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Find Your Art Style

Your art style is not something you “find” after enough practice, nor is it dependent on your skill level. It is something you curate. It is a series of creative decisions you make in your work repeatedly, combined with your creative intuition. Let me it break down and give you the five steps to uncovering the art style you've always wanted.

Step One: Determine Your Destination 🗺️

If you were taking a vacation, the first thing you would determine would be the destination. You cannot start packing or a booking flight until you know where you are going. The same goes for your art style; you need to determine what you want. What do you want your art to look like? Try not to overthink this. You know what you like and don't like.

Make a Pinterest board with about 20 pins of the kind of art you strive to make or collect inspiration from other places like galleries. Then, make a list of what you like about each piece and why you draw to it. Do you like bright colors, drawing mediums, cartoon styles, realistic oil paintings, or digital illustrations? Remember that your art style showcases your taste and is a reflection of you. Try to bring your creative vision to life and keep a solid reflection of yourself.

Step Two: Do a Lab Experiment 🧪

Choose your favorite artists’ work and study it. Figure out how they make something from start to finish through their time-lapse videos, content, and observation of their work. Next, make copies of a couple of works for practice purposes only to gain an understanding of how they achieved their results.

Now, take a quick inventory of your current work and compare it with your destination. What do you need to change to get there?

Step Three: Develop a Creative Process 🌈

The backbone of your art style AKA, your creative process, or workflow, call it what you want. Your process is the way you go about creating a work of art in steps. For me, this looks like ideas, sketching, value studies, line art, coloring, and details. In a vague synopsis. What steps do you take to get to your final product? Make note of what you do or what you want to do each time you make art.

Think of it this way–If you had to teach a class on how to replicate your art style, what would your curriculum be?

Step Four: Add Your Signature Touch 🍒

Infuse signature elements into your style, such as subject matter or colors. A signature touch is a tell-tell sign that it is your work. Maybe, you always put stars around your work or give your cartoon characters rosy cheeks.

Step Five: Harness Your Intuition 💞

Don't underestimate step five it has more influence than any of the prior steps because you can’t control it. It's the dependent variable. Each artist creates intuitively. If you have three artists of the same skill level, supplies, studio, reference images, and assignment they will each create something different. Because they have a different ways of thinking, life experiences, and heart.

Think of it like our voices, handwriting, or fingerprints. Your art holds that same uniqueness that nobody can copy. As you embark on the journey to finding your style try not to copy anyone else, but instead showcase who you were created to be.

PRO TIP: We tend to be our biggest critics and throughout this process, you could have been a little tough on your art. Be sure to lean into your strengths when curating your style. Ask a friend what stands out to them in your work and what they think you do well and highlight that!

Final Thoughts

Remember that creativity is a journey, not a destination; you will always be learning, evolving, and growing as a creative. The style you make today probably will not be the style you stick to within 5+ years, but it will have helped you mature as a creative and get better results in the meantime by making your art stand out from the crowd. But, who knows? You can also discover your Tiffany blue in your art...

✦ Hola, mi nombre es Kelsi ✦

Your artist fairy godmother 🪄 that whips up weekly tutorials on Procreate & digital creativity. Click here to learn more about my mission.

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Post: Find Your Art Style

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