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Make your art unique

Given the time and resources, anyone can learn to draw, paint, or write but making art is more than just studying anatomy, learning to mix paint, and mastering grammar. There’s an important mental side to making art that deals with voice, style, originality, and authenticity. But the good news is that, in our opinion, you can learn how to master all those things too.

Your artistic style is what makes your work feel like you. It’s what makes a Picasso feel like a Picasso, and a Hitchcock feels like a Hitchcock. There are plenty of tutorials online and in books describing step-by-step how to draw the human body or paint a sunset of a film or a fight scene but there’s no tutorial on finding your voice as an artist.

The reason is that no one knows the exact steps they took to hone their style, and even if they did, it wouldn’t be much help to anyone but themselves, because your artistic style is totally specific to you.

Just as you develop yourself and become more like “you” as you grow up, your artistic voice is doing the same thing. With every experience, you have, your self changes and grows, and with every piece of art, you make, your style changes and grows.

Although there's a general progression through an artist’s life to lay out that progression here. You draw, paint, write, and make a lot of stuff as a child. Eventually, you find the basic art forms you enjoy making most. Once the interest is planted, you dive in, aiming to improve your craft. You copy other artists, trying to learn how the artwork is made.

You see a piece of art that speaks to you more deeply than anything else has before.

You follow your obsessions and curiosity. You notice and pay attention to which elements keep popping up in your artwork. This leads you to discover what makes a piece of art look like you. This includes colour palettes, overall drawing style, textures, voice/subject, and specific techniques.

It’s important to keep in mind here, that this is a continuing development, that can and should keep evolving throughout your life as an artist. That chevron pattern has shifted and changed over the last 5+ years of drawing. Each change will lead you to the next if you follow them. You can still see the shadow of my chevron pattern in how I fill in areas with a pen, like in the texture of your hair.

Each development is pushed to the next by making more and more art and noticing the artistic habits you begin to develop. These habits are the things that just begin happening in your artwork almost in an automatic, subconscious way. The topics that keep popping up, the pencil texture you keep automatically drawing. Those are the things that make up your style.

All the failed pieces, all the work you created where you had no idea what you were doing and were unhappy with the results. Those obstacles are an essential part of the process and are exactly what will lead you to find your artistic voice. Have trust in yourself and never give up on an idea!

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