219: Make your [own] mark

Recently I’ve been impressed with the absolute necessity of developing a unique style. While it’s tempting to follow a current fad–especially if it appears others are enjoying financial success pursuing that style–such imitation is a diversion from the more important pursuit of developing a personal signature.


Except in the early phases of a career such imitational strategies are bound to fail, especially in today’s saturated market. It might have been possible to have a semblance of a career imitating other’s work in the past but those days are long gone. But ultimately all artists need to ask why they would pursue such a course. We should be grateful the current market is forcing us to choose the correct path of fostered individuality.

In light of the need to pursue a radically individual path I’m currently painting large acrylics in a highly textured style. Both the technique and the compositional approach are departures from my previous work. With such a radical shift there is the possibility of failure. But my current axiom is:

FAILURE = EXPERIMENT

Without failure your work will be derivative. Failure gives you the feedback to make the necessary adjustments to evolve a personal style. Failure forces you to deal with personal idiosyncrasies which are key to developing a unique style. Your quirks reveal your distinctive strengths and weaknesses.

From the seeds of failure grow the fruits of success.

Above: Work in progress, Dream of Light, 44″ x 44″, acrylic on canvas

Brad Teare–March 2015

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Updated: 27th November 2020
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