Art Styles: How to Find and Define Your Style

Through our daily lives, we see art ranging from giant murals in big cities to digital doodles on social media.

But there are some pieces and styles that we can take one glance at and know that it belongs to a unique creator.

Whether it be a genre in music or the brush stroke of a painter, everything in the artistic realm has its dedicated stylistic approach. Finding who you are through art should be something everyone strives for, as it plays an important role in your personal expression to the masses.

Here are a few things that I think are super important in defining yourself in your art form.

Many people will say that an artist’s style is a bunch of coherent or recurring traits that fit a certain criteria. But even if the artwork looks like a 4th grader’s, that is a style in itself. Defining your style is something that should come natural to you.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 1.55.22 PM
geothebio’s style is super simple and cute, but it’s wholly unique to the artist, and is completely recognizable as geothebio’s work (Courtesy of geothebio’s Deviantart)

Of course, there are many elements you can be influenced by, such as movies, video games, even others artists that you admire. In the end, they’re inspiration – your own artwork will look different from theirs (assuming you don’t just trace their work.)

Look for what inspires you

Finding stories and music that inspire you to bring your mind to life is a very telling sign you’re getting closer to your own style. Watch your favorite movies and find what elements you love in those art panels. Those interests most likely play a role in how you create. To find what elements you want in your art, just take a look at yourself.


Self Portrait by Francis Bacon

Art is how YOU see the world. This is one of the biggest things any artist can embrace when trying to find themselves in art. As a musician, I use my piano as a very emotional vessel. I try to portray each string of emotions I had when writing a piece in every keystroke. The same can be said with any visual artist when analyzing their strokes and overall look of their pieces.

Francis Bacon, a 20th century artist, wrote a letter that contained something very profound:

“Real painters do not paint things as they are…They paint them as they themselves feel them to be.”

Bacon was among the artists who started to look deeper into pictures and pour their emotions into their art. Even though things have gone digital in our 21st century, these messages still hold firm and apply now more than ever. You are free to create anything and show the world how you see every day life, poverty, war, movies, and hey, even Starbucks.

When it all comes down to it, your art is YOU.

When you think the way you always draw eyes is weird and different and you like it, keep it.

The City That Never Sleeps by Dina Prasetyawan

When your painting stands out in the gallery from all the “normal” looking pieces, stand beside it.

When your T-shirt design on Threadless is something nobody has ever done or thought of before, embrace it. Because these are the things that make art great.

Not everyone can be a Hayao Miyazaki or Walt Disney, but I don’t think anyone else should be. The next generation of artists and creators is here, and we should embrace the awesome. Let’s keep coloring the world differently, together.

The way you look at the world and show it is going to be different than every other human in the world, so come share it! Leave a comment showing what you’re working on, or an art style you think is really cool.

Featured image is Business Man by Sebastian Govino

CategoriesTips & Tricks
Avatar photo
Sam Christianson

Sam is a freelance writer/web developer with an odd love for space and animation. When he's not looking at the stars he's probably staring into the deep confines of a monitor.