How to Find Your Art Style

In this post we’ll explore how to find your art style. Some links used within this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if a purchase is made on their site. Thanks for your support!

In this day and age, it has grown easy to become disconnected from your art style. Or perhaps, never even settle into an art style that you feel comfortable with calling “your art style.”

Many artists find themselves jumping from art style to art style. Maybe it’s a style or method that we see getting a lot of attention on social media, or something we fondly remember creating as a child. Some of these leaps from style to style are a necessity for a commercial artist; however, some can be avoided. How do we decide? I’ve found that it is effective to have a series of tools that help disconnected or unsettled artists find their style.

Yes, think of this post as your pathway back to your core artistic style after visiting other lands. When you need a reset. A refresh. A do-over.

Tips for finding your art style

Below you’ll find a list of five ideas for finding your art style. These ideas vary greatly and are not going to be right for everyone. Some of you might need to get quiet and focus on yourself and your work to find your art style (Tips #1 & #2). Others of you may need to get out of your head and get inspired (Tips #3 & #4). Take some time to think about each recommendation and what you need at this time.

Create something daily.

Want to know how to find your art style? This is my top recommendation for doing so. Create, create, create. While courses and tutorials are super insightful, creating art every day is invaluable. The lessons that are learned through this process cannot be understated. Daily design challenges can be found numerous places online. If you are interested in creating art of surface pattern design or textile design, I recommend joining us in the Textile Design Lab for our upcoming daily design challenge starting on February 1st. For this challenge we will focus on trend driven prompts and creating patterns and motifs that are popular in these markets. Join us in the Textile Design Lab.

Discover what is already there.

Look around your environment. Look in your sketchbook, look in your notebook. Hunt and dig a little bit. What are you drawing without even realizing it? If you’ve ever had to sit through a long meeting or a long class, what sketches or doodles are on the sides of your notes? Look at your grocery list. Are there any doodles in the margins of your list, maybe? These are clues to help you discover your style. Get started with this free video training.

Read a book.

If you are like me, I find that sometimes I overthink things and get in my head a bit too much. If you find yourself in this spiral it can be helpful to hit pause and dive into a good book. Here are a few recommendations of books that will help you to find your art style:

Explore something new.

Similar to tip #3, exploring something new is a great way to find your art style and get inspired. This could be a new art technique, a personal wellness practice, or it could be a new market for your art. For example, a Textile Design Lab member recently mentioned CryptoArt. I had no idea what this was and began researching the market. It is fascinating to me and I found myself super inspired to create art for this new market. It seems so fresh and new, and this was inspiring to my creativity. For you, it might be exploring a new pattern layout style or new creative technique.

Create for you.

Please listen closely to this one. Not everything that you create needs to be shared. Not every sketch needs to be posted to Instagram. And your sketchbook doesn’t need to be this beautifully polished presentation of your ideas. Too many designers are spending too much time stressing out over how people on social media are going to react to their work and this inhibits creativity, innovation, and joy. Keep some secrets to yourself. Or if you really need to share everything, show your sketchbook to your pet or houseplant. I love social media and I support designers promoting their work online, but make sure you are also creating work just for you, that is raw, and rough and messy and not polished.

How to Find Your Art Style

In the end, I think the key to finding your art style lies in staying inspired to create as much art as possible. For artists like us this should be a source of joy and a delightful journey into the exploration of the mediums we love—or want to learn more about. So, open your mind and let the ideas flow. I’d love to hear any ideas you may have for opening up your creativity to define the styles you most enjoy.

  1. Many people take to a type of craft or art for the technique or they enjoy what others are doing and want to give it a go. Then lament that they don’t have ideas and don’t know where to get them.

    I always encourage people to build a visual library with the goal of increasing your visual literacy and vocabulary. But look outside your particular craft! Look at architecture, sculpture, art (through the ages), nature, etc.

    Then go back and write some notes about what you collected. Both of these practices have the advantage of getting clarity on your particular aesthetic, and why. What it means to you. Why you’re drawn to this and not that.

    If you’re working on pattern design, for example, and your main inspiration is pattern design, it’s too easy to become discouraged by the talent of others or run the risk of copying instead of creating your own look.

  2. I love your point about creating for yourself- so very important for all creative people… otherwise we can lose touch with the very essence of creativity- which is always such a personal thing!

  3. I get distracted by prompt challenges-end up trying to do too many! I also want to try All the art supplies which is also a distraction. Or maybe I just need to enjoy the process of discovery at this point in my career

  4. This arrived just when I needed it! Thank you. I have been grabbing 10 minutes while the kids eat or watch tv to try and draw or doodle. I’m no where near to finding my style but I know these few stolen minutes will help.

  5. It may be just the way you make your own set of signature marks that can be enough to draw together a style. For me it’s shifting from one medium to another that gives me space to consider what I’ve done before then when I return to that particular medium or technique it’s familiar but interesting to me all over again. So don’t be afraid to swap pencils paint, or play with digital. Tear up images and create Collage or tinker with sculpture and landscape and some where in the mix your true you will emerge. And most importantly enjoy the freedom and joy this will create with in you.

  6. Hi, i come from Colombia, i am a graphic designer, for a long time children book illustrator, this advices are so helpful and invaluable whom are new creating pattern like me (excuse my english grmmar, iam trying to write without google translator).i think is very very important look for in your own interest topics(botanical illustracion, geometric shapes, animals, children illustration , etc). thank you, bye

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