How to Find My Style – A Pocket Guide for Artists
This can definitely be elaborated on more (for IG slides, this is already kind of lengthy lol), but I’m thinking I can discuss this further in a different platform. We’ll see if I can get it together for that haha.
Anywho, if you have any questions, feel free to comment below! Thanks for all the feedback on one of my previous posts when I asked what you’d like to learn. A post will be coming up sometime next week on getting unstuck from the dreaded creative block. Hope these help a lil! Stay warm out there! – Jerisa
Read below for the text version of the slide content.
How to Find My Style – A Pocket Guide for Artists
Every artist arrives at their style differently. It’s something you learn and develop over time. Some develop theirs on purpose. Others, on accident. Some through experimentation of varying mediums and styles. And more commonly, through the inspiration of other artists and their artwork. Or even a combination of all of these.
Your style is what will tie your work together, creating a cohesive collection. However, it is perfectly fine to have more than one style. Depending on what type of work you do as an artist, having more than one style may actually open you up to more opportunities.
So whether you are just starting or you simply just want to refine what you’re already doing. Here are a few tips and examples to help you along the way.
* Don’t forget to bookmark or screenshot these for future reference. And of course, show some love – like, comment, or share! 🤎
Now Let’s Get Started!
- FIND INSPIRATION
Begin by looking up artists or artwork that inspire you or is similar to the style you wish to develop.
Unsure of where to start searching? Try looking up different categories of art to get broader results. You can always filter it from there. Here are some examples.
Contemporary, Street Art, Graffiti, Pop Art, Minimalism, Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, Art Deco, Surrealism, Art Nouveau, Impressionism, Renaissance, Realism, Neoclassicism, Baroque, just to name a few.
By Region: Filipino, Japanese, Mexican, African, Chinese, British, and so much more
By Subject: Animals, Flowers, People, Landscape, Fashion, Typography, etc.
Take notes on what interests you about the work. What elements do you enjoy? Is it the color palette? The lines? The shadows? The subject? The theme?
This will help you understand what you naturally gravitate towards and subsequently, guide you to defining your style.
3. COLLECT STYLE REFERENCES:
Now that you’ve found some examples and you’ve taken note of your favorite elements, collect a few reference pieces to guide you. Create a folder just for them on your computer or phone. That way you have a collection of references to help you while you practice.
4. GET TO WORK:
Naturally, the next step would be to put pencil to paper. Let’s start sketching!
This next exercise is meant to help you create sketches that will evolve into what will be your own style. Your art’s DNA will consist of your experience, personality, ideas, technique, color choices, subject matter, and more. But it will develop over time. It may even change and that’s okay. We have to start somewhere.
• Pick any subject. A person, flower, fruit, animal, etc. Using a pencil, sketch this in your own current style. For this part, do not reference any of the artwork you just researched. This will be your starting point. Keep this first sketch, you’ll want to look back as you progress.
• Now using that same subject, sketch it in a style similar to one of the pieces you just researched. It doesn’t have to be an exact copy. It can just have similar style characteristics. How do you think Salvador Dali would draw an apple? Picasso a flower?
Try not to get caught up in the details or how it doesn’t look like what you envisioned! Just sketch it out.
• Do this exercise several times with different styles and subjects. When you’re comfortable enough, experiment with other mediums and surfaces.
• Take notice of what themes and style elements appear often in your sketches. Over time you’ll start to have a better idea of what direction you want to continue.
• This is also a great exercise for exploring and brainstorming if you’re trying to create something new or if you ever feel stuck.
Other ways to find your style:
• Work on your technical skills:
Learn figure drawing. Try drawing from still life like a bowl of fruit, a vase of flowers. Study technique, light, shadow, perspective. Everything around you is a great opportunity to draw and learn.
• Try new things all the time:
Try working with new mediums, different surfaces, different styles. New paint colors, sculpting, jewelry making, pottery, or sewing to name a few.
• Create for the fun of it!
Your voice and personality naturally reside within you. So it makes sense that if you are creating art for fun, it will shine through no matter what you make.
• Inspiration > Copying:
I do not encourage copying other artists. Don’t be that guy. If you like an artist’s work, most likely it is already inspiring how you draw, which is cool. It is more beneficial to take note on all your favorite style elements (like in the exercise) and evolve them to make it uniquely yours. It is common to see the influence of other artists in another artist’s work. You can see it in the style, the vibe, the mood, the colors, the theme, etc. But it should never be a copy. Otherwise, where are you in your own work?
There’s no way around it. The more you practice, the more progress you will make.