“Style is knowing exactly what you want to say and saying it exactly” - C.S.Lewis
I’ve got style. An illustration style that is. And a few short months ago I was something I struggled with. Like - really struggled with! But now with 20-20 hindsight, I thought I’d share how I came to have an illustration style.
I’ll share this as a checklist of things I’ve done to arrive at my style. And I’ll take each item on the checklist as a post on its own. But before that…
What is style (in illustration) ?
I see style as a default approach to specific creative problems. I say default because while we may develop a regular way of working, we’re always free to change it. In this way, style doesn’t become a burden but rather an asset. A Standard operating procedure if you like.
How to engineer illustration style? (reverse engineering my process)
Set aside time to work daily
Get regular feedback
Decide how you create shapes
Decide how you use lines
Decide how to render light
Decide how to create texture
Decide on your subject matter
Decide how you draw hands
Decide how you draw faces
Define a color palette
Limit your brush choices
Decide how you draw letters.
Create a process for finding ideas
Create a process from going from idea to finished illustration
Define your black and white style
Define your sketching processes
Define your writing process
Decide how you develop poses and proportions
Decide how you portray emotions (typecast yourself)
Decide how you do perspective
Write an artist statement
Curate a portfolio
Those were the steps I took to develop my style. In the coming days, I’ll be writing about each step. I also took two classes that helped me build some vocabulary around thinking about style. Please don’t think of this as anything definitive, it’s just me sharing my own journey. My hope is that by being transparent about my journey, that it will inform yours.
Would love to hear what you think about this list and where you are on your own style journey.