I could have titled this post 'Finding Your Own Path", but you can't find your path in this post. Maybe this post will help inspire you to paint, which is all that I can hope for.
I've been studying a lot of my influences lately, mainly Bouguereau + Miyazaki, but it always hits me that that's a waste of time. I'm glad to have discovered these artists because I've learned a lot by reading about them. But the truth is that part of me wishes I had never found them. I'll explain what I mean.
I see a lot of forums online dedicated to 'mediums of the masters' type discussions. Thousands of posts dedicated to finding out the exact recipe to some medium. Or, "What brush does so-and-so use?" I understand that it seems like a brush can make you paint better and the truth is that some materials can help (such as oil grounds). But the heart of the issue is practice and trying out several options. This can seem overwhelming, but I've learned to enjoy finding new techniques or materials.
I wrote a post recently about materials, but my mindset has already shifted. It's better to embrace our time and not shy away from technologies. Some technologies are better than others, but I think of them all as tools which I can use. It's ever-evolving and who knows what the future will have in store. I just turned 25 and I'm one of the last generations to remember life before the internet, which I am grateful for. But each generation has it's benefits. Even a golden-age thinker like me can't pretend that I'm living in the 19th century.
This doesn't mean that I'll be joining social media, but I'll keep enjoying the music I like while painting.