Using Style To Stand Out As A Fan Artist

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Astralseed's avatar

Fan Art Week

Hello everyone!
As part of Fan Art Week I'll be discussing how to stand out as a Fan Artist today.  

As Fan Artists, finding an audience isn't necessarily difficult as long as you're placing your art under the noses of those in that particular fandom, but just because you can easily make yourself seen doesn't necessarily mean you are standing out and being noticed within the fandom.  
While there are a handful of ways to make yourself stand out as a Fan Artist, this article will be focusing on using your art style in order to achieve that.  

How having your own style can help you stand out in your Fandom:

If you're someone who often browses art, you may have noticed how the different pieces can kind of just blend together into a wall that just doesn't seem very appealing to look at or click on.  

When everything looks the same, it all becomes a bit boring and bland, and it's very easy to overlook even very skillfully made art in these situations.  
In order to avoid having your art glanced over, you'll want it to stand out from the rest, since that is what will make people stop and look.  

An easy way of standing out is by having an art style that is different from the rest.  Grab people's attention and make them look!

You can think of this as a means of marketing yourself.  
The better you are able to stand out and be noticed, the more people will see you.  Or in this case, your art.  

Other bonuses to having your own Style:

Now that people can recognize your art, you're just a step away from becoming a household name!  Well, maybe it will be more than one step but it's definitely bringing you closer to that goal!

With your own style you're likely to inspire other artists or art appreciators just by doing your thing.  

Be Unique:
Having your own style makes you stand out by being different.  You can draw the same thing as another person and it will still be unique to you!

Let your art represent you:
When you imitate another artists style it's significantly harder to bring yourself to the table and allow what makes you great to shine through your work.  With your own style, you'll shine through in every single piece you create!

How to develop your own style:  

There are different ways to find and develop your own style.  
My personal advice would be to try different styles and learn from artists you admire in order to find what works best for you.  
Don't be afraid to experiment and try new things.

If my words above are too short for you, take some time to look through these wonderful tutorials and journals that go over how to go about finding your own style.  

Art Advice Issue #5 - How to Find your Own Style
By far the most common concern I see people on DA mention is, "I wish I had my own style / How can I get my own style?" Hardly a week goes by when I don't see different people saying this. Because of this, I decided to write this article with some tips people may find useful, when searching for a style to call their own. This is what I did, ten years ago, when I was trying to find my own manga style; and I've mentioned this method to some other people and they found it informative and useful as well, so I'm sharing it with you all.
The first part of this article will talk about what is included in what we call "style" (did you know personal style is also found in realism?) and the reasons behind common stylizations (as commonly seen in anime and manga).
The second part talks about how an artist arrives at his or her style, and describes a method you can use if you don't want to wait for your style to surface organically ... in other words, if you wan
PE: Developing your personal styleDeveloping your personal style
You obviously love to create, you do it often and now the time has come when you realize that this is no fling, this is something you would want to do for the whole life. You can learn a lot about techniques from numerous sources, you can find the right audience on the internet but there is one thing nobody can help you with but yourself - how to gain a specific style of your own?
:bulletpurple: What is a personal painting style?
 - It's an identifiable style that enables the viewer to determine that the artwork was done by you
 - In some cases, your style can be viewed as an extension of your personality
:bulletpurple: How can one develop it?
 - Developing your style takes time, time and time once again. Don't have the time? No style for you!
 - It's not acquirable in an art class. While it can be helpful to study by an assistance of someone who's m
:thumb332684969: :thumb731130151: Finding Your only 7 steps
Struggling with figuring out who you are as an artist and where your work is going?
1) Set aside studio time.
This is the most important thing you can do to become a professional artist. If you can’t devote non-negotiable studio time, you aren’t going to get very far. You need to make art and more art!
Most artists who have “other jobs” will find this hard, but the commitment is critical. Everyone gives up something to pursue their dreams. If it is difficult to honor your commitment, block out time on your calendar (in ink!) for the week. Treat it as any other appointment and respect this promise to yourself. It’s the first step toward professionalism.
Art by MiroDesign :

:star:Quote: “Artists don’t get down to work until the pain of working is exceeded by the pain of NOT working.” – David Bayles

Thoughts: Finding Artistic StyleI got a great question about style and art, and I wanted to share my answer, in case anyone else found it interesting or helpful. It's just some unfiltered thoughts, though I'd like to write a proper article about it, at a later date. ;)
Question: How do you achieve the style of anatomy your characters have? Do you have specific models that you study, or is it something you do based on study and knowledge of anatomy? 
My Style Background: I started studying art in earnest at the age of 12, and have been drawing steadily since then, and I am 34 now. So I have a good 22 years of experience under my belt. During that time, I have studied all sorts of references, both real photos of real people, and artwork from artists I admire. Masamune Shirow was a big influence when I was younger, as was David Finch, Adam Warren, Luis Royo, Sorayama, and a few others. So when you look at my artwork now, it's the culmination of all my studies, and my per

In closing, I have put together a small feature of artists who have successfully developed their own style.
I hope you've enjoyed this article.  

Examples of Fan Artists with their own styles:

Bunny Mech Dva pinup by sakimichan Older Sora  by sakimichan Adult RWBY series: Blake Belladonna by sakimichan

Totoro Balance Digital by TsaoShin Queen Chrysalis by TsaoShin Remember by TsaoShin

Detective Pikachu-Venusaur by arvalis -Vaporeon and Ninetales- by arvalis Detective Pikachu-Charizard by arvalis

Daily Paint 2367. Mario Tart by Cryptid-Creations Daily Paint 2214. Lightbulbasaur by Cryptid-Creations Daily Paint 2037# Mushu by Cryptid-Creations

© 2019 - 2021 Astralseed
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ikazon's avatar

I did not expect that gif of the tweets at all and I'm losing it :lmao:

Thiefoworld's avatar

Is my art unique enough?

Manila Luzon
Astralseed's avatar
absolutely!!!  :D
MorJer's avatar
My personal adivce for those looking for an individual style: Don't do fan art!
While there are a handfull of very talented artists that stand out despite doing primarily fan art, most simply don't. That's just the way it is if you paint the same characters a million other people are also painting. If you want to "let your art represent you" then for God's sake let it be YOUR art instead of merely someone else's characters you just happen to like painting...
Astralseed's avatar
I don't think that the subject has much if anything to do with ones ability to have a unique style.  If anything, drawing characters that others will be interested in seeing and are well known can actually help you get seen in general.  I think the only problem would be if someone leaned heavily on the original style for the franchise etc.  
MorJer's avatar
"If anything, drawing characters that others will be interested in seeing and are well known can actually help you get seen in general." - Of course it will. Companies spend millions making sure of that. Also, you are correct that a subject has very little to do with ones ability to have a unique style. It does however have a HUGE impact on the development of such a style. I have been teaching art for 8 years now and those students of mine that are the first to abandon fan art are always also the first to achieve a style of their own.
ThatWildWolf's avatar
I absolutely love it! So true.
Mingfang1's avatar
I saved this article to re-read over over again. Thanks for a wonderful sharing!
E1ectricShad0w's avatar
TRUTH. As a primarily fan artist, all of this is super true. I'd even argue that contrasting with the original franchise's art styles has helped me develop my own style faster than if I'd never had that baseline of things I knew I did and didn't like about the subjects.
brigetmiget's avatar
amazing article! i love seeing fanart done in the artists own style its really cool to see different perspectives on what a million people can draw for on character :D
Astralseed's avatar
barananduen's avatar
Awesome article! I'm glad you wrote it; a couple of years back, there was the idea floating around that fanart haaaad to be done in the original franchise's style; thankfully it passed, because seeing fanart in the fanartists' style is so much more fun, in my opinion. Seeing everyone's different takes on a known character brings so much richness to a fandom, I think. :heart: rvmp by Bad-Blood

Also, thank you for featuring my Art Advice article / written tutorial. :huggle:
Astralseed's avatar
I've seen some debates here and there over the years that true fan art must be made in the style of the original and it always rubbed me the wrong way.  
You're very welcome :hug:
Drasayer's avatar
I've preached the same thing over and over! Be yourself! Be unique! Work towards what you want to be drawn, not what you've seen others do. Inspiration and imitation often get all muddled together and where it's beneficial to pick up tidbits you like from others, I feel it's so destructive to the purity of developing art to just copy without thinking the process through. I WANNA SEE WHAT OTHERS SEE!! That's what makes art so fascinating! Waaahh! What a wonderful summary! <3 <3
Astralseed's avatar
When I browse for DDs I get incredibly excited when I find an artist who has a unique style!  Those are always the artists that I remember the best, and their art just speaks to me so much more!  Even if I am not particularly fond of their style, it still stands out way better than the sea of art that all looks the same.  There are so many artists on DA who imitate Sakimichan's style and while I love seeing her style I always feel defeated when I see 498587595058 artists making art that looks just like hers.  They are clearly skilled artists, I want to see what THEIR art looks like.  
Drasayer's avatar
I value a unique style so much more than than something looking perfectly realistic or looking like another "popular" artist's style! Like I can love a simplified piece for its use of colors and shapes just as much as I can enjoy a gorgeous mountainscape where it's so detailed you can count the rocks xD
Everyone experiences this world differently and how they choose to represent that through art is uniquely different! And when they try to just copy off someone, like you said, they totally artblock themself from expressing what makes them special! 
ART IS ABOUT LETTING YOURSELF BE FREE!~ Not leashing yourself to someone else and expecting to enjoy the outcome :''D

I'm inspired af right now >:"")
Astralseed's avatar
I recently gave a DD to an artist with a beautifully refreshing style as far as fan art on DA goes.  
534 by k-szk  
Perhaps not everyone's cup of tea, but they absolutely stand out while browsing fan art. 
Every time I see their art pop up while I browse I get very excited to be able to see something different!  

Artists like this bring me so much joy while I browse for art, even if I may not always care for the subject matter.  
Drasayer's avatar
Waaaahhhh totally!! Use of lines and colors and action so refreshing from the norm! I'm totally on board for that kind of stuff! I dunno what's happening and I dunno the characters but I'm loving what I see!!
barananduen's avatar
I WANNA SEE WHAT OTHERS SEE!! That's what makes art so fascinating!
I love this line!
Drasayer's avatar
HNNG! Yes!! <3 How we interpret shapes and how we decide on using colors and how we want to display a mood; it's all different from person to person! That's my favorite part of art!
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