How Do You Find Your Voice

VOICE: by Allison Johnson

The word voice might make most people think of music or singing, as in “she has a powerful voice.” This is only one expression of the word’s meaning.

Voice can be also expressed in art, writing, film, dance, photography, architecture, design, and more. Each person has a unique form of expression in his or her artistic pursuits. Voice is your imprint on the world.

Jackson Pollock was a major artist of the abstract expressionist movement in the early and mid Twentieth Century. His paintings show the unique style of his art and the outward portrayal of his artistic “voice” as do the works of Georgia O’Keeffe, recognized as the “Mother of American Modernism.” 

If you read a poem by Emily Dickinson, a novel by Suzanne Collins or a literary classic by Ernest Hemingway, you’ll immediately “hear” the writer’s voice. It’s unmistakable.

I love to write, even through challenging creative problems and seasons. I’ve spent years writing, by now millions of words, and in the process developed my narrative voice, the style, depth and tone of my work, still growing and learning.

How do you find your voice? 

Follow your passion and develop your skills and craft. Even so, no class, tip, or sage advice, on its own, will do that. For a writer there is no better advice than glue your behind to your chair, and write.

For any passion you want to pursue, immerse yourself. Absorb yourself in music, art, photography, design, or lighting. Study the greats. Watch video of the classic dancers or classic films. Learn all you can about the masters in your field of interest and even those in other mediums, and be inspired by artists further along on the journey. Also, be up on current trends.

If you’re not sure what medium or area of interest to pursue, try several, or a lot until you know. You may find yourself naturally gifted in a particular art. Some artists combine mediums or engage in more than one. 

Over the years I’ve expanded into different genres of writing, as well as in my past pursued acting and taken art classes and ballet. Images inspire me, and I love travel and photography. Music inspires me. So does nature. Everything we do—who we are and the life we live—feeds into our voice.

Each of us is a unique, creative being. Write, paint, draw, shoot, design, edit, sing, drum, dance; do what you love.

Find your voice as you pursue your dream. Joy comes in the journey.