I remember being around 13 or 14 and desperately searching ‘how to find your art style’ on literally every social media platform I was on at the time. I watched every video, read every post, and practiced for hours at a time. The thing is, there isn’t an easy, concrete way to develop an art style. There’s no perfect step-by-step manual on these things, everyone has their own experiences and comes to their own conclusions as they progress. However, I would be lying if I said listening to other artists’ experience and advice didn’t help me immensely.
My first tip is to make yourself aware of not just the type of art you like seeing, but the type of art you aspire to make one day. I know this sounds very basic but a big part of finding an art style is having a vague mental image of what you’d like your art to be like. A helpful way of getting to this point is compiling pictures of art you’re inspired by. Whether that’s through the ‘save’ or ‘bookmark’ feature found on most social media platforms, or simply screenshotting and adding that picture to an album, this is very helpful in terms of helping you visualize your goal. To take this a step further, make an effort to actively look for and follow artists who make that type of art, or even tags that feature it.
While you’re doing all of this, try your hand at a few art styles you’ve been considering. A helpful exercise would be choosing one character/person/object and drawing that same subject in several different art styles. I imagine the #DrawThisInYourStyle tag could be a helpful resource for this. where does your strength lie? and most importantly, which art style do you enjoy drawing in the most? they don’t need to look perfect or even presentable by your standards, what’s important is that you slowly but surely learn what you like doing, and which results satisfy you the most. And don’t just copy other people’s styles, put your own twist on things! Mix and match elements of styles you’ve been considering, you can even incorporate elements of styles completely different from them. This will give your art its own unique twist, which I’m sure most people seek while trying to find their own style.
Lastly, and I know most people are sick of hearing this, but have fun! On a very basic level, art is supposed to be enjoyable! I know how much pressure there is, especially online, to constantly make the best art you could possibly make. Artists constantly talk about feeling the need for every post to do well. This leads artists to confine themselves to an art style they don’t particularly enjoy drawing in, just because they think it’ll help their posts do well and they think it makes their art look better overall. I’ve definitely done this in the past and I specifically remember being discouraged from making art because of it. If you’re not having fun, art turns into a chore and somewhat of a burden. The second I worked towards dropping this habit of constantly comparing myself to others and holding myself to unrealistic expectations, the joy of drawing came back and I developed an art style I truly enjoyed. People often forget that developing an art style is an organic experience more than anything else. As you practice, you naturally find things you enjoy doing more than others and gradually form your own style. While you can definitely work towards this goal, you also have to let it happen naturally in a way.
I hope this was at least a little helpful! Remember that practice makes perfect, and you’ll find your art style eventually as long as you keep drawing. Stay safe, and have a wonderful day! <3