It's been standing on a shelf where I see it every time I sit down to a meal. So I've been thinking about it quite a lot, wondering how a style that looks almost like a child's drawing could have become so popular, in fact so 'chic'! I like it but it's not my style at all. Nothing about me is 'minimalist'; I'm more of a 'clutter and collections' person.
But after writing a blog post about 'copying' - Is Your Art Original? - a couple of weeks ago, I've been wondering whether I could deliberately adopt a different, more fashionable style, stopping short of meticulously copying someone else's work.
So I decided to experiment. I'd already had an idea for some kind of row of flowers in a 'window box' floating round in the back of my head for a couple of years but had never got around to doing anything about it.
I had lots of small but pretty pieces of handpainted paper left over from recent collages that were just right for flowers. So I decided that collage was the way to go. I began with the 'trough', trying to keep to nice, clean lines, nothing fussy - but couldn't help embellishing it with the hearts!
Birthday Flowers by helikettle
But I really didn't like the 'gaps' and began filling them in, working more instinctively and less 'thought-fully'. By the time I was happy with the flowers, there was no way that rigidly vertical stems would suit the design - and far more leaves crept in than I had planned for!
My conclusion is that yes, I am influenced but that my own 'style' probably always prevails. In this case, and almost certainly others before it, I ended up with something new, a slightly different style from my usual collages, even though it might still be recognisably 'me'. And I think that's a worthwhilestep to take to avoid becoming 'stale' - or copying oneself!
Someone else must have liked it too because the apron received a Today's Best Award and I've had some lovely comments on my store wall!