Preface

To preface this; I'm not an expert in anything and I don't claim to be (with the exception of Medibang, but that's just to make fun of myself being too knowledgeable in this one niche program, pffft). But also, this article might not quite address what you're hoping for.

Why? How so? Well, I'm going to go over what I think makes an style, and some things I feel are good to keep in mind when "developing a style" (not really as easy or intentional as it sounds).

And then at the tail end, I will be talking about who inspires me and how and why - not elaborately or on every single thing that inspires me, but what mainly inspires me, otherwise this would probably be incredibly long - and you can see how they've influenced me and my style.

...But if you want the super short version:

Short version

Your style is made up of things you "steal" from other artists and are inspired by and you can't stop that. It just happens naturally. You see stuff you like and try it to see how it works and if it fits for you and if it does you just stick with it. I call this "phenomenon" an "mishmash of things you like and are inspired by," an "mishmash of different things" for short.

And now, for the long version! WOO!

Long version

styles are, well, made up of lots of things - mostly things you've learned, taken in, and are inspired by others with. Like, you might've developed an way of drawing, say, ears - people or animal - independently of anybody who may have inspired you or that you've seen, but you may still have gotten that from somewhere else. Otherwise you figured it out and put it together with other stuff.

You can't not "steal" from other artists -- artists learn from each other literally all the time; people are constantly sharing tutorials, tips, tools, and tricks (the tetrad of T's!) on how to get better at this particular thing or how they do them. Sometimes people struggle or don't feel they like this way enough so they look at how their favorite people draw. Some even try to imitate things closer to life (there's a reason my Sugimori style article exists!).

Surround yourself with artists, people, and things that inspire you and make you want to get better; let yourself strive. Let yourself develop an style, and don't be afraid to look at how your favorite people do a thing if you're having trouble parsing it or want to spice up things or change up things.

That's not to say your style's not unique, though - it absolutely is. Just as the people who you ""stole"" from were unique, so too is your style - because your style is what it is, despite being "made up of other things".

It's like the mythical creature that exists: Chimera. Each "chimera" is unique, and there's lots of them in different mythologies, but nobody thinks of them as having "stolen parts from other animals," because that's not it.

Your "style" is your art, but as an chimera. Think of it like that. You put these things together that you're inspired by into an unique thing, and you improve upon it by learning and getting better at things and developing yourself (and the little things you've learned/taken from other artists) and in turn you may inspire others! and so the long series of thieving begins.

Basically, your style may be an mix of a lot of things you've taken/been inspired by... But it's unique to you, and will change and improve along with you.

The Princess and the Chimera

Fancy title. Anyway, here are my inspirations - and things I've absorbed.

--Chu/Raizap [Slightly Damned webcomic]--

I love how they do paintings, and I've followed them for over an decade now, so they're probably one of the biggest inspirations to me.



--Mike Mignola [Hellboy series]--

Mike Mignola, and Hellboy, are some of the more defining ones for me in terms of characters and stories I want to tell, but I also rather love the heavy shading usage he does.



--Digimon [Multiple artists]--

Digimon designs and art inspire me a lot, in general.



--Kory Bing [Skin Deep webcomic]--

Kory Bing inspired me to look more at animals from IRL and be okay with drawing an less "cutesy" style.



--Rick Griffin [Housepets webcomic]--

Rick Griffin, another artist I've followed for quite a while now, is one I look to oftentimes for inspiration on anatomy.



--Gale [Galestormkitsune]--

Gale is a super good friend of mine and their style!! just!! french kiss



--Monarobot [Glyph art]--

I really love the vector-like style of theirs and it inspired me to start my MH-inspired icon style commissions! Monster Hunter is also an honoary mention here, as such.



--Em Carroll--

I've been following this lady for a while, and her particular brand of horror appeals to me a lot and inspires me a lot. She also does a very nice way of drawing people (especially ladies!) that I rather like.



--Ken Sugimori - ["Ye Olde" Pokemon Art]--

Ken's watercolors specifically are so nice.



--Real Life Animals--

seriously, a lot of these frickers are nuts, I love 'em. Dinosaurs were neat and so are like, all of the real animals there are.



--Forestfright [Jack]--

I love Forestfright's style so much.



--Honorable Mentions [Not Exhaustive At All]--

-A lot of my friends (see below for specific)

Saba, Neoscottie, Noyi, Kaz, Wingu, Solzi, Knave, Tyrnn, Celine

Poppy O'Possum, Gunnerkrigg Court, Demon Street, Savestate, Lackadaisy cats, Kill Six billion Demons, Latchkey Kingdom, Gamercat, Nedroid, Kochab, Hotblooded, Dungeon Critters, The Last Halloween, Battle Patrol

Yo-kai Watch, Monster Rancher, Dragon Quest, Monster Hunter, Fantasy Life, Mario, Legend of Zelda, Rune Factory 4, Animal Crossing

Various artbooks I've bought, Warriors [Erin Hunter], Scott Mccloud, James Gurney, Bob Ross

Seriously there's so much help

Supplementary Materials

And... here's your homework! Nah, kidding. Here're some books and such that've helped me realize this stuff.

Steal like An Artist [Austin Kleon]

"Making Comics" [Scott Mccloud]

Color And Light - a Guide For the Realist Painter [James Gurney]

Ekkoberry @ Deviantart

Lackadaisy Cats - Construction Drawing

Influence Map - Fox-Orian [Deviantart] -- fill out this to see if you can spot anything in your style you picked up!

Lackadaisy cats - Character Design

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