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PE: Developing your personal style

Sun Jun 9, 2013, 6:00 AM


Developing your personal style


:iconprojecteducate:


You obviously love to create, you do it often and now the time has come when you realize that this is no fling, this is something you would want to do for the whole life. You can learn a lot about techniques from numerous sources, you can find the right audience on the internet but there is one thing nobody can help you with but yourself - how to gain a specific style of your own?

:bulletpurple: What is a personal painting style?


 - It's an identifiable style that enables the viewer to determine that the artwork was done by you
 - In some cases, your style can be viewed as an extension of your personality

:bulletpurple: How can one develop it?


 - Developing your style takes time, time and time once again. Don't have the time? No style for you!
 - It's not acquirable in an art class. While it can be helpful to study by an assistance of someone who's mastered the craft, what they can teach you is technique.
 - It can still change and it probably will. You will keep on developing it for the whole life, each painting is a different step on the road.
 - It grows as you do what you do so often you get CONFIDENT of doing it.
 - You can help it by eliminating the elements from your work that aren't working, keeping the ones that work.
 - Process of developing a style is bound with defining yourself and growing, which includes study.

:bulletpurple: What factors can influence it?


 - Most of all, your choices. Things you like and incline towards are most likely to end up as a part of your style.
 - Work of other artists. There is a lot of opinions on how helpful is to be inspired and influenced by others. However, inspiration is something we can't escape, especially while keeping in touch with an art community, and it can help pointing out a certain direction on our road. Some advice even recommend to copy a specific style for learning purposes. Temporarily.
 - Money. Don't they influence everything? While it's great to be a starving under-appreciated artist as long as you have your freedom and your original idea that one day everyone realizes...no, wait, it's not really that great. You will probably want to balance what you want to create with what others like to see and buy. It's still up to you what proportion of your style will be dictated by money. Warning, this will probably get you frustrated, eventually.






As an aspiring artist being on a way of developing a personal style, you should:




 :bulletblue: Get acquainted with an art history. Knowledge of different styles done by famous artists, their lives and influences is crucial for your growth.

 :bulletblue: Visit museums and galleries as often as you can. Browse for interesting artworks online too, of course.

 :bulletblue: Try as many techniques as you can, experiment. Interesting exercise: Paint same subject several times using different techniques and styles. Come back to them after a few days and observe your strongest points.

 :bulletblue: Evaluate your work, seek critiques and use them for improvement. Remember, developing a style is by no means a search for the easiest way.

 :bulletblue: On the road, you will probably find a "comfort zone". It does not mean you have done searching for a style. BREAK IT to discover a whole new level.










:frail: takmaj Maja Wronska, Poland

"I think it's very important for an artist to be unique and have a recognizable style. Young artists usually explore arts in the books and on the internet, and it's really hard for them to resist copying someone else's art. When I was 15, I was redrawing all Van Gogh's works with oil pastels. I was pretty good at this, and I remember I wanted to be as good as him one day. You asked me what factors were influencing my style. Well, Van Gogh's work for sure."

Shanghai by takmaj  Saint Petersburg by takmaj  Tower bridge by takmaj




:frail: guillembe Guillem Marí, Spain

They say an idea is a new combination of existing elements. I would say something similar about an artistic style. It's a combination of techniques, motivations and sensibilities. It's about paying attention to artists you like, enjoying their art, then combining all these things you like about them and somehow integrate them in your own artistic process in a fresh and personal way. I'm not saying to do this in some scientific mathemathical way, but to follow our instinct as much as possible, always staying true to ourselves and to our audience. To find our own voice it's important to first listen to what others have to say. "



The fertile ground of uncertainty by guillembe  Inwards by guillembe  Alternative by guillembe 



 
:frail: STelari Sylwia Cader, Poland

"Style isn't something you can acquire desperately, you won't get it consciously. Creating what you like and focusing on improving your technical aspects is the best thing you can do, the more, the better. Style comes on its own if you train to improve all the rest and that's what I basically do. I don't focus on drawing one work after another exactly like I did a previous one (which is easily noticeable by looking at my works in general); I test new mediums to find the one I really like while depicting what I love."

      Never enough by STelari    Who were you, forgotten? by STelari




:frail: andreuccettiart Alessandro Andreuccetti, Italy

"Building a personal artistic style is an activity that cannot be improvised from nothing, it takes years of study and filling dozens of notebooks with sketches and notes. Even those who are naturally gifted will not obtain satisfactory results without the daily practice. Your life experiences have a profound effect on your style - every event is reflected in your work. A meeting, a visit to a museum, a story, a disease, everything is transformed in our minds and then crystallizes, forming new ideas, new perspectives. Each brush stroke is the result of years of study, because that brushstroke, that color, that shade have a history, are the distillation of centuries of art that, more or less consciously, they flow through the hand, then the brush and finally settle on the canvas, determining the character of the work."

Per Strada by andreuccettiart  Ultima Fatica by andreuccettiart  Suonatore di sitar by andreuccettiart




:frail: Rssfim Ronaldo Serafim, Brazil

"I can include myself in this pursuit. It started many years ago and it hasn't stopped. The conclusion is that I'm still developing my way of painting. On the other hand, I can confess a long path has already been trailed. We should not hurry up this process. Just let it happen in a gradual way, with no expectations. One day you'll find yourself pretty satisfied with your artworks. This can be the first sign you're getting to the point. Norman Rockwell, for example, spent decades of his life trying to paint what he'd call "His Great Masterpiece of His Life"...The best thing to do is to paint. Over and over... exaustively...In addition, I think we all should read some books, not only the artistic ones, but those from all subjects (history, fiction, architecture, photography, comics...). They can give us excellent ideas! Some of them will catch your attention and you'll want to transfer them to the painting. Unfortunately, there's no magical ingredient but hard work, discipline and dedication. And please, do not get anxious during this long learning process. Anxiety can be a real obstacle. "





Article written for #projecteducate's Community week :frail:
Special thanks to *takmaj, ^SylwiaTelari, ~guillembe, *andreuccettiart, *Rssfim :heart:
Add a Comment:
 
:iconhoneythorns:
Critique by HoneyThorns Jun 11, 2013, 6:05:48 AM
I like the flow of this article and how you state some artists ideas of how they view developing a style. The main thing I enjoyed seeing is that you encouraged artists to think for themselves as far as how their style relates to their own work by stating some facts and ideas for inspiration. You answered the questions you provided clearly while still informing us on a few things that we might not have realized. It is helpful that you gave us things to watch out for that might get some artists "stuck" in the comfort zone you mentioned. Your message was very positive and it was also inspiring. I think you did a good job with educating with this piece because you gave us enough examples to spring board off of to come to a conclusion of our own.
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:iconsomnivision:
SomniVision Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Professional General Artist
Don't have the time? No style for you!

TRUTH. time and effort never gets old.

I tend to experiment when I catch myself getting comfortable. Stirs things up a bit and hopefully I learn something from the experience I can use in my usual work! I feel it's important to have your own style as it plays a main role in defining you as an artist and is ultimately more recognizable than your own name.
Reply
:icongafantonina:
gafAntonina Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014
I loved this journal and I'm not even an artist :la:! :giggle:
By the way, why didn't you include yourself in the examples ;P? I know it may feel wrong to feature yourself in your own journal, but your artworks are quite recognisable I think. You definitely have your own style :-)!
And last thing: I see this article is quite old, despite I saw it just recently. Do you edit it from time to time or something? If so, is it possible to suggest someone who in my opinion has their own style?
Reply
:iconsaevuswinds:
saevuswinds Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Student Writer
Nice article! :nod: There's some useful tips here!
Reply
:iconlady-compassion:
Lady-Compassion Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for sharing such an upl-lifting and encouragingly practical journal Lady Jane :iconloveroseplz:
Reply
:iconkhyrkat:
khyrkat Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014   Traditional Artist
Artists are their own worst critiques and such articles make it even worse. While I understand the need of nowadays world to be "unique", I think it's all about JOY. Being happy while painting, drawing, sculpting. Style is overrated. Style is something that not the artist defines but what viewers of their work define. That is why it is pointless to explain inspirations. It is good to know other artists work and it is good to stay away from it to avoid so much talked plagiarism. These days, when internet made our world a small cube, we cannot avoid copying, even half-consciously. Young artists are often discouraged by being told "you need to find your style, you need to be unique". No. Just... no. Everyone is unique in their own, specific way. No one paints the eye or a tree the same way, there are always subtle differences that in fact are missed in this sped up life we live these days. Look at work of Bob Ross. It's great, yes, but look at all of his followers now showing how they paint wet on wet technique, with same brushes, same palette knife, same colors as Bob did. Do they have style? Oh sure they have style. They grabbed technique and either pushed it further or simply stayed within its limits. And they do have a style of their own, even though these paintings look all the same. It is a false rule that each artist should have one particular style to be recognized. My grandma had unique style of drawing horses with ordinary charcoal, between gardening and making dinner, on a sheet of torn paper and yet she didn't call herself an artist. But when I showed her drawings to my fellow artists they said it must be some old masters' sketches. Grandma didn't draw every day, she never considered herself an artist, she was a wife, a mother. She never learned how to draw, she just did it. Her "style" was just following her heart and THAT is what style is. Being forced to look for something else because what I paint is painted by many is cruel.
Reply
:iconsweetdemoness87:
Sweetdemoness87 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I believe that I have just recently found my "style." In my opinion your style must be something that comes naturally to you. Instead of forcing realism, i decided to have fun and came up with my own little thing. It is the best thing I have done so far. It allows me to be emotional with my work and still have fun with it. 
Anywho, This article is amazing and i absolutely agree 100% as an artist you must find your own style. 
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for reading :heart:
Reply
:iconfineartcandice:
FineArtCandice Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013   Traditional Artist
Excellent advice.
Reply
:icongenny-raskin:
Genny-Raskin Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013  Student General Artist
Only if I had more courage and muse...
Reply
:iconredfoxj:
redfoxj Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013
I have a strong personal style of my own, however, this article makes a very good point of avoiding the 'comfort zone' and push ourselves to the next level. I know I can do better.
Reply
:icontasuke1993:
Tasuke1993 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Student General Artist
A very nice article indeed! ^^

I wanted to find my own style long time ago, sadly I think that I still haven't found one yet or maybe I just don't think that it's unique ^^; on the other hand thanks for this article! It made me think more about my own style search!
Reply
:iconserendipitydixie:
SerenDipityDixie Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
pretty much the best choice i've made re: my art in the past couple of years was to take art history as an a-level course. especially because we have to write essays and look at technical aspects and style and form and ideas - seriously i cannot even begin to describe how useful this is

so yes getting acquainted with art history is a really great piece of advice, coupled with obviously the will to go out and study what these artists are doing and using all this to your own advantage
im still drawing pretty stiff/uninteresting things BUT im working pretty hard to change this thanks to looking at other people's work and ideas
Reply
:iconharrisons-forge:
Harrisons-Forge Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
Do you struggle with developing your own style?
I don't struggle with developing a style, it cannot be done consciously so why worry? I also think it is possible to work in more than one style. I have completely different ways of working with photography, painting, drawing and sculpting and this leads to different styles of work, all of which are 'mine'

How often do you experiment in your artworks?
As often as I possibly can. I keep all the experiments and they often get used in other pieces of work as well as being developed further.


Do you think it is important to have a personal style?
I think it is important that your style is individual enough for people to be able to recognise your work as belonging to you, but this also very much depends on the viewer knowing the artist...
Reply
:iconspudfuzz:
Spudfuzz Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is a really nice article! I spent a while when I was painting to learn colour theory that I realized painting itself isn't my style period. I'm a cartoonist. Of course, I needed to learn how to paint as it's a crucial skill, but overall I simply do not have the time nor patience for it and to paint everything in a panel would be excruciating. I prefer my flat cel-shading and love it. For anyone that's trying to find their style, I think a great way is to simply experiment in everything that catches your interest until you find yourself in one of them.
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Indeed it is, thank you for your comment :heart:

:frail:
Reply
:iconhoneythorns:
HoneyThorns Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Do you struggle with developing your own style? Do you think it is important to have a personal style?

I used to struggle with wondering if I would ever have my own style. I think it's just something that comes along with time. For now, I'm focusing on practicing and developing my techniques. I can always learn more. I think it is important to develop something all your own to the way you draw, or else it will feel generic and too much the same as what others make. I think we all have a style already, but it's the techniques and way we do things or things we learn over time that help us forever improve upon it.

How often do you experiment in your artworks?

I experiment all the time. Doing the same thing over and over might be one way to learn, but it would bore me and I'd lose motivation. I'd rather try out what I learn and combine things that work for me as I go along. So, that is what I do.

I like this article. It just inspires me to keep trying and working on what I want to do - which is to draw.

When it comes down to it, if you want to draw, you make time. If not, you're choosing to not make the time you need to do what you enjoy.
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I completely agree with your last statement, we always make time for things we want to do. Also, doing one thing over and over is really demotivating sometimes, I often alter techniques because it's easy to get frustrated even with your most favorite medium if you use it without breaks. Experiments seems risky but in fact they provide quite a jump forward, new ideas-wise.
Reply
:iconnilanja:
Nilanja Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013
very nice article! :thumbsup:
it really takes years to develop your own style and I also think that it never stops which is amazing! :la:
I just wish I had more time for art..I really want to paint more but taking photos is already very time consuming..
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
It never does (:

Thank you for reading!

:heart:
Reply
:iconsevmd:
SEVMD Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I used to be drawing manga style but slowly I got away to cartoon then grim dark, now its pretty hard to say where I am now since I've not really uploaded my real style online. Most of the works in my account are another style I've used, maybe I can say I have 2 types
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for your comment (:
Reply
:iconiokothepanda:
IokoThePanda Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
great -
thank you for my motivation to draw today >w<
a lot of interesting things you wrote!
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for reading! :heart:

:frail:
Reply
:iconiokothepanda:
IokoThePanda Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
of course, just great <3
Reply
:icontheycallmewonders:
TheyCallMeWonders Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Student General Artist
the thing is i feel like i haven't had my own style yet...as if incomplete, i feel like i'm still working on it, but i've gotten to the point where i can be satisfied with my work, whether Traditional, digital, and even Literary sometimes.

i don't really experiment actually, i'm still in a sort of "comfort zone area" of just drawing Manga and Anime, although i have done realistic people drawings before, and those turned out awesome xD
i'm also currently trying to branch out to digital art as well.

Style is basically, at least what i think, is a unique way to put yourself into the art world like "you see that style, that person did it" sorta thing. it could also have to do with relating to you. every picture has to do with what you've experienced, because you can't draw something you don't even know existed...like at all...like if you've never heard or seen about it in anyway whatsoever, you can't draw it.
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Very good point, beginner artists are often put off by professionals, they see something beyond their imagination and can't believe they would be able to create something near that level. What they don't see is the "journey" that leads a specific artist towards their style.

Thank you for reading (:
Reply
:iconpreussensunflowers:
preussensunflowers Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I second that! :D

I may not be the best around now, but i get better every time I sketch.

Thanks for the inspiration btw!
Reply
:icontheycallmewonders:
TheyCallMeWonders Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Student General Artist
i believe that is VERY true xDDD i always have that feeling when i'm looking at a couple of inspiring deviants. but i do know i've come quite a ways xD with the "look back at a drawing you did 2 years ago" thing.

and thank you for writing :iconmoesmileplz:
Reply
:icongyrhs:
GYRHS Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013
I was drawing with manga style and trying to be better with digital color, improving and improving in anatomy... but one day in a expocomic, a profsional artist was checking porfolios, and when he saw my portfolio he wasn't very impressed, suddenly he saw a cute thing that I make when I was bored in classes, He said that IT was my style... was a shock to me... :XD:

But I tried with this 'style', in digital and traditional, and I really enjoy with it, now people see my art and have a perdurable expression, before never pass it.

But I'm learning and improving every day, searching new ways...

My 'old' style: [link]
The 'new' style with digital color: [link]
The 'new' style with watercolors: [link]


sorry for my awful english
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Indeed, sometimes others make us see what we can't (: Best wishes on your further development!

Thank you for reading (:

:frail:
Reply
:icongyrhs:
GYRHS Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013
No problem, thank you for write this :la:
Reply
:iconloki-megabyte:
Loki-Megabyte Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I experiment with almost every work often.
Only untill recently does it seem to be coming together with the lessons and art theory I've learned in high school.

I'm anime influenced expressionist who does mainly digital cartooning.my style is composed of intelligent,colorful,cute and sometimes creepy elements.

I do for fun and my sanity.
This a good article.
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Sounds like you know your way around what you do (: Thank you for reading & your comment!

:heart:
Reply
:iconberriisplash:
berriisplash Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013
This article is fantastic! I'm sure you're tired of the "this is great/awesome/cool" comments, but, we say those things because it's true. I sat and read through the whole thing and I agree. The only thing I have to add is this:

Style comes with observation and learning. When you look at a tutorial for help or have a teacher teach you their technique, you can use what you've learned and apply them to your drawings while slightly changing some things to suit your needs. As you improve you'll find that the teacher's technique stays with you as you develop your own styles. Who knows? During your journey you might add more techniques from other artists that you really like to make your own unique drawings!
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! You are right, something always stays but everyone has a specific "handwriting" in the end (:

Thank you for reading (:
Reply
:iconberriisplash:
berriisplash Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013
Of course, you're welcome!!
Reply
:iconladykylin:
LadyKylin Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013
Do you struggle with developing your own style? How often do you experiment in your artworks? Do you think it is important to have a personal style?

I don't really think about style conciouslly. And every artwork is either training something or playing with something, ussaly both becuase shading excersises while vital get boring really quick, but if you do them in color it's more fun. And I do think it's imporatnat to find what you like, even if what you like is just doing silly fan art. Art is about enjoying yourself. Otherwise it just becomes a job. I also don't see any kind of problem with doing fan art, it's a way to find what works for you and what doesn't. I only have a problem with it when credit isn't given where it's due.
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Of course, the best results can be obtained when truly enjoying yourself while creating (:

Thank you for your comment & reading :heart:
Reply
:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013   General Artist
Nicely done!
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you dear (:
Reply
:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013   General Artist
:heart:
Reply
:icontwinkiedragon:
twinkiedragon Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013
This article was great! I have such a hard time finding a style. I like to draw detailed creatures and animals, but my people are kinda cartoony. It's rather silly. :P
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for your comment & reading :heart:

:frail:
Reply
:iconscorpiogreen:
ScorpioGreen Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
loved this article, gave great in sight to the process of finding style .
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for reading :heart:
Reply
:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
    :clap:
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
:tighthug:
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