How did you overcome traditional “contemporary” art expectations to create work in your unique style?

MentorMe is a free resource for creatives who wish to learn from their peers. This Q&A resource provides insights into how some of the most esteemed artists have stayed true to themselves, they’ve shared the up and downs they’ve experienced, and how they have overcome expectations to create work in their unique style. In each guide a different group of artists and photographers will share their insights, personal experiences and advice with creatives that wish to grow and evolve in their artistic practice.

Beautiful Bizarre Magazine mentors encourage, guide and inspire emerging artists as they explore their creativity, develop their technical skills and find their personal style.

MentorMe Edition 5 Mentors:

Kate MacDowell, Jane Burton, Miles Johnston, Marco Mazzoni, Juz Kitson, Peca, Redd Walitzki, Ewa Prończuk-Kuziak, and Josh Keyes

In Edition 5 Beautiful Bizarre Magazine’s Mentors respond to the following 3 questions:

  • How do you keep rooted in your values/beliefs and your personal views as an artist whilst speaking to a large group of people?
  • Tell us about your journey. What are some of the ups and downs you experienced along the way?
  • How did you overcome traditional “contemporary” art expectations to create work in your unique style?

To read the other Mentors’ answers please, click here to download our FREE Artist Resource, MentorMe.

Download MentorMe Ed.5


Peca pop surreal fantasy animal painting

How did you overcome traditional “contemporary” art expectations to create work in your unique style?

Peca: ” Our art is exponentially bombarded with influences, yet we maintain our particularities given by the brushstrokes, the combinations we make, the priorities we have, our obsessions, our jumps to emptiness. I think that fundamentally these two last points are our identity imprint, our unique style. My obsession is the search for the magical, the primitive, the wild, the oneiric, I am interested above all to break the rules of our establishment, think that other ways are possible, find the meaning of life when I was a teenager reading a book by Antonin Artaud I found this phrase: “The serious thing is that we know that after the order of  this world there are others” resonated within me and stay with me forever. This synthesizes a bit of my obsession. The old school and the new art trends are inside us, is our ailment, is our inspiration and the tool to pursue our goal.”


Redd Walitzki lazer cut pink dress figurative artwork

How did you overcome traditional “contemporary” art expectations to create work in your unique style?

Redd Walitzki: ” The only expectations to try to live up to, are those we place on ourselves. In the outside art-world, there are popular fads and styles, work that’s applauded or reviled, or at worst ignored. Thinking about these factors has never produced strong work — truly powerful art is born from personal experience and unique perspective.

When I’m working, I’m not thinking about whether flowers or lobsters are “in” or “out” of fashion, or even about “style”. Instead, I ask myself: “Is this something I want to see? Is this something I want to say?” If the answer is yes, chances are good that the piece will be unique and contain something of value.

The cultural Zeitgeist is a powerful force, and by considering what piece is missing in the world around us, and then bringing it to life, you can stumble upon something transformative and new. Its also likely that’s exactly what everyone else is craving too!”


Josh Keyes I’ll love you till the end of the world acrylic on wood panel horse painting

How did you overcome traditional “contemporary” art expectations to create work in your unique style?

Josh Keyes: ” I sort of feel like I’m not trying to overcome any expectations. I feel like the major expectations that I have for my work and the direction are my own. I also have a lot of insecurities about the quality, style, concept and execution of the work I make. In some way my personal doubts tend to be the fuel for creating work, if you claw at the dirt enough, you will eventually get out. Of course the joke is that there is no out, or in for that matter. But there is a desire for continuous expression and a goal of creating something that has an ounce of meaning. To get back to your question, today there are numerous styles of work being made, I respond to many, and if there is some idea that has hit it on the head, I might try to reinvent or rework it with my voice.”


Related Articles

Read MentorMe Editions 1 – 5 


How Do You Keep Rooted in Your Values/Beliefs?


What Are Your Top Tips for Others Who Wish to Be Creative but Feel Stuck?



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