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Finding your voice.


As an artist I think there can be a sense of pressure when it comes to finding your voice, your neiche and style. Some say it is important to make your work recognisable and distinct. In some ways I massively agree. I mean, you look at artists such as Jenny Saville, Tracy Emin, Grayson Perry and you just know when a piece of work is theirs. Maybe it's something about the colours they use, or their subject matter, but we all know when we are looking at one of their creations. So in many ways I do agree that finding you're voice as an artist is incredibly important, and in many ways it's what can make you great.

However, I know I have yet to discover my voice as an artist. And really i'm okay with that, because that is incredibly exciting. Im starting to realise that there is no rush to find out who you are because the discoveries you make along the way are just as important as where you end up. Let's look at novelists, they never decide they are going to write thrillers all their life, or that romance novels are the only thing in their repetoire. They go with what inspires them at that time, the story that pops into their head on that particular day. And I believe in having that freedom within art aswell.

I recently felt i'd lost a significant part of my voice (quite literally). Well, it's something that had been going on for 4 years for me, as a singer. Then I had the oppertunity to go to a voice coach, this amazing man who I now refer to as my vocal god. The experience I had with him was quite an emotional one, and I soon learnt that your voice and the expectations you have for it is something incredibly personal. There is a reason why the term 'finding you're voice' is often associated with finding who you are, or what your 'thing' is... and that's because our voice and the way we use it, really does represent who we are. Whilst working with my vocal god I realised that my voice had become this amazing mystical thing that I didn't feel I had much control over. He de-mystified it all for me. He taught me the science behind my voice, and reminded me that all it is, is tissue and muscle and vibrations, all things that are in my power to control. But to get to a position where I could use my voice the way I wanted to I had to get things wrong and I had to work really hard, and I feel that same lesson applies to 'finding your voice'.

I can't expect to suddenly be the artist I want to be, and I envisage. My expectations are high. In order to reach my goals and 'find my voice' I need to get things wrong. I need to write my terrible romance, and then stumble upon my amazing thriller. My genre is yet to be found, but i'm working it out, and i'm enjoying the work.

What I have already worked out is that my voice is for poeple. It's about existence, and how we as human beings are incredibly comlex, yet our complexity is what makes us quite extraordinary. The ways in which we communicate, feel and express ourselves is fascinating to me. Whether I can begin to translate that onto a canvas, who knows?! But I can have a go. And I CAN get it wrong. I'm allowed.


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