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Evil Tom Preston - Importance of 'Consistency'

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I got into a conversation with a friend concerning what separates "Style" from "Bad Art". I mean, I can't draw like MC Escher, Geof Darrow or Yukito Kishiro... but does that make me a "bad artist"? Hardly. Instead, we came to the conclusion that what makes art good---even if it's stylistic---is how well the artist is able to remain consistent in their art. If you use the Noodle Arm style, use it throughout and consistently. If you draw with stick figures, use it throughout and consistently.

"Bad art" thus happens when someone hasn't locked down their style's rules, or when they don't use it consistently. I'll admit some of the work I've shared in this "Evil Tom Preston" shows signs of inconsistency, but that does underline that my art is not perfect and I need to keep working on it!
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Kittykins-Pi's avatar
I think versatility is also very important for a good artist. A good artist can draw whatever he wills and do it well. After all, a carpenter who can't replicate a similar leg of your broken chair isn't much of a carpenter.
Silnev's avatar
Now that's some good advice. Neat job mate. 
RemnantComic's avatar
This is really very interesting and something I've held to for a LONG time.

I had a friend (who went to an art school, has a degree in art, for background's sake) and he always said to me ''Do it once, it's a mistake. Do it twice, it's your style'' and I've always sort of kept that in my head. Just because you draw one particular way doesnt make it WRONG, it just makes it your way. 

I think a lot more people could find happiness with their work if they just accepted the idea.  
PetiteBubu's avatar
Thank you for the advice! :)
eviltomp's avatar
You're welcome! ^_^
AtlantaTheAristocrat's avatar
Very helpful advise Evil Tom, please do more like this in the future. I think many younger, less confident or struggling artists would love tutorials like this.
I struggle with consistency myself, is my 'style' is still developing as I want to get better at anatomy and be able to get through my laziness to use the other art skills I learned. Sometimes I experiment in different styles to give a piece a bit more meaning and try something new.
BecauseIWasBored's avatar
Nice job, this is good advice. Though I would like to add that perhaps another thing that separates 'style' and 'bad art' is a sense of balance. I think viewers are more willing to accept art that takes stylistic liberties with anatomy/perspective/etc. if the style over all is able to balance its elements and feel like deliberate choices rather than mistakes.
eviltomp's avatar
Yeah, I can see how "balance" is important as well... cuz even being consistent about a bad design isn't doing anyone any good. =P
NyQuilDreamer's avatar
Nice description of this subject! This is something I have always known was important, but I've never laid it out like this. Very useful things to keep in mind when doing sequential work. Thanks, Evil Tom!
eviltomp's avatar
You're welcome! I'm glad it was informative. :)
thefruitsong's avatar
That's actually pretty solid advice. 
0-Naraethlas's avatar
I like Tom Preston, because if you watch him long enough you're bound to find something useful posted by his critics.
I consider that tastefully ironic.
eviltomp's avatar
I think a lot of people have noticed that too. I myself, when I think of my own artistic efforts, feel satisfied if I inspire others... that is, whether they were inspired to follow in my footsteps or do the opposite of what I do because I'm so horrible... as long as they were inspired by my art to work towards being a better artist themselves... I'm happy! :)

But I get the feeling that Regular Tom Preston doesn't exactly think in terms like that... so it is indeed tastefully ironic. :)
Lauwenmark's avatar
You perfectly summarized a very important point. Good job.
eviltomp's avatar
I try my best to do these things! ^^
MotorRoach's avatar
This is actually really useful advice, Evil Tom. Proves that consistency on art is one of the most important things, if not the most important. Even at the most simplistic styles.
eviltomp's avatar
Absolutely; I think readers/viewers/etc appreciate it when things are expected. Even something completely unexpected can still be "expected", like, say, the Cubism or Dali's style... because it at least still follows its own rules.
Thank you for these well explained advices : )
eviltomp's avatar
No problemo; it's my pleasure!
Madhatter1802's avatar
This is something most of DA needs to take a look at.
eviltomp's avatar
That would be nice, wouldn't it? :D
Madhatter1802's avatar
It's a shame they're too busy with the stolen screencaps, recolors and "original characters" to get a look at it.

But I do know a little blog called "So you're a terrible cartoonist" would like to see it - it could spread that way... Might not though...
eviltomp's avatar
That's fine if they don't; I think most artists eventually figure this stuff out as they go along. The ones who don't realize these kinds of things end up being someone who can't do much with their art to begin with, so whatever potential damage they can make is minimized... if you get what I mean.
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