Illustration Friday: Afterwards

I've been drawing in such a consistent style recently that this may seem strange, but I had an impulse to do something completely different. I remember hearing an interview on the Escape From Illustration Island podcast where an art director talked about style, and how having a consistent "look" to your artwork helps an art director know what to expect from an artist, especially in a project with a quick turnaround. A big shift in an illustrator's style might in fact make them less employable. On the other hand, don't illustrators need to be able to grow, develop new ways of doing things or else risk becoming stale?

Do you struggle with "finding a style"? Have you ever been through a style change? I'd love to hear your thoughts about style and consistency.

7 comments:

art is jokken said...

Interesting thoughts. I am not really expert but I think it's good to have a varied style because different stories require different styles. Just listen to your heart, It knows all things. And ... just have fun!

lorra said...

i just draw for fun so i can't speak about employment experiences but i think that you shouldn't limit yourself to just one style. why not try something new?

Marie Campbell said...

For me, it's very important to have a signature style.

I read a quote once which said, 'people come to me because they trust me to do my own thing', and after almost a decade of being flexible and changing my style to suit my clients (I'm a graphic designer primarily), that's what I aspire to.

I guess having varied styles might be better commercially, but when I listen to my heart, I feel as though I've sold out.

The shadows are spot on, by the way...

Avery said...

I like this illustration very much. Reminds me of the New Yorker. I think a lot of people don't set out to have a style... it just appears over time, and when you look at a body of their work, it becomes apparent. (or at least that's what i keep telling myself about my own portfolio)

Kinnon said...

Thanks for all of the insight, folks. I agree that artists should never limit themselves, but I think I'm also onside with Marie about having a signature look. I can recognize illustrators in magazines without even looking at the caption, because what they do is consistent across any theme, and to me, that says success. I guess I'm still finding out what says "I made this."
And having fun is so so important! I wholeheartedly agree!

heike said...

Just as Avery said, I didn't set out for a specific style, it appeared over time. I'd like to try new approaches, but as time is limited I always end up doing the same style because I'm so familiar with it.
Now a publisher wants to have water colors (I'm doing color pencil) and I'm scared stiff and don't dare even try it out.
I think it's better to try out as many things as possible just to explore your abilities and maybe even enhance your creativity. Then you have a wide range of styles you can chose from when realising different topics.

fredstesney said...

Present one style at a time. If it's getting stale, either for you or the marketplace, change it by presenting a new and consistent style.