I think most people assume that just because my style is so niche that I don’t branch outside of it at all. That couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, the majority of my friends (IRL) create art that is very different from my own personal style.
There are a lot of reasons that I (and other creatives) diversify the art that they consume everyday, but here’s just a few…
IT MAKES YOU A BETTER ARTISTS
No one likes the person that only likes one specific music genre and is completely closed off to any music outside of it. I think this concept applies to all art mediums. Limiting yourself to a specific genre or style of work will prevent you from growth and get you stuck in a rut. PLUS, it will make you much more engaging in conversations.
(P.S. – Speaking of music, follow me on Spotify!)
IT HELPS PREVENT YOU FROM COPYING SOMEONE ELSE’S WORK
Intentional or not, it’s easy to consume art and replicate aspects of it in your own work. This is especially easy to do when you are only surrounding yourself with a certain style. We all know the classic fashion blogger poses or coffee + book flatlay on white bed sheets. While recreating popular looks within your niche might temporary get you more likes, it will fail to set you apart from the crowd and stunt long term growth.
IT SHOWS SUPPORT FOR ALL ARTISTS
Every artist needs all the support they can get. Even if you wouldn’t buy someone’s art or hire them for a project, you can still appreciate the time and skills that were put into their work. While artists need paid projects to pay the bills we also desperately need encouragement, affirmation, and support.
IT’S HELPFUL TO BRANCH OUT FROM YOUR DIRECT COMPETITION
While I don’t think you should view similar artists as competition (there is room for everyone out there), there is something to say about consuming and collaborating with artist who have a completely different market than you do.
SOMETIMES YOU JUST GOTTA MIX IT UP
While I absolutely love my style and it comes naturally to me, it is sometimes helpful to just take a completely different approach to your work. Whenever I’ve been a creative rut I have found it helpful to edit in completely new ways and explore new artists.
SEPARATION OF BUSINESS AND PERSONAL CONSUMPTION
There are a lot of business and artist that I follow because we would be a good partnership professionally. But just because someone wouldn’t collaborate or work with you, doesn’t mean you can’t personally enjoy their work. Some people like to have completely separate accounts for business and personal consumption, which I think can be very helpful.
YOU WON’T KNOW WHAT YOU LIKE UNTIL YOU EXPLORE IT
When it comes to art, the opportunities are endless. You will never know what type of work you will love and embrace until you give it a chance. When I asked my followers why they follow accounts that are different than them, one of the responses I got was “If you don’t choose to follow people different than yourself, you’re missing out on BEAUTY!” and I couldn’t agree more.
IT GIVES YOU A NEW PERSPECTIVE
One of the many bittersweet aspects of the internet is our ability to curate and filter what content we receive. When we only consume people who think like us, look like us, and create like us, we are setting us up for some major blind spots.
Convinced you need to diversify your creative consumption? I love a good challenge to put a concept into action in your own life!
Take some time to…
- Grab coffee with a local artist who works with the same media that you do but in a very different way.
- Follow someone online who looks different than you do.
- Listen to an artist or playlist with a music genre that you don’t typically listen to.
- Follow someone online who thinks and talks differently than you do.
- Follow someone who has a different aesthetic than you do.
- Go to an art exhibit that you otherwise wouldn’t normally attend.
- Collaborate with a creative who is different than you and exchange services (take portraits of each other, paint for each other, etc.)