, limited inspiration is better than no inspiration. So, keep going. Your first priority is staying inspired, so use the inspiration that you already have. If you keep making art, then other inspirations are going to show up after a while too.
In other words, if you keep making the same genre of art for long enough, then it will eventually start to seem a bit boring. It’ll start to seem stale. This is your imagination’s way of prompting you to start looking for other genres that fill you with the feelings of inspiration you felt for the genre you’ve been making a lot recently. Don’t worry though, if it’s your favourite genre, then there’s a good chance that you’ll end up returning to it again eventually anyway.
2) Look at why you’re only making art in one genre: If you’re just making art in one genre for longer than usual, then ask yourself why. Chances are, there are some very good reasons for it – and they probably aren’t bad ones.
For example, I’ve been making a lot of cyberpunk art for a number of reasons. First of all, because I think that it looks really cool. Secondly, the entirely fictional settings allow me a lot more freedom to create interesting backgrounds. Thirdly, it’s a genre which allows me to use some of my favourite types of lighting. Fourthly, it’s a genre where I can make hyper-detailed art when I feel like it and less detailed art when I don’t. Fifthly, it easily allows me to take inspiration from a lot of my favourite films and computer games. Sixthly, it allows me to make nostalgic art that is inspired by the 1990s.
Although knowing why you seem to be obsessed with making just one genre of art won’t directly help you to make other genres of art, it can at least make you feel better about making the art that you’re making repeatedly right now. Likewise, if you know the qualities that help you to feel motivated, then you can see if those qualities apply to any other genres of art too.
3) Small changes: If you’re mostly inspired by one genre, then see if there are subtle elements from other genres that you can add to your art. In other words, think of other genres that are either as cool as your current genre or only slightly less cool, then try to find ways to incorporate them into your current genre.
Not only will this still allow you to take inspiration from the genre you’re using at the moment, but it will also make your art look at least slightly different to the stuff you’ve been making recently, as well as allowing it to seem a bit more “original” too (yes, nothing can be “100% original”, but the more different inspirations you have, the more original your work will seem).
For example, in a couple of the cyberpunk paintings I’ve made, I’ve focused on adding gothic horror or adding more 1990s-style elements…They still look like cyberpunk paintings, but slightly different ones.
So, if you can’t change the entire genre, then just add a few small parts from other genres in order to keep things interesting.
This post is dedicated to Rachel C. for being a patron of A Writer’s Path.
Guest post contributed by Pekoeblaze. Pekoeblaze is an artist and writer, who has produced many drawings and online comics.