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A common question I get asked is how to develop a good style.

Here are some of my thoughts on this subject...

Don't think what kind of style do people want. Just be yourself & search for knowledge. Style is developed through knowledge.

Just painting or drawing how you naturally do is not enough to develop a good solid style. If art is an interpretation of something we can relate to LIFE, then you have to learn about the different aspects of LIFE to get better at art. Nothing is sadder than seeing an artist with a great idea but doesn't have the knowledge or skill to make it happen the way they had initially envisioned it. I still have this problem from time to time so I search for the knowledge and know how to make the idea I initially had to appear the way I want it to.

Your ideas are what makes you unique. Once you have the idea, you search for the knowledge to make those ideas happen the way you envisioned it. I don't know about all of you but I can bet that when most of you learn something new, you can't wait to use the knowledge somehow in your next painting. This changes how the painting looks. With enough changes and exploration, the whole style evolves and the knowledge you learned to get there has come from a genuine place of passion and personal interest. This search for knowledge (instead of searching for a 'style') creates a solid unique style that is all your own. Style is developed through knowledge."

I said "Don't think what kind of style do people want" because as corny as it sounds we are all unique in our own ways. Use your unique personality, history, interests, family... etc to create a style that no one has seen before. That's how to develop a great style.

Bobby

Sending positive vibes to you all.
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:iconjossse:
jOsSse Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
really inspiring, thanks Bobby!
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:iconbatuxa:
Batuxa Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2011   Filmographer
I was getting there thanks to sketchoholic.com. :D
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:icondeathchronx:
DeathChronx Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011  Student General Artist
Great! Thanks for the positive vibes, I'm always wondering if my art will begin to show a more definitive 'style', but now I'm sure that it just takes hard work and exploration in what really interests me in others work, and the world around me, and learn more about it!
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:iconkimmy-quevil:
Kimmy-Quevil Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
this news report is great as it relates to all aspects of life not just art. I am constantly looking for new ideas or techniques for my crafting and sewing.
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:icongisapizzatto:
GisaPizzatto Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Featured!!!!!! [link]
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:iconwhistleandsnap:
WhistleAndSnap Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2010  Student General Artist
wow. You're absolutely right. I've been worrying about my "style" for a long time now, but you know what? I think I'll give myself a break and try a couple new things. thanks for this article!
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:iconbatparasol:
BatParasol Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2010
its always nice to see others with unique styles, but sometimes i get jealous for others who grab the most attention. Especially if the style is just so simple <:0 But ty for the article<3
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:iconyoulootamax:
youlootamax Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
This is extremely encouraging to read =) I'm one of those artists that's been working on developing my own style for years now, but often gets discouraged because it's not what "the people" want. Luckily, I have a really hard time going out of my way to cater to people, so I haven't fallen into the trap of just doing what other people want. There was this one artist I used to watch who had a really nice style, but then just switched to only drawing pinups of female cartoon characters because "it was the most popular thing" he did. It was really sad to see, because although his art was still pretty decent, his style lost a lot of the life it used to have since that became his only focus. Although I don't like knocking on fanart, since a part of growing is translating other people and characters into your style, it's when an artist goes from having their own style to only drawing it in the "official" style that it becomes frustrating for me to watch.
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:iconpenandinkdrawings:
PENANDINKDRAWINGS Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2010
I agree,just be yourself.
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:iconskullknockade:
SkullKnockade Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2010  Student
Third line is an eye-opener. Thank you so much. :)
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:iconhong-t:
HonG-t Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is very true! I was always changing styles, but then started to take place when I started to learn anatomy and color theory and such
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:iconazalie21:
azalie21 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I know it sounds weird but...that's what my art teacher always tells me.
What you said is still inspirational though :)
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:iconwerwin:
werwin Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Hobbyist
awesomeply inspiring!
thank you dude!!
really enjoid reading this! =) and i think its the clevest and the most real thing i've heard in a long time!
Reply
:iconameryln:
Ameryln Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Student General Artist
A good way to develop your own style is to draw blindly for a month, disregarding everything and only relating back to realism if you really need to. Don't know how to draw an eye properly? Don't look it up, just draw it the way you think it is.

Then after a month or two, review back on the style your art has become, to get an idea of what you want your art to look like in the future.
Reply
:icondwightyoakamfan:
dwightyoakamfan Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010   General Artist
the way i learn is to study and all of my favourite different types of artist and to take all of my favourite things about them that inspire me most in technique, and put it all together to make my own style.... your style grows and grows the more you try studying different types of art.
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:iconvolcanicmind:
volcanicmind Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
That's a great tip, thanks for sharing your knowledge with us Bobby! :)
even after all these years, i am still struggling to find own style. But I know with each painting or artwork that is completed, I am slowly inching my way there.

Thanks for sharing, it's always inspiring to listen and see your thought process.


Sion
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:iconkronos2501:
Kronos2501 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Well said. Like I told someone else here, think of your artwork as a living entity that grows and changes with each new thing you learn.
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:iconlordgood:
LordGood Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Student General Artist
I think you ought to draw as you normally do but be observant all the same. With every project, bite off more than you can chew, then manipulate it as best as you can to make it look like the way YOU want it to look. And practice, a lot. Be adventurous, attempt difficult light effects, colour blends, or shading and do it to your best ability!
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:iconancaxbre:
AncaXBre Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
I agree knowledge creates unique styles. I also believe that in order to create a special style you have to draw/paint what you'd like to see in a drawing and worry less what others would want.
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:iconatrox-c:
Atrox-C Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010
Another way to develop style is to look at how other people draw/design, taking away the little bits and pieces that resonate with us or catch our eye.
Perhaps I like how someone draws their eyes, but also love how a different artist draws their noses. It's putting together the little bits we like that makes us unique.
As Richard Williams himself has said on the subject of style; "when you see something you like, take it, because they stole it first."
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:iconzhifay:
Zhifay Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010
How is it possible that you didn't mention photography in your article? Maybe do you think that photographers don't need a style? :snowflake:
Merry christmas everyone. by the way!
:snowflake: :snowflake: :snowflake: :snowflake: :snowflake: :snowflake: :snowflake: :snowflake: :snowflake: :snowflake: :snowflake: :snowflake: :snowflake: :snowflake: :snowflake: :snowflake:
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:iconemptyvoids:
emptyvoids Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Hobbyist
he isn't really a photographer
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:iconzhifay:
Zhifay Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010
:(
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:icondumdodoor:
Dumdodoor Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Short and sweet report. ^^
Reply
:icongenkaku-kun:
genkaku-kun Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
just begging for it, haha

"God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant, and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things."
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:iconkimmy-quevil:
Kimmy-Quevil Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
if deviant art had a like button i would click it for your comment. its so very true :heart:
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:iconsatsumo:
Satsumo Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
In some ways I think your almost saying it wrong. For example, 'developing a good style'. There are no good styles or bad styles. Some things work and some things don't.

Style is what happens when an artist isn't trying to be someone else. If they try to be like shirow, or schiele, or perez, then it works against them.

I had hoped you were going to suggest practical ways that people can find their style. I think part of that is trying to draw untypical things. If a person is heavily influenced by manga, try to drawing something that dosen't appear in manga so that you have to start with their own idea.

I think those those lists that people make (challenges?) might be a good way to do that. Though I guess people are discoraged because without the reference material, the end result is not as 'good'. That's because they view the reference as some kind of ideal.

It may not be as 'good' (by whatever measure you've chosen), it's unique, it's 100% you, and that's far more important than 'good'.
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:iconhegichern:
Hegichern Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Great report!
I am trying to develop my style and learn more about "how-to-draw",but... there is no people who really like my art. I think it is because of my style. Majority of deviants prefer popular artists' (> 1 500 000 pageviews) style and insolently copy this style, claim this as their own (and these people get more pageviews and faves too ONLY for copying). I understand if it was fan-art, but NO, it is only fake, awful attempt to become more popular than the artist with original style. I saw many deviants like these. Imitators prosper here.
Why I said this? Because there is a minority of people who really want to show original style, new ideas and interesting way of drawing, and I am finding people who didn't fall under the influence of "the greatest artists, gods of art and idols" on dA.
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:iconfairyfindings:
FairyFindings Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Student Digital Artist
I really like your point about personal knowledge informing your art. I'd never really taken it to that conclusion, but now it seems so obvious. It's a natural progression; your personal knowledge infuses almost everything you do, how you react, the choices you make, so why wouldn't that also apply to your art? I really think you brought this home when describing the excitement we feel when we've learned a new technique, and can't wait to try it out, ourselves, in conjunction with the things we already love.
I'm a "second chance" college student - I'm 40 & back in school - as a Graphic Design major, this time around. And I know that every time I learn something new in one of my classes, I can't wait to try it out at home.

Thanks for sharing your insights!
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:iconbottled-mermaid:
bottled-mermaid Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010
absolutely awesome and helpful article! :hug:

I so agree with your idea of "style developing through knowledge" :)
it happens to me sometimes, that I have some ideas but I cannot make them come true because of my poor skills. I hope I can learn more and get better!
I also agree with your "Don't think what kind of style do people want".
Unfortunately many of us, expecially beginners, often do this mistake. It's easy to think "well, if I draw in this certain style, people will like my stuff more, and so I'll get more comments and more faves...et cetera". In my opinion, we all are too stuck into the willing of "being popular"...while making art is not about being popular at all!
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:iconcreepiest:
Creepiest Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
You're absolutely right. I'm presently in the process of finding my own style because I'm interested in being a comic artist and would love to put all of the ideas I have on paper. I'll admit, I get discouraged sometimes because those ideas make me so anxious and the development of my style is seeming to take FOREVER...but it'll be worth it. While I agree that you should draw in a way you prefer as opposed to drawing in a way that you think will appeal to others, I believe letting other artists influence you while you develop your style is a great idea. For example: Not only do I learn from observing the techniques of fellow artists, but seeing their art keeps me from giving up because I know mine can be that amazing someday as long as I keep trying. So really, it's educational and inspiring. But never create art for other people. Unless it's for a commission, gift, etc... xD I used to write fan-fiction because I enjoyed it, and apparently, other people did, too. I published it on a website and the readers went fucking crazy. It was pretty neat at first 'cause I had my own fan girls, haha, but then I realized after a while that it was a bad thing. They became demanding and aggressive, wanting me to post my fan-fiction more frequently, so I began writing more...but for the wrong reason. It was stressing me out because I didn't want to, meanwhile my beloved fan base was sending me death threats. LOL... Bottom line is, it was a huge mistake. I decided to quit writing because that ruined it for me, and I never published again. Thankfully, I'm back to writing now, but it wasn't a pleasant experience... Don't let it happen to you. Do what you like.
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:iconsignifytree:
signifytree Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010
Well put. Not having a style is the most interesting in my opinion. Make art that you like. I'm constantly changing the way I draw. I get excited to draw by attempting something new. Variety is the spice of life! So look at others art and learn something about it. Keeping within your perceived style all the time can stop the flow of creativity. Evolving as an artist is the important thing.
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:iconopenmindness:
openmindness Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010
I may not be able to draw but at least I have my own style . Man I can't tell you how freaking annoying that is to hear from people. You don't have a style you have a mishmash of drawing mistakes and you'll never get better just go from one mishmash of drawing mistakes to another style of mishmash drawing mistakes . I know personally that's why I never got better as an artist from one shitty drawing mistake to an other. That's why I'm working on a fan project that would force me to draw out side my comfort zone. Hopefully after working on it I have a enough skills to bring my own original projects to life with great clarity.
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:iconnamenotrequired:
namenotrequired Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010  Student Interface Designer
I have developed my style (and still am developing my style) through experience as well as knowledge.:D
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:iconanniefelis:
anniefelis Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010
People shouldn't be so hung up on style. Style comes naturally once somebody has a proper understanding of anatomy, compostition, direction/movement, color theory and lighting/values. The only way to understand those things is years of hard work. Of course, all those kids who worry about style don't want to put in any hard work; they just want results fast so they can get more pageviews now.
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:icondrawmonkey:
DrawMonkey Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010  Professional Filmographer
Words of wisdom.
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:iconhaanpere:
HaanPere Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010   Digital Artist
It's supposed to be basic knowledge that one can't have their own style without understanding the style and having the knowledge. it's sad that nowadays many people don't seem to understand it but instead try copying styles that are popular for a reason or another. I'm pretty sure that everyone can agree with me on this; no matter who it is, their art always looks the best when they've done it their own way.

I'm sure that this article will be a great help for many people c: Thank you for writing it!
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:iconwavingmonsterstudios:
WavingMonsterStudios Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010  Professional General Artist
Awesome Bobby, thank you.
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:iconverlangenlotte:
VerlangenLotte Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010  Student Digital Artist
iloveyou.
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:iconfreckleonmypalm:
FreckleOnMyPalm Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010  Professional General Artist
Fundamentals should always come before style. Style is something developed over years but it has to come after learning the basics of anatomy and technique which too many people think they can skip if they just get a style. I very much agree that looking for knowledge is what they needs to be done rather then 'style'

I really hope people will take what you're saying here and apply it
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:iconnamenotrequired:
namenotrequired Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010  Student Interface Designer
I can skip the basics of atonomy cause I have style in poetry.:B
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:iconfreckleonmypalm:
FreckleOnMyPalm Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010  Professional General Artist
Hahahahaha Touche! That was an excellent response XD
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:iconnamenotrequired:
namenotrequired Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010  Student Interface Designer
hehe thank you :hug:
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:iconfreckleonmypalm:
FreckleOnMyPalm Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010  Professional General Artist
Urg, what is with that grammar? that second to last sentence should read without that weird 'they' in it ><
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:icongdsworld:
GDSWorld Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Keep this coming Bobby.
Love your style man. ;)
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:iconkon-memoirs:
kon-memoirs Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! :love:
This really helped. :)
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:iconnukinuki:
nukinuki Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010  Professional Interface Designer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconj-arturo:
j-arturo Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010  Professional Filmographer
KNOWLEDGE and then search for more KNOWLEDGE
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:iconkronos2501:
Kronos2501 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
That's the name of the game. Think of your work as a life-form that grows and changes.
Reply
:iconj-arturo:
j-arturo Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010  Professional Filmographer
yea, more water, the plant will surely grow better
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