Friday, 6 November 2015

How to Find Your Art Style, Voice and Signature Style

Since announcing to the World that I was going to sketch everyday - I produced  just one sketch.  I know that in order to get better at what I do I need to practice, practice, practice.  I am held back by; not being interested in the subject matter, not being in the right frame of mind or the right kind of environment and generally making excuses for reasons why I am unable to do it. 

I have such a strong urge to be creative but don't want to waste time going down a path that I am not passionate about.  For a long time I have been bothered by the fact that I don't seem to have a 'style' and don't really know how to develop the limited skills that I have into something that speaks 'my voice'.  Anyway I thought I would probe deeper into this and have found some very interesting vlogs on YouTube about how to find your art style and listed some of the suggestions below.

Be aware of the stimulus that is around you that attracts you every day.

Take pictures of everything that draws your attention – without judging.

Rearrange the photos into families; colour, weird objects etc.

Broaden your research to ask why does a particular artist draw your attention, what is it I really like about him/her?  What do you have in common with the artist?  

Group your photos into folders such as movies I like, such as Tim Burton or Alice in Wonderland and find a commonality in what it is you like about them.  Do the same for books etc.  Don’t hurry the process in trying to find ‘your style’.  It could take a couple of years.

Allow time to find your voice.

Artists emulate artists – find other styles you like – copy to learn.

Create your own rules – how long an arm should be or how big the eyes etc.  Manga or Anime has a set look – you don’t have to follow the rules to create your own style.

Know what people like and produce it.

Self-doubt is part of being an artist – style is always evolving.

Borrow/steal from multiple sources.

Style is built into you on how you see the World.

Analyse your work.  Bad habits can become your style.  Keep re-defining your style to hone and craft your art.

Change your tools or materials – change from a round brush to a flat.

Choose 3 colours to do all your paintings with or put constraints on your materials to encourage creativity.

Take a pencil and pad everywhere you go.

Style can be found by having physical restrictions.

I hope that any aspiring artists will find the above list useful.   I am going to start to keep folders of things that attract me and write down the reason why.  Hopefully, over time a pattern will form identifying what 'styles' I like.  Pulling from multiple resources my art style should evolve from the influences I expose myself to.

Have a great weekend!


  1. I find that my style isn't the same style that attracts me in other people's work - seeing something someone else has done, liking it and wanting to produce something similar usually produces something which has quite a different style so maybe that is MY style? For instance I love detailed delicate works but would never have the patience to do them myself even had I the ability and my work is uaually much more impressionistic simply because it is quicker and I am already thinking of the next thing! But maybe that is ME - knitting in thick yarn, embroidering with wool on hesian, crazy patchwork instead of cleverly pieced stuff, weaving with assorted yarns and found items instead of making a damask tablecloth ..... It is always inspiring though to see others' work and it often triggers ideas of things you might want to do not the same but in a "if I did that I'd do so and so instead" sort of way. Good luck with your sketching.

  2. Practice makes perfect. Great effort, keep at it. Greetings!

  3. Some really good ideas there Simone, hopefully you'll find exactly what you're looking for!
    Happy weekend
    V x

  4. A good list and some great ideas there, Simone I hope in pulling things from different mediums (or is that media?) together you can find a style you enjoy working with and which inspires you:)

  5. Just keep going, Simone! I know it can be hard. But you'll get where you need to go. Your voice is there. It's interesting that you've written this post after writing another post about using your voice and being uncomfortable with it.

    There isn't a "wrong" path to go down in the journey of creative discovery. Every path you travel will help you to develop. It's all about learning and experience. And as hard as it may seem at times, making mistakes is a GOOD thing. We learn so much from our mistakes!!

    Keep making and drawing and crafting and asking questions!

    And have a wonderful weekend!

  6. I really like what Anne wrote above because it's all true. She's a good one to "listen" to. The worst thing you can do, Simone, is. . .nothing. Each step you take brings you closer to finding your voice. My husband is always on a quest to learn more about painting and has quite a collection of painting videos other artists have made. He plays them over and over again, studying their techniques and learning how he can use them in his own work. You are talented. Keep going! xo ~ Nancy

  7. Amassing random images of things you are drawn to is a good idea. A theme may present itself which you don't see straight away.
    Good luck on your journey of discovery.
    Lisa x


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