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"Style" can apply to anything from art, to fashion, to music, and even to life. And before you focus on trying to find your own style, it's important to understand just what a style is. So before anything else, I looked up the definition of the word "style." But after checking several different resources, I decided to try to re-word the definitions a bit to best suit this article. So, in my own words, style is one's own personal take on a specific form of expression. So to create your own style, you take a form of expression (i.e. art, fashion, etc.), reflect upon it, and form your own tastes of it.

Before you worry about finding your own style, find more out about yourself. Look all around you. Find out what you like. Find out what you don't like. For drawers, if you absolutely hate anime, then you obviously shouldn't be drawing in an anime style. For fashionistas, if you can't stand the sight of a group of goth kids walking down the street, then you probably shouldn't go out and buy a pair of Tripp pants and some black lipstick. However, it is very important that you experiment. Don't knock it till you try it. If you're unsure about something, don't automatically rule it out. The absolutely most important part of finding your own style is just to look around and see what you like. Just spend some time thinking, reflecting, and getting to know yourself.

Try new things. Get outside of your comfort zone. If you're used to drawing anime, try drawing something surreal. If you're used to drawing cute things, try drawing something dark and creepy. And vice-versa. Try drawing something with no outlines. Or try outlining in a color other than black. Try drawing something monochromatic (and no, that's not always black and white. Monochrome just means different shades of one color). Try sculpting. Paint with knives. Watch a TV show you normally wouldn't watch. Listen to a different type of music. Just try anything and everything you can think of and see what you like. You never know, you might just find something out about yourself. Try all kinds of different stuff. Try drawing something/someone just the way you see it. Then draw it cartoony. Then draw it anime (yes, even if you detest anime. All I'm asking is that you give it a shot). Then draw it humorously. Then draw it creepy. Then draw it glamorously. Then draw it as something else. Then draw it realistically. Draw it any way you can think of. Try everything that comes to mind. Just do this as an exercise.

Now you may be thinking, "OK. So now I know what I like, but how do I go from there?" Well now that you know what you like, do you have any role models or people that inspire you? Of course you do.

While these first steps are the most important, these are also probably the easiest for most of us, because this all happens naturally over time. So you might think this is pretty self-explanatory, but there are people out there that are fighting themselves internally, and they might not even know what they like and don't like anymore. And if you feel like you don't even know yourself, then you pretty much have to start this whole process over again. And it's a slow process that takes some serious reflection before you start healing. So if I can help someone take that first step to help them get back on the right path to knowing themselves again, then those first very dry patches were well worth it C:

Now for the next step that most of you are probably stuck on. The execution: turning your art into something that you like. Now that you know what you like, learn from it. Study it. You know that you like it after seeing the final result, but you don't know how to execute it. You know you love Lady Gaga's make-up, but how do you get your make-up to look like that? Try to mimic it. That's right. Copy it. Go on ahead. But just for practice. Please don't just stop reading there and flame me and say that I said art theft is OK, or that I said referencing is OK and that's the same thing as art theft, or that I'm stupid, or anything like that. I didn't say any of that stuff. Please hear me out. There's a thin line between referencing and theft. It's good to have influences, but you don't want to steal someone's look. Learn from the best, but don't rip them off. Even world renowned artists have done this. However, I can't quote it word for word because I can't remember the source it came from, so I won't name names for fear of giving false information. And now that I've finished speaking my peace, let me get back on track. Copying is a good thing here because you can get a feel on how it's done right. Like I said earlier, you see the finished product, but you don't have the slightest clue on how it's done. So try to do it.

Just don't take credit for it. Never. This is a huge no-no. Even if you didn't copy it all. If you put your drawing side-by-side with the one you "referenced" off of and it's obvious that they're the same or similar (even if all you copied was the pose, or eyes, or body type, or hair, etc) then don't try to say it's yours and hope no one will ever know where you got it from. If you think to yourself, "Gee, I sure hope no one that I've shown my picture sees that picture," (or something along those lines) then you know you're stealing. Just don't do it. If I copy anything, I always write "NOT MINE!" over-top of it so no one even thinks for a second that I did that on my own, or I just throw it away after I'm done with it. It's more about just practicing how to do something new. Not so that I can go around saying, "Hey look what I drew!" It's like taking good notes in school. If all you ever do is copy things from the textbook word-for-word then you'll only ever be able to recognize the information when it's worded that specific way and you won't actually learn anything. And if all you ever do is copy from other artists then you'll only ever be able to draw specifically what you see and you won't actually learn anything. But if you take the time to study what you're reading, then you'll be able to apply that knowledge to later work. And if you take the time to study what you're drawing, then you'll be able to apply that technique to later work.

(And for those who probably got all huffy and puffy while reading the past 2 paragraphs, make sure you at least read this next part before total writing me off)

And while this can be helpful, you definitely don't want to get stuck on this step because it's nothing more than mimicry and copying and it doesn't mean that you're now an artist with your own style. So now what? Now, you branch off of your influences. Everyone's unique. And you can't dare call yourself an artist if all you do is try to be like someone else. Who wants to be a clone? Who wants to be on the other side of the mirror where all you do is mimic the other side? No one, silly! Everyone wants to be original. Being an artist doesn't have anything to do with a level of skill or talent, but just expression. Express yourself. Once you're comfortable drawing what you see, draw what's in your heart/mind/soul/whatever. (Going back to the Gaga examples again) Now that you know how Lady Gaga does her make-up and makes it look so fabulous, do your make-up and make it look fabulous. Branch away from Lady Gaga and do yourself. Yup, I said it. Go do yourself! (lame joke is lame XD and if you don't get it, then don't try to. It's not funny)

After you've practiced drawing in many various styles done by other people, your own style will develop naturally. You're unique. And you've probably learned from more than one person. The more people you learn from, and the more experimentation you do, the more unique your style will be. So don't stress about not having your own style just yet. I don't have my own style just yet either. It happens on its own. It just takes a lot of time, practice, and getting to know yourself.

/serious writing
Now on a final note, I would like to say that I'm open to other opinions, even if you don't agree with me. But please be respectful. And as far as grammar nazis, I'd just like to say, "I'm 16. I tried my absolute best. Blow me." But no seriously, I tried my best (although I'm sure tomorrow I'll re-read this and find something I worded wrong or something). I wasn't happy with the last news article I did but I only spent like an hour or two writing it. So no surprise there. But today, I seriously worked all day on this, did a bit of "research", and re-read this about 212093874 times. And my grandparents think it's weird that I keep having to get up and take walks just to get off the computer for a while. Ahh... my constant battle with developing Carpel Tunnel and blindness....


And for those who are interested, here are some other articles/deviations/etc that you might find helpful.

:thumb214247822: Thoughts on developing a good styleA common question I get asked is how to develop a good style.
Here are some of my thoughts on this subject...
Don't think what kind of style do people want. Just be yourself & search for knowledge. Style is developed through knowledge.
Just painting or drawing how you naturally do is not enough to develop a good solid style. If art is an interpretation of something we can relate to LIFE, then you have to learn about the different aspects of LIFE to get better at art. Nothing is sadder than seeing an artist with a great idea but doesn't have the knowledge or skill to make it happen the way they had initially envisioned it. I still have this problem from time to time so I search for the knowledge and know how to make the idea I initially had to appear the way I want it to.
Your ideas are what makes you unique. Once you have the idea, you search for the knowledge to make those ideas happen the way you envisioned it. I don't know about all of you but I can bet that when most of you learn s
Guide : Making ORIGINAL Fanart by Efaniel Tut - How to fight your brain by Minzile:thumb214250981:

www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/gala-…
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:iconstarfire-wolf:
starfire-wolf Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2011
A very good guide! c:
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:iconannaklava:
AnnaKlava Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Very well written! :clap: you've progressed on your writing skills since I saw your last article. Totally agree with all this. :)
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:iconscreaminglullabies:
ScreamingLullabies Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2011  Professional General Artist
Awww thanks so much sweetheart <3333 And I thought it was a huge improvement from my last article too ;P
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:iconannaklava:
AnnaKlava Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Great! No problem. :)
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:iconxshadow-designsx:
xShadow-Designsx Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2011
Awesome article! Thanks for taking the time to write it up and post it!
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:iconscreaminglullabies:
ScreamingLullabies Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you for reading and giving me a little feedback <3
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:icongiadrosich:
giadrosich Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
A wonderful read! I like your conversational style of writing. So often, articles dealing with the specifics of art can devolve into mere academic language, but this was refreshing.

A few months ago I delivered a lecture at Xiangtan University (in China) on this very subject, and you hit all the major points I addressed. I especially like how you tell aspiring artists to explore other possibilities in regards to subject matter, and then to emulate, or copy, other works. This is an absolute necessary step in developing technical skills; one which every artist goes through in developing their style. Many times, a new artist will absorb much of the style of their favorite artists, and as technique and skill start to advance, they will retain aspects (a certain way of shading or drawing a line) while moving on to develop their own style based on personality and hand control.

One can see this influence in many of the famous artists of today and yesterday.

So, all in all, a great read! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. :thumbsup:
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:iconscreaminglullabies:
ScreamingLullabies Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much darling :'D I can't begin to tell you how much this means to me <333 Thanks for reading and giving me some feedback and whatnot ;P
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:icongiadrosich:
giadrosich Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
You are more than welcome, Neisha. Keep at it, and I'll see ya "in the news!" :D
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:iconmaidenofwar:
maidenofwar Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2011
for a 16 year old, you've had a pretty mature approach to this, and the correct one at that. it's usually an organic growth that goes in this way for most artists, but i know some struggle with it, and it's good to have shed light on it.
greatly written article :)
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:iconserenity600:
serenity600 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Student General Artist
Good advice! I'm still finding my own style. Still struggling a bit on the "I want my art to be super original. Something no one has done before!" I'm beginning to realize that is almost impossible, but that having a similar style to various people, and allowing for the fact that you may not create something entirely original (as long as you're not copying =) ) is not a bad thing. The best thing is to have fun and be creative!
Good article! =D
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:iconimagineyourself:
ImagineYourself Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for taking the time to write this :D It's very helpful! I've already started the process of using other's work as reference to my own just to get styles and such down. I'm still an artist in progress though... >.>
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:iconscreaminglullabies:
ScreamingLullabies Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Professional General Artist
Well I'm glad I could help ^^

Just make sure one artist doesn't influence your art too much, or all you'll do is copy they're style. You wanna find a style that's totally you. And I hope you do find your own style. Good luck sweetie C:

And thank you btw ;P
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:iconimagineyourself:
ImagineYourself Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I shall keep that in mind :)
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:iconlyssie212:
Lyssie212 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Student General Artist
This was wonderfully written and very inspirational. :aww: Great job! =D
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:iconscreaminglullabies:
ScreamingLullabies Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much ;;w;;
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:iconlyssie212:
Lyssie212 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Student General Artist
Welcome! :glomp:
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:iconnutarei:
Nutarei Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
This is helpful ^_^
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:iconscreaminglullabies:
ScreamingLullabies Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thanks C:
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:iconluckynesu:
luckynesu Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011
there's no such a thing as one's own style. every style is influenced by other styles, nothing is new under the sun. rather than worrying about the originality of the style people should just make more art.
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:iconpax-dracona:
Pax-Dracona Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, I really like how you worded this: 'It's like taking good notes in school. If all you ever do is copy things from the textbook word-for-word then you'll only ever be able to recognize the information when it's worded that specific way and you won't actually learn anything. And if all you ever do is copy from other artists then you'll only ever be able to draw specifically what you see and you won't actually learn anything. But if you take the time to study what you're reading, then you'll be able to apply that knowledge to later work. And if you take the time to study what you're drawing, then you'll be able to apply that technique to later work.'

Especially because I had to learn that the hard way in school, haha xD
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:iconscreaminglullabies:
ScreamingLullabies Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011  Professional General Artist
Lol that's how I was my freshman year in highschool. And part of my sophomore year. But I've really started taking my schoolwork more seriously. And it's helped me out even outside of school ;P I'm glad you liked it too C:
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:iconcartoon-trash:
Cartoon-Trash Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I completely agree with this! I'm still trying to define a style, to incorporate the styles that I admire (Disney and Dreamworks, ~griffsnuff, ~stressed-jenny, ~TouchofWhimsy, ~Sharpie91), by trying to understand what I like about them and how I can alter the styles to my advantage. This is very helpful, thank you!
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:iconluksdm:
LuksDm Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Do what YOU like. Everyone else can go do themselves :)
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:iconyeahgirl11:
yeahgirl11 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Nice article! Thanks for taking the time to compile this for those who are struggling with defining their own style. While I was growing up and drawing, the one thing I told myself is that, "I don't want to draw manga/anime" and that, "I'm gonna have my own style". I told myself that CONSTANTLY with EVERY picture I drew. I started out drawing manga/anime, but I eventually smoothed out to where I am today because of my mind set.

For those who struggle with finding their style, I personally think you should find something you DON'T like about the style you're currently drawing in, and keep on finding ways to go against that. Don't like the huge anime eyes? Try experimenting with toning down the eye size and shape. It's simple things like that that can help you develop your own style.
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:icontyrannoninja:
TyrannoNinja Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
What made you abandon the anime style in the first place? I for one was never really that interested in it.
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:iconyeahgirl11:
yeahgirl11 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
I just never liked it. While it has visually appealing aspects, I was never crazy about the really ugly (IMO) huge eyes for the girls, and weird noses. The manga/anime style was just a stepping stone for me, and I knew that from the beginning. Whenever they illustrated a "colored" person, they didn't even look their freaking race, which bothered me greatly. That's probably the main factor that made me not want to pursue anime any further, besides the fact that I just never liked the style.
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:icontyrannoninja:
TyrannoNinja Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I concur with you on how anime portrays non-white characters. That's what bothers me about the style too.
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:iconyeahgirl11:
yeahgirl11 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Finally- not too many people actually notice that. :XD:
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:iconliferaven:
liferaven Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Student General Artist
But what if you're one of those artists like me whose style changes every day ;_;

When I was learning how to draw, I had like, 10 favorite artists, and used to spend hours looking at their artwork. They were pretty much the only artist's whose work I looked at and focused on.

And now I have like 5 different styles I can't help alternating with ._. I'll be trying to really really hard to draw using one style, but somehow it just changes into another one by the time I'm done -.-
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:icongorgonbreath:
gorgonbreath Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Hobbyist
At least someone is saying it's cool to have a style, there are a lot of people who say "learn to draw before having a style", when you can do both at the same time by learning and refining your art.

But crediting some references is going too far, yes if you've copied the entire photo, no if all you used was some of the pose. If you draw a picture of a tree outside do have to credit the tree!!
You can always mention that you used a photo reference for difficult parts of the drawing, but leave it at that.

Also Lady Gaga is a bad example of original style as all she does is rip off Madonna!:D
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:iconhannahmahna:
HannahMahna Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011
Well said!
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:iconscreaminglullabies:
ScreamingLullabies Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you ^^
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:icondtkinetic:
DTKinetic Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ahh, I really respect you for taking on this subject of the article...many people debate over style and have trouble with it :nod: I was going to write one myself :noes:

I think you made your best points in the first 3 paragraphs from defining style to stepping out the comfort zone...but after that I really think you used way too much wording to make a single point (not taking credit) and you can leave out exactly how much research you did with it...just end with "I'm 16 and tried my absolute best. Blow me." Next time, just try to look for ways to make it shorter...but the advice is still pretty good. =)
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:iconscreaminglullabies:
ScreamingLullabies Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thanks C: And I just wanted to make sure there wouldn't be any misunderstandings in those paragraphs. In the last news article I wrote, it got a lot of attention.. but I wasn't very careful about the way I worded it and there were a lot of people who took it the wrong way.

And the last part is just sort of like my after thought ;P And again, thank you so much sweetie~!~
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:icondtkinetic:
DTKinetic Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, I just read that other news article...loved it :love: In fact, I'd even say that it was more well-written than your current one. I'd wish my news articles about originality could get that kind of attention. =(
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:iconcrazymadhatterxp:
CrazyMadHatterXP Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2011  Student Artist
N:OMYGOSH THANK U FRO POSTING THIS i rly needed this im rly worried about my style because its so generic >^< thanks alot!! i really needed this^^ ill be in your debt for a long time ^^
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:iconscreaminglullabies:
ScreamingLullabies Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2011  Professional General Artist
First off I'd like to point out that "FRO POSTING" is somehow making my brain think that says "FROSTING"... no that that really matters..

And second, I really like it sweetie. I think it's cute. But thank you I'm glad I could help C:
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:iconcrazymadhatterxp:
CrazyMadHatterXP Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2011  Student Artist
N:aawwww :iconhappytearplz: thats so sweet >v<
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:iconhorses774:
Horses774 Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2011  Student General Artist
Superflat is my style :icondatassplz:
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:iconscreaminglullabies:
ScreamingLullabies Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011  Professional General Artist
Superflat???
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:iconhorses774:
Horses774 Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011  Student General Artist
You don't know what superflat is? D:
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:iconscreaminglullabies:
ScreamingLullabies Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011  Professional General Artist
nope :iconpokerfaceplz:
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:iconhorses774:
Horses774 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Student General Artist
It's Deidara's art style, according to him. "Pop is dead! My art is Superflat!"
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