well maybe i'll sound elitest, but ive always been a fan of the idea; draw how you draw, dont look too closely at others work and dont worry too much about finding your "style". it comes on its own but if you're looking at others work too closely to learn you're only learning somebody elses path in the road of art and not your own
I did look at others work to get inspired as i started out, but mostly i looked at photographs while i worked, not art. i was given a bit of advice like 8 years ago, and ive always held it pretty high up on things to remember, and i share it often.
when you're learning how to draw/paint, you should look at LIFE. figure study classes if you can, photos if you cannot. in other words, paint a river by sitting next to it, not by looking at another artists painting of it.
EDIT: yes there is something to learn and digest with looking at others works. but when you start your own art, put down theirs!
learning how to draw by looking at other peoples work ends in something not only fairly unoriginal, but it also causes you to not only absorb their strengths but also their faults as well. this is paramount!
when you look at life, you're not only learning the basics and foundations of art, you're also developing your own style as you choose how to interpret what you see.
this comes from talk lately about how other colorists, primarily at zenescope have been copying my style i used predominately for so many years with them.
i noticed it at first, and denied it. im not a narcissist. but a few other people close to me seem almost as concerned about it as i am, and they brought it up unprovoked.
hell, anyway, if you've noticed my style changing thats mostly the reason why.
i can see and understand the argument that copying is how you learn, but thats a common argument that people dont really understand as they use it. they dont understand that copying to learn doesnt mean on somebody elses artistic struggles. and yes, painting classes have taught how to impersonate classic painters for generations for learning purposes. but if those art teachers were any good, they would teach how to paint using whats around you, not whats in front of you, so to speak. for instance, do you think those genious classic painters learned what they know from looking at others paintings? was the statue of david carved by looking at another artists painting? think about it. and to be fair to that line of thought, should you look to the statue to learn anatomy? the answer is undoubtedly no, look at life as Michelangelo most certainly had. look the the statue as inspiration in your aspirations.
but hey, if anything, i'll look on the bright side. its pushed me, or shoved me rather, into striving to really work hard on what my art really is, and to plant a seedling that grows every day now. life study being my sunshine, photo resources my water, and my passion being a little love to help it grow.
Thank you for this entry. This makes me want to do my best while sketching the images from my mind and photos. It scares me when I see some of my latest drawings that almost look like someone elses' style--especially because it is purely unintentional. After reading what you've written here, I feel I will give art another chance and I won't give up. (I was nearly discouraged continuing to be a deviant because of this issue--as I don't want to look like I'm copying! >.<) Long story short, your entry is like a breath of fresh air and your artwork is AMAZING. I'm sure you get that a lot. You've inspired me to continue. Thank you, and I hope you don't mind that I'm adding you to my watch list! ^^Keep up the awesome work!
I've started off trying to draw as realistically as I can. But now I want to give a more cartoon/manga style a go. Do you think that fan art is a good pathway to creating your own style, or how would you suggest going about moving from realism to cartoon/manga?
i've been realizing this for a few days..and with a little research i think its true that to be a true artist is to study life. and i really appreciate what you said, i really appreciate that you shared with us what you've experienced.
i don't know why people keep questioning themselves or others about this, i guess people are scared about what path they are taking, and where it will get them...
But to be honest, i don't really give a f about copying or not copying, i guess you just like something, you really like it, and you tell yourself, well i could have done that, cause it's totally the kind of thing i like, so why not taking inspiration of it.
Saying "don't look too much at peoples work" is like telling people that if you want to be good, you have to be alone, in a dark locked place, to develop your art, sometime you go outside and look at nature, just nature, nothing else, and then you return in this dark place to draw what you saw. i'm not in that, and honestly you are not in that yourself.
When i look at your work, i see a lot of things that has already been done, it doesn't mean you copyed it, not at all, it just means that in our days, you are surrounded by a particular culture, with anime, comics, movies, even a car design, or the coffe machine you have, every thing around you have a particular design, even people have changed, cause they are not wearing the same clothes as in 1900 etc...
I really think that looking and comparing other art to your own is not a mistake, i think the mistake is thinking that you are unique just because you don't look at others people art.
this is not a critique or something else, just i think people ask themselves too much about it, just draw, just create, make what you like goddamnit, and everything is gonna be alright, listen to teachers when they say "look at nature", but never listen someone who tell you not to look at something, even if it's manga or cartoons...
you're telling successful people to turn around and telling them that what they do is wrong. maybe i am too, but to get somebody to think differently for a second, thats a good thing, you cant fool me that it isnt.