Finding your own style as an artist / by Andy Stoltz

One feature that has always defined a successful artist is there own style. Some artist find this early on and some are still searching. If you have a style all your own, share your thoughts!

So what is style? Oxford has all these different definitions but in summary style is a mix of design principles and personal experience all combined and expressed. Style comes in many forms, sometimes it's inherent in how we doodle, for others it's an evolving, elusive thing. I belonged to the second group for a long time and still do in many ways, but I figured something out. 

It's confidence, style is just the ability to draw what you want and feel confident about it. This is actually true just about all creative talents but thats another blog post altogether.

Below is a little guide to get those still searching kickstarted! 

finding your style as an artist | using reference

STEP ONE: Have a basic knowledge of your craft! Whether that's a formal education or just having had observed, practiced, and accepted constructive criticism. This is your base.

STEP TWO: Go out into the world! You can also google things if you're feeling less adventurous and achieve similar results. The simple fact is that if you want to draw a penguin but you've never seen one chances are pretty good that your first penguin drawing is going to confuse the people who see it. If you want to draw something and feel stuck, then find a way to study it.

STEP THREE: Interpret and express what you've observed. How you go from studying to expressing what you see is up to you. One practice I used was continuous line, never picking up my pen or pencil until I was done, some people even try this without looking at the drawing. Combine all those ideas and methods you've just practiced to confidently create something uniquely yours.

In my example above there are 6 skulls all drawn using varied reference images along with a rule that they would be drawn quickly. The middle skull is the conclusion, it's what I got when I drew just by picking out what I liked most about the studies I had done. Give this a try for a start.

REMEMBER - Confidence is key and in the next blog post I'll be talking all about growing confidence with some tools you already have hanging about.