A thought while getting acupuncture (a new great source of creative ideas):
Style in art is highly overrated.
Let me explain:
Even the notion of “art” is modern
If we think of the ancient Greeks, the original “artists” were poets. In fact, the notion of “art” was more associated with tekhne (technical, craftsman matters).
Do we consider Homer the original “artist”? Or do we not even care for the notion of “artist”?
Where does the notion of “style” come from?
The ancient Greeks didn’t care much for style. Their style was simple, unadorned, direct, and strong.
I think the notion of “style” first comes probably from the French. When there were art saloons, the notion of a certain artist having a distinct “style” simply made the artist more marketable.
Furthermore, the public is basic in thinking. The public doesn’t do well with ambiguity. Thus having a distinct style was essential to make an artist “understandable” by the public.
Why do we want a style in photography?
I think most of us want to stand apart. We want our work to be recognized by others. We are also hungry for fame, impact, and legacy. Thus we believe that having a strong and distinct style will help us in this endeavor.
When style becomes a prison
As artist photographers, we have a certain taste. We like to make our photos look a certain way. But when we force ourselves to be “consistent” in order to please others, we become slaves to ourselves and our own style.