Creating a Personal Style

While at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Holland, I read a portion of a letter written in 1886 from Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo. He confesses: "You know, Jeannin has the peony and Quost has the hollyhock, but I am in a way the one who has the sunflower." ​

​ This triggered my concern about repeating images (or compositions, or processes for that matter). Is it OK for an artist to identify with a style and a specific aesthetic method? Of course. We all want consistency, and in being true to your gut means you probably can't help but repeat. You know what you like, your motivations push you to keep on creating in your personal vein. But with a consistent body of work do we risk coming across as resting on habit? Will we, are we, becoming robotic? Van Gogh has such variety in his subjects, but there is definitely no denying that he, indeed, is associated with big, vibrant, yellow sunflowers. Can't we, too, become associated with a repeated something? Perhaps this is what we currently refer to as "branding".

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© 2013 by Jennifer Fleming