Design Style: Why Finding It Isn’t as Important as You Think

One of the many things that artists take seriously in their journey is how to draw a certain subject matter, in other words: finding their art styles. Just as clothes add to our appearance, stylistic choices impact a piece of artwork. I am still on a learning curve with it, even after five years into my career!

But not to worry, I have some points to share that can help you gain perspective and will ease the quest to find your style (or even make you think otherwise!).

Design Style: Why Finding It Isn't as Important as You Think | Sketch Design Repeat

1. Beginner’s Confusion

‘Style’ is one of the things that intimidated me, especially as a beginner artist. We can easily fall into thinking about finding our art style and I often saw beginner artists searching for it. It’s a natural tendency as a beginner artist and doesn’t mean it’s a bad start. As beginners, we want to stand out, don’t we? But coming from my past self who was a beginner, refrain from finding your style as the anchor to your growth.

Your work looking cohesive isn’t as important as you may think. All of my older artworks ranged from making realistic food to random portraits to line art and still life. You can probably tell that these subject matters aren’t cohesive at all. But at the time, these are the topics I tried learning. 

My current work consists of bold and colorful lettering along with florals. It is still a broad niche but has narrowed down much more! This shift in your art can take time, and that’s all right. Reminding yourself to have fun making art rather than focusing on how cohesive your art style is a crucial step.

 Related Article: How to Develop Your Art Style: An Interview with Dylan Mierzwinski

2. Decision Paralysis

Every piece of art is a decision made. Little decisions like this shape our present artwork and with time, our artistic personality. However, being overwhelmed by all the available artistic choices can paralyze decision-making. 

When I was seeking inspiration, I took in every tutorial that piqued my interest in how I wanted my art to look. But that ended in me trying every new art tutorial possible (you remember my varying subject matters from point 1).

So instead of making decisions that aligned with my goals, I fell into trying way too many things. Experimentation with conscious decision-making can help you carve your artistic personality efficiently.

Needless to say, there are plenty of inspirational videos and paths to pick from. What can help you narrow this down is picking a maximum of three inspiration sources that pique your interest. This helps you make conscious decisions in your artwork while also allowing you room to experiment freely. It’s all about balance!

Design Style: Why Finding It Isn't as Important as You Think | Sketch Design Repeat

3. Blocks Creative Exploration

Some of the things I say may sound paradoxical because that’s how the topic of style is. We want to have a style, but also not be bound by it. That’s because as people we change. Change comes naturally with the many artistic explorations we take on. 

Ultimately, as a beginner artist, trying to find your style can easily break you down. But finding your style isn’t the ultimate goal; in fact, it isn’t a goal at all. When you focus on making something that sparks joy, your creative explorations become richer, which gets you closer to your actual goals. 

Make it a habit to explore freely (but stick to three sources as I said previously) to not get tangled into the trap of finding your style.

4. Discourages Confidence

Hopefully, now some weight is off your shoulders about finding your style. Let’s talk about how style preys on your confidence. 

Time and again, information on things like online statistics, success, and consistency of other artists are readily available for us to see. The nature of human beings is to compare ourselves with others.

We see a bunch of artists with great Instagram feeds and see ours, and it looks nothing like theirs. Confidence goes down, right? I know this because I’ve experienced it. When we see through the lens of how good an artist’s style appears online, our natural tendency is to try and fix our artistic appearance.

But when you take off that lens and get closer to looking at how the artist has evolved as a person and their decisions, everything seems more inspirational. 

It gives us the drive to improve, not our style, but the journey itself.

Don’t let style stop you from being confident in your current journey. There are loads of beginner artists who may not be the most skilled but are confident enough to put themselves out there, as they are.

The picture-perfect artist was once seeking confidence too and I’m sure that focusing more on skill growth instead of art style helped them get confident!

Design Style: Why Finding It Isn't as Important as You Think | Sketch Design Repeat

5. Prone to Comparison

‘Art style’ as we mention, distinguishes one artist from the other. When you look at an artist’s website or social media, you may see recurring patterns of stylistic choices that make an artist unique. It almost looks like they have it all figured out. 

Then you look at your art and it doesn’t look unified. Been there? I sure have.

Comparison is bound to happen when we don’t know much about where we want our art to go. We are bound to look at other artists and feel inspired, but also comparative. 

The easiest way of changing your mindset is to understand that every artist paves a different path for themselves.

No two artists are the same, even though we are all on the same journey. You can replace comparison with inspiration by understanding and learning more from the artist’s older work if that’s on display online. This can put things into perspective and help you refrain from the style trap!

6. What to Do Instead

I think it’s clear how your artistic growth won’t benefit much if you try to focus only on finding your style. Instead, here are four things you can practice to grow your artistic personality:

  1. Seek specific ideas and lean into creating the work you enjoy.
  2. Keep a collection of works by your favorite artists and consider what about them appeals to you.
  3. Update your collection as you go because, as your art develops over time, your preferences will shift. Let this process repeat for as long as you feel good about making your art.
  4. Accept change as an evolution in your art rather than perceived confusion.

I hope by now it’s clear that your ‘art style’ isn’t the most important thing for you to consider when growing as an artist. Undoubtedly, there is advice online which suggests otherwise and although they aren’t wrong, it’s just a different side of the coin! 

I have personally done both, trying to find it and then concluding that maybe my style will find me, haha! My last advice for you will be to just keep making art, and things will fall into place as you keep growing your craft.

Written by Daksha Giri

Instagram: @dakshagiri

Daksha Giri is an illustrator and lettering artist based in India who creates beautiful and unique artwork that is both visually appealing and emotionally resonant. Her work is seen in greeting cards, packaging, giftware & home décor.

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