Course Information

Description: This course is an illustrated lecture presenting ideas to help artists find their own unique voice. Shelley Thornton shares insights discovered on her own artistic path and offers thought-provoking worksheets to help you discover who you are as a creative force. Prompts to analyze your preferences, personality traits, intentions, and approaches will help to organize your thinking on the subject of artistic style and the things that influence it. Learn how to realize your unique style potential.
Media Category: Applies to any medium
Course Type: Self-directed (refer to the FAQ page for full descriptions of each course type)
Course Format: Lecture
Course Begins: March 15, 2022 - Ongoing
Course Duration: Half day

What will Students learn? This course will help you gain a clearer understanding of how essential a unique voice is in a successful artistic practice. You will be encouraged to be true to yourself and to enable the evolution of a personal style in your own artwork by analyzing yourself, your preferences, your work and your methods.
Instructor/Students interaction: No Interaction
Skill Level: All levels welcome
Required skill(s): No special skills required

Supplies and tools: A printer for worksheets, a pencil, and a notebook would make the course more effective, but are not necessary. All could be absorbed online.
Downloads: Videos: lecture and worksheet explanation. PDFs: Lecture text transcript, 16-page worksheet.

Course curriculum

    1. PART 1: What is Style and Why is it Important in Art Making?

    2. PART 2: My Own Path and Influences and How They Affected My Style

    3. PART 3: Elements of Style I Have Focused On

    4. PART 4: Dolls as Art, and Becoming a More Effective Artist

    1. How to fill out and interpret your Artistic Style Worksheet

About this course

  • $39.00
  • 5 lessons
  • 1 hour of video content


Shelley Thornton


Shelley Thornton is a lifelong artist of varied endeavors, including illustration, graphic design, printmaking, toymaking, animation, and clothing design and construction. She earned a BFA from the University of Nebraska in LIncoln, where she still resides. In 1993, she became a doll artist and dollmaking teacher, and was elected into NIADA in 1995. Her cloth dolls feature needle-sculpted, embroidered faces, wooden ball joints and meticulously designed and crafted clothing. Her unmistakeable style is defined by her unique juxtaposition of patterns and colors and her signature stuffed cloth hair. She loves to share her techniques with other dollmakers.

VISIT: Shelley Thornton Portfolio