The more designers I connect with and get to know, the more I realize the struggles with identity that are ever present throughout the career of an artist. Especially in younger designers that have yet to establish a style or an artistic identity. I can’t say I haven’t been there and I also can’t say that I feel lost sometimes as a designer who lacks confidence in her work.
As someone who has always been known as creative and artistic, it was never an issue (but always a nice challenge) for me to copy a sketch, paint, sculpt or craft something no matter the style or medium. However, I really struggled with my sense of identity since none of my art really looked the same, all while I am sitting next to artists whose work you can clearly tell is theirs. I’m sure some of you can relate to this (and if you can’t you’re a lucky one) and I am here to tell you it is OK.
One of my professors (fellow blog writer, Sue Jenkins) told my peers and I once that there are two types of designers: Stylistic designers and chameleon designers. As you can infer, stylistic designers are recognized by their medium or their style, something distinct about their work that attracts clients for similar commissions.
A Chameleon designer is one who is able to adapt to a specific project or client’s need, these designers are known to be more conceptual and are always evolving, hence ‘chameleon’. Learning about these types of designers and knowing I was good at art but struggled with identity issues really helped me understand myself better not just as an artist but as a person too. I had the understanding and reassurance that I am a good artist and designer and it is okay that I dont have my own unique style (yet) because those things come with time and I know I’ll find mine eventually.
The most important advice I have for chameleon designers is to just make sure you’re doing what you love and your style will come to you.