Stylize and stylization

DEFINITION

To stylize is to alter natural shapes, forms, colors, or textures in order to make a representation in a preset style or manner. The design of any work tends to result in its having a style, and its having been freely chosen is one aspect of its appeal. "Stylization" suggests a more controled application of a style, the artist having less freedom of choice.Consistency can be seen either as a positive attribute, or as a negative one. Seen positively, when an artist's style remains the same, it might be interpreted as the artist remaining true to his or her experience or personality, or to an idea or an ideal, etc. Seen negatively, a consistent stylization might be read as overuse, monotony, artifice, lack of originality, lack of imagination, too rigidly ordered (controled), unfashionable, etc.This is the war of two constant battles: the battle between new and old that's thrown together with the battle between consistency and change. We love newness; and all the more as children of the modern era. But because the change and its pace is stressful, we also cherish consistency, and selectively cherish the past.Particularly in the postmodern era, artists have very consciously chosen historical styles in which to convey their art. One aspect of postmodernism has been to embrace the idea (heresy to modernists), that originality / creativity is either a less important or an impossible objective. (Note how common are copying, appropriation, sampling, and plagiarism, and questions about copyright issues.) The pursuit of newness was at the heart of modernism. But as much as postmodernists believe it cannot and should no longer be a goal, the zeitgeist still favors those who produce the next new thing. Advice to students: be aware that you might choose to employ any of many styles, and that your choice will affect the audience's interpretation of your work.Also see anime, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, dance, and obsession.

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