I have heard many times that you need to find your design style. What sets you apart from the crowd. A style that is easily recognizable to the design community. Create something that no other artist can. Are you into soft feminine florals? Geometrics? Bright and bold designs? Hand drawn? Computer generated? All of this advice was making my head spin, not as bad as the exorcist, but still. I was having a really hard time trying to nail down my style.
Until I met Dominic Pangborn, a Detroit artist. His style is constantly changing, depending upon where he is in his life and what he is feeling. Although he is known for his beautiful poppies, he is also known for his wide range of art. He is considered an “evolutionist.”
I met Dominic at an art auction earlier this year. I hadn't known who he was since we just arrived and didn't read the brochure yet. We were in the elevator and his tie caught my attention. We made small talk, we laughed, we got off the elevator. I asked my hubby if we had met that man before since he connected with us with such familiarity. Turns out he was a featured artist that weekend! I felt a little embarrassed not to know anything about him so of course we googled him (I am now using Google as an adjective rather than a noun. I Yahoo’d him just didn't sound right). He approached us again and jokingly offered to paint us a picture of the harbor, since we were taking pictures of it.
I immediately was drawn to his poppy art. So beautiful. I mean beautiful. But, his art is more than poppies. He has neon Native American art, still life roses, women, some with material intertwined with the paint, and some abstract. He doesn't have one style. He has many. All equally as intriguing.
We ended up chatting with him for a bit that day. I have kept in contact with him ever since. If I learned one thing from that day, it was that not all the advice you are given do you need to take. If you don’t have your unique recognizable style, it’s okay. That’s you. That’s what is going to set you apart from all the other designers out there. Success comes from within.
Go out there and design surface patterns that are truly you. I know I am.