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February 5
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Years ago, when I was still a lot younger and I still drew like this, I used to admire people that had a certain drawing style that distinguished them from other artists. 
No matter how strange or extreme it looked, at least they had something unique. Something that made people instantly know it was their work. I didn't have that at the time. Throughout my youth, I've been influenced by Dragonball Z, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Ohmecha anime, anime movie posters, chibi's and vector art. Sure, I was nothing more than a 11 to 14 year old kid at the time, and kids at that age are well known for basically copying anything they like, art-wise. But still my style was nothing more than just "generic anime". I was told so many times by art teachers. That I wasted my talent by drawing that kind of "anime crap", only because it was popular on the internet. 

Comments like that used to hurt me a lot, because I was only a kid... remember? 
And I actually liked anime.

It wasn't until I got older and I learned more about realistic anatomy, that I came to see that the thing we call "style" is nothing more than a bunch of symbols put together in a certain way. And that that so called "anime art" was in fact nothing more than a certain set of symbols (small body's, big heads, large eyes, small noses and mouths). Before that discovery, I always thought that you had to follow a certain formula in order to make a successful artwork. That it would look ugly otherwise. And really, it actually did, back then. 
As I got older, I discovered that once you have a certain knowledge about anatomy, it doesn't matter all that much anymore. Because if you use that knowledge as the backbone to your drawings, you could put any symbol together, and still have to knowledge to make it look right.

Over the last few years, I've looked at art a lot, and tried a lot of things. I still copied small things from styles I liked, but I wasn't that bend on following a certain formula anymore. I just took parts and pieces of everything that I liked, art-wise. And I put them together in a way that I felt that fit me. So that, regardless of what people said to me, I would eventually end up with something that at least I liked. Something that would make me happy, at least. 
Although I think my art is still pretty anime-ish, I lately got a lot of people telling me that they like my work. That I have a certain style to my drawings. One that distinguishes my work and that makes people immediately know that it's mine. Although I think that statement is debatable, many people still ask me how I came up with my style.

From what I read the topics on the forums and journals around here, I see many people being concerned over this style-issue. Over how they can develop an original style that sets them apart from the others. To them, I would like to say: stop worrying! Style is one of those things you can't force. It's something you'll gain through experience. Something that gets to you naturally, once you pass a certain line of expertise. Trying to force this, will get you nowhere but frustrated. Instead, try to focus on your basics. It's a good investment.
 
Regardless of what many people might tell you around here, there's nothing wrong with occasionally copying a style to see how it works out for you -- as long as you don't fall back to tracing. Copying from other styles might seem pointless to some, but it learned me what I liked and what I didn't like. Combined with some solid basics, all those small elements you've picked up over the years, might some day evolve into something unique. Something of your own. 
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:iconthe10s:
the10s Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I always thought that worrying about style is dumb; 'focus on technique and style would come on its own', I thought. Up until recently that I did start paying style some attention. After seeing so much art on groups and forums, majority of them just start looking the same. You get to the point where mostly everything is just gets saturated. Even when something is kinda good it's just a good clone of everything else you've seen before; all technique and no personality.

So yeah, I guess style really is that important cause even if you might not be as good as everyone else you have something that's different, that's 'you'. Btw, thanks for another inspirational piece! :)
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:iconskrayle:
Skrayle Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Student General Artist
You write fantastic journals. As someone else commented, they're just as inspirational as your art. It seems like such a silly thing to say, but thanks for posting your thoughts. C:
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:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
YW :hug:
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:iconieclipsei:
IEcLiPsEI Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Story of my life.
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:iconamygartist:
amygartist Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for writing this piece! ^ ^
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:icondelusionallove:
DelusionalLove Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is truly inspirational, thank you for sharing your experiences with us :>
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:iconforbiddenghost-64:
ForbiddenGhost-64 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Student General Artist
This was actually a really good journal. I actually cried a little bit, because I started out copying from manga I liked too. It really hit me hard when you wrote about that. Thank you for writing this.
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:iconhefeigal:
hefeigal Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I like to think of style as a blend of your likes, abilities, and observations. 
If you really like artists A, B, and C, your art might resemble a combination of the three, and maybe even a little more. As you learn and watch others, you pick up on little things. The way she draws her noses. The way he writes introductions. 
Style is something you develop yourself; it can't be rushed, and can never be exactly the same as someone else's. 

Thanks for this journal! I'm a little late to the game, but it was a great read. :D 
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:iconengie-delane:
Engie-DeLane Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Student Writer
Before I start this, I would like to point out I am fully aware of how wildy inaccurate my drawings are proportion and anatomy wise. Seriously, bobble heads and noodle arms. I have also never taken an art class to teach it to me. But I still have a style.
I am waiting for the people to come tell me I suck, but I came on here to be a writer with some little drawings to show off my babies! Drawing is a side hobby for me, but even so my art style has improved a lot over the years naturally and I am still changing things.
It may be utter crap compared to people who actually know what they are doing, but I take pride in the fact that people at my school see me doodling and can say "oh hey, you draw comics for the newspaper right? I recognize your style"

In short, I agree with this :)
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:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Heh. Same here. I was originally a writer that started to draw because I wanted to show my characters to the world :)
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