The evolution of style - that is, just enjoy the ride

  • Pro SVS OG

    During research for a project I came across a book by Benji Davies published in 2011. The book is illustrated this way:

    0_1520170143997_Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 14.23.42.png

    This style may have its merits, though I don't particularly like it, but the interesting thing is that Benji Davies, who is one of my favorites illustrators and a big reference (and also very successful), now works in a completely different way. Here are examples from two of his most recent books, from 2015 and 2016.



    I find this evolution very remarkable and a big encouragement. Davies was doing books just a few years ago that were nowhere as distinguishable and sophisticated as the more recent ones.
    A clear sign that style keeps changing and one should just concentrate on the work at hand at every single time point - just what I needed right now....

  • SVS OG

    @smceccarelli Thanks for sharing this - I agree, it is quite an encouragement!

  • SVS OG

    That's interesting. Sometimes style is directed though so makes me question if you need a personal style? I'm not sure...

  • Pro SVS OG

    @jason-bowen Ah, that´s something that haunts me, because I get bored easily and the idea of working in one style only seems claustrophobic to me. But, all the artists I admire most seem to have a very consistent style that makes them immediately recognizeable. That´s why finding out just how much Benji Davies has changed style in just 4 years is a very neat discovery....So I feel bad for working in different styles, etc...
    Now, my agent told me already 4 times (because I harass her with the same issue) that it doesn´t really matter in how many styles you work, as long as all are good and all are exemplified by at least five strong pieces. Then, she can market them all (to different people for different jobs) and that is actually a strength....
    Hope she is right...

  • @smceccarelli Thanks for this post--I also find it interesting and encouraging!

  • SVS OG

    @smceccarelli Haha I know what you mean. I always think in terms of movies and tv shows which have a set art direction and style to drive towards. Also I see it in writer and illustrator partners where all the books look the same, like another simpsons episode. They must create a blueprints to there creative flow to keep it looking the same like the simpsons, I say that because I have the simpsons animators guidebook lol

    But what your agent says makes sense because all the clients (and agent) would want to know is if you can deliver the goods in the specific style they choose. Then it makes me think if you can do more than one you open more than one door... Its just a thought...

  • @smceccarelli Thanks for sharing. This is really inspirational for me. I've completely hit the wall in terms of artistic growth of late, and this is spot on. It's super important to always "regroup" and keep pushing forward!

  • SVS OG

    Thanks for sharing. This is actually really cool and very encouraging. Sometimes I don't want to put my work out there because its not quite what I want it to be yet. Things like this make me feel like we have permission to grow into our style and to keep letting it evolve.

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