I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my art style; what it is, how I can develop and improve it, what makes it special.
I can look at the work of artists I follow and pinpoint exactly what I love about their style, what I wish I could emulate in my own work, the reasons I think their art is worth following. That becomes a much more difficult task when I turn the eye to my own work and attempt to examine it.
Usually, I start to question my art style when I’ve spent too much time wishing it could look like someone else’s, or just be as distinctive as someone else’s. I think because it is my own art, that can make it more difficult for me to really parse out what elements make it unique.
This is when the green monster of doom begins to rear its ugly head. As I compare, I see things other artists can do that I can’t. Details I wish I could achieve. Stylistic choices I wish I’d thought of. Magic with a paintbrush that seems impossible to me. My own work suddenly begins to pale in comparison. How can I compete with, at least as it appears to me, perfection?
Sometimes, even the best of us have days when we wonder what in the world am I really doing?
This is when I take a deep breath and remember. Even my favorite artists and creatives of all kinds still doubt and question themselves and their work. There will always be someone more advanced than me who I can decide to draw inspiration from or compare myself to and be discouraged by. There will always be people who look up to ME and my work and wonder how in the world I could ever even think it was less than great.
I’m still working on finding my little corner. Some days I’m sure I’ve got it down, other times I beat my head against a wall for days trying to figure out what I’m even doing with my art. As I work on figuring it out, I keep drawing whatever I’m inspired to draw and remember the words I’d tell someone else in my same position…
Don’t worry about comparisons. There will always be someone better than you and worse than you at any given activity. Be the best YOU, because that’s all you’ll be anyways!
•••••••••• BONUS! ••••••••••
Where I break down several of my favorite artists’ work and what I love about it.
What I love about the art of Glenn Arthur is the gorgeous details he manages to achieve with paints, in watercolor and acrylic. The shading is minimal, but still seems very realistic. He draws all of his faces just from his imagination!
I just adore Megan Carrigan’s whimsical and sweet style. Her drawings are easily identifiable as Disney characters, but done with her own flair as well. One of my favorite things is how she finds the most perfectly adorable frames to put the paintings into!
Loish has such a distinct style. I’m in awe at the lighting effects she achieves. I really like how she paints the planes of the face, they really look 3D and every face has so much character and tells a story. Dynamite color choices!