How do I find my art style?
Finding your own art style is super difficult.
Like it’s fun...
But then it has the nerve to become frustrating as time goes on.
Like really, art ability? I’m giving my right hand the side-eye right now.
You start looking at other artists that you admire (or envy). Let’s be real---it may be more envy than admiration at this point. Their art style is top notch and you could recognize it a mile away.
Geneva B’s style for her characters.
Emperpep’s style for his anime girls
And then there’s me that draws in like 20 different art styles over the course of a few months.
HOW DO I TAKE MY HAND AND MAKE IT DRAW CONSISTENTLY FOREVER (forever, ever and ever ever…)
I just found my art style like, two months ago. And I did it without really realizing it.
But don't get me wrong, it wasn't easy either.
Between October and November I was joining in on the fun known as Inktober and it’s a fun yearly challenge during October where you draw in ink every day. You use the hashtag on Instagram and you get to follow along with everyone's journey.
These, are a few fruits of my labor, my art style…
BUT HOW THE HELL DID YOU GET THERE?
I traveled back, back, back in time
Via my Instagram feed and low and behold I started finding little traces of this newly formed style in older pieces.
It was like a small puzzle was forming over the course of years. The changes were so small that I didn’t notice it until the bigger picture.
Every time I’ve ever tried to FORCE my style to magically appear I ended up with a trash can full of failed sketches that didn’t even come close to my other drawings.
It was so annoying, oh my goodness.
If I could REALLY travel back in time I would have told myself to "pump your brakes and just do these 3 simple things".
1 | MAKE TIME TO SKETCH
So a long time ago before I graced you all with my art emails I was a college student / housekeeper four years ago. Luckily the hospital was across the street from my college campus so I figured why not.
Nothing like being in an unrelated job while trying to break into the graphic design world.
One thing about housekeeping…
I got done cleaning too fast, and then had to find something to do for hours.
I ended up buying a small (like super small) sketch book for on the go sketching to pass the time.
Maybe you’re not a housekeeper (or maybe you are, no judgement zone here). But you do have certain parts of the day either at home or at work where you are literally just waiting for something. There’s your chance!
Another clever way of getting the most out of your day is to start your day with the intention to draw later. And make time for it so that you feel more obligated to sketch it out.
You can draw other styles for inspiration, watch youtube videos of techniques and more.
Semiskimmedmin has a few examples in her video on overcoming artist block right here.
2 | EXPERIENCE SOMETHING AMAZING TO YOU
When is the last time you were like,
“Oh my god this is f*cking amazing!”
Maybe not in that exact wording, but forreal.
When’s the last time something really excited you, stimulated you, refreshed you.
Where do you think all your amazing ideas come from?
Go discover something new!
As artists we draw inspiration from what we have around us and what we’ve experienced. So it’s only natural, as artists, to take a break and spend some time discovering something that you didn’t know before.
Even a dope conservation with someone about life and perspectives could be the juice you need to fuel your creative system.
3 | GET TO YOUR HAPPY PLACE
Everyone really likes when I draw portraits. I like when I draw portraits too.
But sometimes portraits are annoying to do.
Because they’re realistic I have to follow certain “rules” of that person’s face otherwise it won’t look like them.
But when I draw my natural ladies, I feel so happy and free.
There aren’t any “rules” that I have to stick to in order for it to look like someone.
I know that I can draw portraits, and that others like it. But I know now that I don’t have to limit myself to that ONE style.
Looking back through my Instagram feed and my old sketchbooks I realized that I’ve been developing my style literally my whole life.
And chances are I’m not done yet.
Because for me, my art is an extension of who I am.
If I start to evolve as a person, then so will my art.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’VE EVOLVED?
Prime example, here’s my art from like 5 (or more…) years ago and here’s my art. I was a youngin’ at the time.
I wore my art straight. I was more reserved and really liked the look of thin lines. Maybe a metaphor for not wanting to be in the forefront all the time.
And here’s a drawing and from about a few months ago.
The lines are bold and thick. One of my personal goals is working on my confidene, potentially another metaphor. Many of the sketches are of women with real body goals, fluffy hair and they encourage feel-good vibes.
I bet if you sift through some of your old drawings within the last year or so (even if it makes you cringe) you’ll see small changes here and there that lead up to the way you draw now. It's like an art journal!
LET’S TAKE A STEP FORWARD!
If you can remember, maybe there was something about yourself that you used to do / used to be that was reflected in your old style. It could be a location change, different surroundings, a life altering moment. All of these are connected to the way you perceive your art.
Compare it to how you draw now! Take some time to appreciate that growth and energy that you did!
Your art style isn’t something that needs to be conjured up out of thin air.
Your art style isn’t something that will happen over night.
Your art style isn’t something that will hold you back as an artist.
Your art style is you.
It’s going to change as you change and you know what?
That’s f*cking awesome.
Embrace the changes coming your way folks!
OH, AND BY THE WAY I WANT TO SEE YOUR ART! @ ME ON TWITTER WITH YOUR FAVORITE ART PIECE YOU DID. I LOVE SEEING YOUR GROWTH AND I THINK WE SHOULD CELEBRATE IT!
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