Fallen out of love?

I have really fallen out of love with my art style – so it seems anyways. Maybe that is rather harsh, but I am at a spot where I want to possibly either progress or digress… Does that make sense? My style feels stale, harsh, rugged, stiff… To me anyways.

I started as an anime artist with very cartoony characters way back around 2010 (prior to that, I tried to exactly mimic anime tv shows like Sailor Moon). I felt like that cartoony style was really expressive, and I really enjoyed drawing it. My love of a truly cartoony anime style bled out from watching countless hours of classic 90s Sailor Moon with the big eyes, exaggerated limbs and facial expressions, and fun colors and poses! Realistic-like anatomy just didn’t work for me, and I didn’t really like art with realistic anything because of it.

HOWEVER, the honeymoon didn’t last forever, and in the past few years I started to move towards a semi-realistic cartoon style… Mind you I cannot do realistic, but my style started to migrate towards better body proportions, and non-exaggerated limbs, expressions and poses. I have also found myself more drawn to more realistic-like cartoons and fave the super cartoony art less and less.

The issue I am running into is after just a few years of changing things up, I already feel stagnated. I am not excited like I used to be with my art in any part of its creation. Do I work through this or change things up? Should I go back to my old style, try doing both, or stay the course and forge a new path? I don’t even really feel like my style is “my style” because it all developed off of the anime ‘Sailor Moon.’ I’d like to divorce myself of that connection in reality but a part of me wants to keep that – hold on for dear life even! And I can’t pinpoint why

My questions to myself every time I draw are: “Is this recognizable as me? Is this recognizable as my art?” Like, do people know me and my art? Is there a connection? But almost more frequently and more importantly, “Do other artists have this crisis too? And what do you do about it?” If I keep changing, will I ever find that niche where people know that I AM THAT ARTISTTHAT CHARACTER IS LANTIIS’ CREATION?

Visibility? Recognition? Am I even getting these marketable attributes as an artist without a concrete art style?? Or do I have a concrete style and just need to stick with it – screw my crisis?! And what can I change up that will help me overcome this crisis without completely changing what style I already have?

As you can tell, I have a lot of things to think about – my artistic mind is all over the place. I don’t know what the future will hold for me or my art, and I am kind of holding back any changes until I hear from my peers, commissioners and followers. In the end, I care most about what they think and have experience with since ultimately, I create for the pleasure of not just me but others too.

One thought on “Fallen out of love?

  1. I’m not sure if I have told you my theory on style, but it goes like this: style is two parts. The first is how something naturally looks when you draw / create stuff. The second is your personal tastes and likes. These two things might not look at all like each other.

    Ultimately, I think you have to take the social media and public opinion out of the equation. Yes, it’s possible you may lose followers but it’s also possible that you could gain followers. In this day and age, marketing (where and how you post) has more to do with success than anything. So that’s why I encourage people to find themselves and do what makes them happy. It’s more sustainable than doing something that doesn’t feel like it isn’t you anymore. If people really care about the person behind the art, they will continue to support them. If the artist doesn’t love what they are doing it will start to show.

    Lastly, about the Sailor Moon thing. I don’t think you can lose something like that. If you’ve spent years (or grew up) reading the stories, watching the anime, etc. then it’s already left it’s mark on you. It doesn’t really matter what style you do. Sailor Moon is more than the big eyes, long legs and odango. I’ve met artists that painted pretty realistically and I could just SENSE they liked Sailor Moon, CLAMP, or some other shoujo manga. Yet, you’d never know unless you directly asked them.

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