I was talking to my friend & fellow art teacher, Nadine Hamil, http://artfuldreamers.com, who described her experience teaching a class of 13 year old girls. One girl had been pointed out to her as "the artistic one" of the group. This particular girl struggled to paint intuitively, requesting a pencil for detail work. In contrast to another girl without the official title of "the artistic one," who was engrossed in the process using her hands to explore shapes and color combinations. Without the burden of the label, this particular girl was able to find her unique style with the medium of paint and create a heart-felt representation of her creativity.
I have watched many children (and adults) struggle with their internal notions of "good art." Which really translates to a photographic representation of an object, complete with perfect shape, tone and perspective. Well, as any trained artist will tell you, getting this replica takes lots of practice and for most, lots of training. And these same artists will also tell you that while this is a respected style in the world of art; it is just that--one style in the world of art.
Over the years of teaching art and sitting with clients during an art therapy session, I have had the pleasure of watching participants relationship to art develop from tentative to robust and confident. When the image gets juicy, is not when we can recognize a particular shape as a cow or turtle, but rather when the energy or color or even white space conveys an accurate "felt" experience for the creator.
And at this moment what we are witnessing is each artist's unique art style. This is what all those art students spending hours in their tiny cubicles at art school are searching for. It takes time, patience and an open mind to find your own unique style, which will be recognizable from all other painters, sculptors and dancers.
This is where the juice lies. This is what we talk about when we stand in front of a Picasso or Kandinsky at the museum.