Have I found my art style yet?

Have I found my art style yet? // Blog post and illustration by Asti @ atypicalnarrative

One of the hardest things about illustrating again is attempting to figure out my “style”. I try not to think too much about it because I believe in many ways it can be counter-productive, but I would be lying if I said that part of me doesn’t want to be able to look at my work and see traces of consistency.

Of course, the funny thing is, oftentimes when I post my illustrations on the blog or on Instagram, my friends will respond and say “Your drawings are so you!” or “I can always recognize when one of your illustrations pops up in my feed.” How do they recognize my style when I don’t? To me, the illustrations I posted in my last art update, were sort of all over the place. Some had dark outlines, some had lines in their hair, some had (bad) coloring, etc. I mean, variation is great and I like each of those pieces for one reason or another, but to me it was still very obvious that I was just trying to get used to creating again.

I’m happy to say though that with this next batch of illustrations, I see a consistency and I really like the results. And it’s not even because most of my illustrations are based on the same photo shoot, though I’m sure that helps. I just see a connection here between each image where even though they contain different personalities and looks, they all represent a similar style.

That being said, this batch of illustrations is from January and I can assure you that changes are still taking place, especially as I experiment with adding colors to my work. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. I like still being able to see my growth each month as I reflect on earlier pieces and it’s encouraging to know that my style is making itself known.

Illustration based on Feb 17 Vogue: Dior Ad || Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Reference: Vogue, February 2017 ed, Dior advertisement

Illustration based on February 2017 Vogue: "Dangling Modifier" || Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Reference: Vogue, February 2017 ed, “Dangling Modifier” as photographed by Willy Vanderperre

Illustration based on February 2017 Vogue: "Small Wonder" || Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Reference: Vogue, February 2017 ed, “Small Wonder” (p. 168) as photographed by Willy Vanderperre

Illustration based on February 2017 Vogue: "At Attention" || Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Reference: Vogue, February 2017 ed, “At Attention” (p. 165) as photographed by Willy Vanderperre

Illustration based on February 2017 Vogue: "Far and Wide" || Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Reference: Vogue, February 2017 ed, “Far and Wide” (p. 163) as photographed by Willy Vanderperre

Illustration Based on January 2017 Vogue: "Moment of the Month" || Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Reference: Vogue, January 2017 ed, “Moment of the Month” (p. 98) as photographed by Patrick DeMarchelier

Illustration based on February 2017 Vogue: "Business as Usual" || Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Reference: Vogue, February 2017 ed, “Business as Usual” (p. 164) as photographed by Willy Vanderperre

Illustration based on November 2016 Vogue: "Gray Lady" || Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Reference: Vogue, November 2016 ed, “Gray Lady” (p. 205) as photographed by Patrick DeMarchelier

Illustration based on November 2016 Vogue: "Flower of the Flock" || Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Reference: Vogue, November 2016 ed, “Flower of the Flock” (p. 207) as photographed by Patrick DeMarchelier

Illustration based on December 2016 Vogue: "Eye to the Ear" || Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Reference: Vogue, December 2016 ed, “Eye to the Ear” (p. 241) as photographed by Josh Oline

Let me know what you think! Have any thoughts on the illustrations above? Any comments on my style or your question to find your own? I know a lot of creatives who read my posts are writers so would love to hear from your perspective as well: do you ever think/worry about your style when writing or are you too caught up in creating to notice? I’m curious!

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16 Comments

  1. Your drawings are instantly recognizable to me as well, and I think it mostly has to do with the pens you use and the fact that there’s always a lot of white space.

    I think about style in terms of my bookstagram account, and I can’t say that I’ve found one yet! I’ve had a few people tell me that they recognize my pictures, but honestly that just confuses me. 😂

    • Uh oh, the pens I use? White space? Spoiler alert: I’ve gotten promarkers for my birthday so expect more color and less pen! :O (but don’t worry, I think you’ll still be somewhat able to recognize them.)

      I get what you mean about being confused when people say they recognize your pictures. It was a little easier with my bookstagram account because I took all my pics outside, but when it comes to close ups of books or books on a white background, which is what a lot of yours are, it can sometimes be a bit harder to recognize. But hey, I’ve noticed your bookstagram account is pretty hopping (lol, do people even say that?) so you must be doing something right. I like that there’s a lot of interaction on your photos, always prefer that over one-way communication! (Hence why I’ve started using those to comment back since you don’t blog too much 🙂 )

      • Haha, I think you’re right. There’s still something distinctive about your drawings!

        Exactly! What makes my white background stand out from anyone else’s? Especially since half of mine aren’t white. xD I struggle with my account sometimes because I KNOW it’s not about numbers, but my likes continue to decrease, and they’re only a tiny fraction of my follower count (which is also drastically lower than most bookstagram accounts!), so it’s hard not to feel as if I’m doing something wrong, not right. (I did have an increase in likes during April, when I posted daily for the challenge, but it just wasn’t worth it. Now that I’m back to 3 times a week, that’s stopped.) However, I try to remember that, while my likes may not be high, I do have a lot of comments, and interacting is really the part that makes me happy. I mean, it’s always the same people, but I enjoy chatting with everyone, and it’s become a substitute for a blog. I’m glad you comment! 😊

      • Yes, the numbers thing I definitely get. I’ve always been mostly good at ignoring it, but there are always those moments where it’s like “Am I doing something wrong?”. Like even the whole creating a separate account for personal photos on Instagram, that was obviously somewhat a move based on numbers. Just got to keep reminded ourselves about the parts that make it worth it – like the interaction! And always blame the algorithm. It’s not really our faults, it’s Instagram’s, right? haha.

      • Haha, and in this case the blame is even justified! And I’m really not in it to gain followers or anything, but I guess everyone wants to feel that their work is valued?

  2. I think one of the most beautiful things about being at the beginning in the process of learning an art form is that you are still experimenting, & you won’t know your style from the start, & part of the loveliness is in the experimentation of it. I know that, in my poetry, I’m constantly writing work that is diverse & different & all over the place, & that only makes it all the more exciting for me. It can be comforting to have a cohesive art style, I know, but embracing the greyness is perhaps not a bad thing at all. ❤

    • Thanks Topaz, I think that is indeed a lovely reminder. Even once a style is found, it’s likely to change as we ourselves are constantly changing. ❤

  3. I love your illustrations! I think they’re so cool and so well drawn! I also feel like you really put your personality into them.

    I’m not an artsy person at all (As in drawn/painted art) so to be honest my experience in art and in viewing art is very limited. So I feel like I would be able to recognise your illustrations because I’ve never seen any art drawn the way you draw them. Like with the eyebrows and the lines. I really love the style, and I have no idea if the style you draw has a particular name, or if it’s your style that you’ve discovered and rock. I hope you know what I mean lol.

    I love how the colour looks as well! The bottom two are really pretty 😀

    Jordon @ Simply Adrift

    • Haha, I know exactly what you mean. Even though I’ve always been into art and have taken art classes in high school, I still wouldn’t be one to be able to say “Ah yes, this looks like a modernism piece with the influences of Picasso” or anything like that. To me they’re just cartoonish doodles. That’s as technical as I get 😉

      And yes, I started experimenting with adding more color in those bottom two, I like them as well! Spoiler alert: I’ve actually transitioned into doing marker work so soon there’ll be even more colors in my drawings and I’m LOVING them!

  4. I always wonder what my writing style is, but it feels silly to worry about because I wouldn’t even know how to describe a lot of other writers’ styles. I feel it’s much more obvious with illustrators though, and I can definitely see yours!

    • Yeah, it’s always interesting to think about it in the author sense. I feel like certain authors I can recognize right away, but others not so much. Maybe that’s thinking about it is a good thing though. Then you can focus on the story – which is the part most readers care about after all. I’m slowly trying to let go of caring about mine but definitely have hit a stride with how I like my illustrations to look so am enjoying it for now!

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