View Full Version : question about style

omega sentry
05-26-2006, 01:55 AM
I've can do more than one style or rather I don't have a particular style which I like to stick to. Like the more animated face styles but I also like the lees. The bottom line is there is more than one way to draw. So then my question would be as an artist and to get recognition do you really need to stick to one style or just have that style that generally says hey it’s you know who…? :huh:

05-26-2006, 02:58 AM
A pro artist I met about 2 years ago told me that changing your style often causes some concern to editors when placing you on a book. Afterall, they not only hire you for your professionalism, but based also on your past work. This particular artist has changed his style over the years depending on the project. He said it can be done, but you should be aware of the repercussions.

Scott Story
05-26-2006, 10:46 AM
I would forget "style" all together, and focus on drawing to the best of your ability. Your own style should be invisible to you, because it it's not, then it's just an affectation. Find your own voice, forget about other people's voices.

05-27-2006, 01:36 AM
Style is over rated. Jim Lee said style is just an accumulation of mistakes you make over and over again. That's why every wannabee claims, what garbage they have drawn poorly, is just their style. Drawings are just your best interpretation of reality or others drawings if you are a swiper or clone.
How you draw is the same as how you are as a witness to a crime. Everyone sees reality differently.

06-02-2006, 10:52 AM
theres two modes of thinking:

Purist - don't choose a style; let your style emerge naturally as you draw.
Capitalist - choose a style you're comfortable with that will get you jobs. Or several styles depending on what type of books/jobs you're interested in doing.

Are you in this for Arts sake or for money? Or perhaps a hybrid of the two?

06-02-2006, 01:02 PM
Just be yourself and look at comic art from other countries or ignore comicbook artists and think outside the box altogether.

Scott Story
06-02-2006, 02:10 PM
As a so called "purist," or anti-style person, I think there is some good advice here. Styles come and go so quickly, but fundamentals are pretty much forever. Think of all the people who jumped on the early Image art style, and now it is considered excessive and all flash.

06-02-2006, 02:17 PM
I agree.

It may be considered excessive flash but it continues to sell. Editor continue to hire. If you can change styles, you'll always be capable of producing the next trend which = paychecks.

If you develop a personal style that becomes popular and later goes out of fashion, and thats all you can do, you're screwed.

Scott Story
06-02-2006, 05:07 PM
For the most part, though, I don't see the original developers styles suffering, just the people who copy them. Liefeld, Bruce Timm, etc. still get work. It's all the copiers who get tossed. I'm sure there are exceptions to this, but I can't think of any off the top of my head.

06-02-2006, 09:58 PM
Travis Charest, Mike Turner, Dave Finch. etc etc. etc.

06-03-2006, 03:06 AM
I don't think style is completely commercial.

I believe that an aware artist can make specific abstractions based on a synthesized aesthetic theory. This theory can be based on a personal preference or it can be based on an expressive concept.

People who subconsciously abstract in effect ARE making mistakes because these abstractions aren't intentional. The detriment is that their subconscious and/or personal life can subvert the consistency of the work.

I don't think this is a good thing.

A good artist should have a strong realistic foundation before they attempt stylistic abstraction. They should understand their abstractions, they should understand the consequences and perceptions of their abstractions, and they should be consistent. Why? Because they're illustrators and we're talking about sequential art. Deviation of style mid-project should be deliberate. It should have an intended effect.

A good artist should understand these things. Sometimes this doesn't have to be intellectualized -- it can be intuitive. Nonetheless, the more difficulty the artist has in articulating their awareness of illustration is a potential risk when it comes to the business side.

If you have a solid foundation in aesthetics then your theories can express whatever you want to express. Whether that's in reference to another artist or if it's completely personal, that's your power.

You should aspire to be capable of ANY stylings. Because at the end of the day a good illustrator can represent/render whatever they see/imagine.

06-03-2006, 03:32 AM
You know, there are a lot of art styles out there. I work with a printer that prints books for BOOM, Top Cow, Image, Digital Webbing and independants and the thing that I've noticed is that the industry is saturated with great artists. I've seen everything from totally awesome to down right embarassing and what I've come to realize is that it's not your style that readers are drawn to the most, its your ability as an artist to tell a story visually frame by frame. Coloring, inking, wild splash pages, that's all for visual affects (eye candy). Not that I don't love it, I do but that's not what sells the comic.

If you are inspired by another artist then by all means copy him or her, but only YOU can put your own spin on the work YOU do. Practice getting good at it. Draw pages, Pin-ups, story boards, back drops, props, hell, even trace someone elses stuff and when the time is right, go for it. Show'em what they've been waiting for after all this time.

P.S. go check out www.comicartcommunity.com and see some of just a few artists that are out there. Good luck man!

06-03-2006, 03:36 AM
Rothart for the win!

06-03-2006, 03:15 PM
...it's not your style that readers are drawn to the most, its your ability as an artist to tell a story visually frame by frame. Coloring, inking, wild splash pages, that's all for visual affects (eye candy). Not that I don't love it, I do but that's not what sells the comic.

The 90's beg to differ :laugh:

If you take the same story and draw one book manga style (I'll just generalize it for simplicity) and one jack kirby style you're going to get completely different audiences adn i'd bet wildly different sales figures.

06-03-2006, 06:09 PM
Yeah but it's not the 90's anymore. Readers these days are more likely to be artists or writers themselves which, in turn, makes them more bias to the art style that they practice on their own (manga, Timm, realistic, etc..). Many up and coming artist reflect the artwork that they fell in love with when they picked up that first comic book.

Manga vs. Jack Kirby!!! Two completely different sides of the spectrum. How about Kirby vs. Silvestri? Or how about Silvestri vs. J. Scott Campbell? Now you're talkin' ablities in story telling that are more competitive. The job of the interior artist is to interpret the written story on a visual level. JSC may draw a big splash page in a sequence where Silvestri may draw it in frames. Did Silvestri get the point across better than JSC? That is for the reader to decide and chances are the reader wouldn't even be able to tell the difference.

06-04-2006, 03:10 AM
Generalizing Manga into a single style doesn't simplify anything.

How about CLAMP vs. Miyazaki?

How about Kon vs. Tezuka?

But I agree that a genre classification of an illustrated book will have sway over it's demographic not because of the art but because of what the consumer perceives it as being.

The "manga" section of the book store is populated by a different demographic than the "american comics" section. This has nothing to do with the artists OR the story and has more to do with the retailer and the publisher/distributor.

It might be a bit idealistic to think that a potential reader is a blank slate with an open mind. Chances are they've wandered into whatever section of the store offers what they "like" and are expecting congruent art/writing.

There are art styles I don't like, and sometimes it's the ones that are extremely stylized that I don't like. I still believe that STYLE should be an EXTENSION of a greater EXPRESSION. It should exist because it's a part of what the art expression/story is trying to convey to me the reader. It should assume an aesthetic that enforces, enhances, or plays off of a greater conceptual idea.

There are styles that I don't like because I believe they are expressing ideas and concepts that I'm not interested in engaging. The tragedy is when the art conveys things to me that the writing doesn't and I don't read it because the art seems incongruent with the focus of the writing -- or vice versa.

When it comes to sales, though, the immediacy of the art is what people see and judge a book on first. And publishers and retailers must play to demographic changes and trends in order to enhance profits. Studio houses will enter this game at times as well.

Style, however, is and should be a matter of choice. The choice of the artist to abstract in a specific, consistent manner. WHAT this choice is influenced by is irrelevant when offering advice to a developing artist. Why? Because it's completely subjective.

A good illustrator should be CAPABLE of rendering in whatever style s/he chooses. Because a visual artist should be capable of rendering what they see or imagine.

That should be the goal of a developing illustrator.

Developing your own illustrative style can be a good way to fingerprint all of your work, or maybe even stand out. But you'll enter the realm of type casting faster than Pamela Lee. An actor who wants to avoid type casting must assume a variety of roles, especially in the beginning of their career. So should be the goal of the aspiring illustrator.

An employer who can depend on a specific, consistent style is good, but an employer who can depend on a specific, consistent person is better (as long as that person is you).

Most importantly, though, is you and your development as an artist. Are you expressing the things you want to express and if not what do you need to learn or do to accomplish that?

Style trends will always come and go, but as picky as I can be about art -- I want to see YOUR work. I want to see what YOUR expression is because if I wanted a JS Campbell book, I would know where to go, and it's not your comic.