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They should make a game with the title above, but it will probably be edutainment or something. In real life, this is an issue that bothers a lot of artists who have picked up a pencil.

To the castle where the answers lie!

Okay, now you have just entered the huge castle gates. What if I told you that all you need to do is to walk around randomly until the next area becomes accessible? This is the problem with the statements that go like these:

"Oh don't worry, your style will come naturally."
"Keep practising, you'll eventually get a style."
"Stop worrying about styles! Just draw."


It is not very reassuring to hear those often repeated statements, yes? How do I know if I ever reach the next areas? Such vague instructions! The thing is, it's not entirely wrong to stand by those statements. The enemy is ambiguity.

---

The grand quest for the original drawing style boils down to the quest for an identity. You want to out from the sea of artists who draw. You want people coming to you, asking you to draw their stuff in your style. You want to be in the limelight, a superstar that people keep coming back for. You want to be original.

However, style is more than an identity nowadays; it has also become a necessary function in the society. Animation studios will require artists who can switch styles based on the project. Illustrators will want to market their unique selling point in their styles to make a living.

Let us be honest: everyone will start off copying another better artist's style. You might have more artists you like that you want to copy the styles from, and you journey on. From there we get three types of denizens in the realm of styles:

1) The Peacocks. They have their styles are so different and properly formulaic, anyone would find it difficult to copy their stuff with full accuracy. This is the dream of many people, for a good reason. The superstar who is at the center of attention, who would not want that? Everyone picks the feathers off them and wear on their hats, as real world history has shown.

2) The Chameleons. Masters of changing styles, they are darlings to studios and companies that get all kinds of projects. They still have a special style, but they usually do not notice it. This is because they are more busy studying the Peacocks and find how their feathers work. Not a path many would take,  for chameleons are difficult to find when they blend into their surroundings so well. You do not really stand out as much.

3) The Jellyfishes. Those who want to be Peacocks, but lack fundamentals and research. They seem distinct and unique, but they are transparent and are not very complex. Most jellyfishes do not do well. Their styles are wobbly like they are, they number in many millions, when they give up drawing due to not being able to stand out they sink into the depths of the ocean. Disappearing forever. Wait, good news for you: it is strange to envision jellyfishes becoming peacocks and chameleons, but that is everyday here in the realm of styles.

The key to evolution for Jellyfishes is the same as the secrets of the Peacocks and Chameleons: strong fundamentals. To be precise, understanding how fundamentals can help you in your drawing styles.

"If you want to access the next area in the castle, you have to find the right key and the right door." This is how it works in games, this is how it works in real life. You have to know who you are, before any fundamentals or instructions can apply to you. First, you find out where you stand. Jellyfish? Or Chameleon? Either way, decide your next step. I want to stand out, or that I want to be adaptable to many drawing styles. Work towards it by studying what you see, in other drawings or in real life. Practise the right things and get good drawing habits. Plan your path and enjoy the journey.

Understand what you want. Understand that strong fundamentals in drawing will stop making your work looking amateur, whether you want to go Peacock or Chameleon. Understand how to improve your drawing style and how to make use of what you already have. Understanding will keep you moving through the many areas of the castle and you will reach the throne room, with a crown waiting on the throne.

Oh, the answer is engraved on the crown: Forget being original. Be a better you.

Now, off you go, hero (or heroine)!

"Concision in style, precision in thought, decision in life." ― Victor Hugo
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:iconsacredjourneydesigns:
SacredJourneyDesigns Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Professional General Artist
How interesting. I've been combining steampunk with other cultures and other odd things for years. It sells great at cons. I've been surprised how few others have caught on.
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:iconbernoully:
bernoully Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
It's great that you know how to use the good ol' combination process! It'll definitely serve you well even if you work on other genres. :)

Not sure why others didn't do the same, maybe one day a poll will help shed some light?
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:iconsacredjourneydesigns:
SacredJourneyDesigns Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Professional General Artist
I do jewelry that falls into many genres. It's a great break from the tediousness that comes from illustrating ads, tech manuals, and other other books. True originality is so rare in advertising these days. Unfortunately I have to give them what they want to pay the bills.

A poll would be interesting. My theory is that too many people are sheep and cattle: they follow the crowd because it takes too much effort to think and follow a different path. They also don't want critcised for doing something different. Sometimes, at home shows and some jewelry shows I get nasty remarks over my steampunk and gothic skull rosaries. I usually just laugh and walk away. I'm not catholic, but I do enjoy making them. And, I don't see any reason why a rosary can't be a work of art.
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:iconbernoully:
bernoully Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Aside from the efforts and criticism, I believe many people are also afraid to take a risk because as we know, the truly new and original means untried and untested grounds. The 'risk' of failure and loss aversion; people are more afraid to lose than what they can potentially gain (I'll cover this topic, lots of potential).

Of course things can fail, but it's not the end of the world. Original ideas didn't work? Try more.

This is one of the reasons for this group BBO: to promote education on being a better artist, and one of these elements include learning to create original works effortlessly. It's no rocket science!
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:iconwip-slinger:
WiP-slinger Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I also approve of this. :aww:

I love the message behind this group, it's refreshing to see. The dA community needs more groups like this one!
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:iconbernoully:
bernoully Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, I hope to see other groups pop up as well. It's not about competition, it's about sharing.
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:iconfuhrer-glasses:
Fuhrer-Glasses Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012
:thumbsup:
I approve of this.
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:iconbernoully:
bernoully Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, I appreciate it. :)
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