The Style Episode


  • SVS OG

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    Art by Marek Halko.

    Our newest episode just dropped! It's all about style.
    Click here to listen to this episode and to see the episode links.

    How do you find your style? For some it seems to come naturally and for others it can be a source of great stress. Hopefully this episode helps give you some ideas for how you accelerate as you develop your own style. In this episode we evaluate each others styles, share our influences, discuss ways to foster and grow your own style, and the importance of style as it relates to your career goals.

    Feel free to use this thread to have a discussion or share what has/is helping you develop your artistic style.



  • There is usually a player for the podcast, but it is nowhere to be found when I go to the post for this episode...


  • SVS OG

    @Eli @Jake-Parker Me too! The player is not there when I go to the page. Is something wrong?



  • Cool, something to listen to while I do some chores.
    Oh, I love that art @marek-halko!



  • I cannot open the whole svs website...only the forum



  • @Eli, @Nyrryl-Cadiz, @MichaelaH it's definitely up on iTunes if you want to listen to it through there.

    Good episode. I stopped worrying about trying to find a style... I reaaaaally wanted to draw like Disney animators once upon a time, but just couldn't quite get it right. I find I can't really categorize myself much except maybe the way I draw lines and the female form, which harks back to my youth where I would read/copy Elfquest and Asterix comics.

    Lately I am a lot more influenced by a graphic design sort of animation style that's going around, as well as the textured stuff you were talking about. Not because I want to copy, but just because I'm drawn to it. I absolute LOVE the way some people are using flat shapes, texture and colour at the moment and enjoy figuring out ways to use it myself. If it appeals to someone, then great, if not, oh well. Keep drawing anyway.


  • SVS OG

    @Amanda-Jean i can’t find it on iTunes 😭😭😭😭


  • SVS OG

    @Nyrryl-Cadiz i just found it! It’s very helpful.



  • Just found this episode in iTunes. Fasicating talk. Thank you so much.

    I believe that every illustrator worried about the question of "Style" or "Voice" at some point in the beginning of the career. After some SVS courses this year, I changed from spending most of the time thinking how to render an image to spending a lot more time on figuring out the story, composition and value of an image. I found the term "story" "Composition" "Value" is something I am able to work with, but the term "developing my own style" is rather vague in the process of making an illustration. I kind of need to break down the word "style" into something that is workable for me. Lee's dream portfolio lecture comes with a style questionnaire, which has been very helpful for me to break down "style" into something I could work with.

    I found looking at other artists are incredibllly helpful. Currently, I am looking at the use of shapes in mid-century graphic design and illustration. I think the way Sasek's shape laugnage is so identifiable, it would not matter so much if he did his shapes in watercolor, pencil, or ink drawing. It would still be Sasek's shapes.


  • SVS OG

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  • SVS OG

    Great episode. Great to see the evolution of your styles. I think that getting so set in one style for years and years seems boring. The thing about artists is we can change. I don’t know if the desire to create will just fizzle out, but the passion for creating the exact same way might. I think that’s the beauty of it. I get a little scared when I see too much of one artists “style” in the market. It will become dated and I hope they can change things up after their style has run its course. If you look at artist like Mary engelbright (i cant spell) and Susan branch and Maryjo something basin. Their styles are pretty dated. I loved their work in school. I still think they are amazing artists, but I don’t think they changed enough to make a new set of people want their work. I’m sure they have loyal people, but it seems like that would fade over time. Right now there are people like riffle & co, and there a super organic hippie floral artist or company. I can’t think off hand what it is. But they are in everything and I wonder what happens to the artist if they don’t rebrand after time. Thimble blossoms is another fabric company. They are great, but I don’t even see them leaving their color pallet.

    I know you guys primarily take about book illustrators, but for licensing artists and style is a huge part of who they are. I think they have to be careful to ensure they change, but not at a degree they loose their following. But change enough to still be relevant.

    That was long and random. Sorry! And glad you figured out it was “little people”. That was driving me crazy.



  • @Jake-Parker I really liked this episode. Style is something I think about and not at the same time. I'v seen wonderfully popular illustrators come and go. It can feel rather "random" and overwhelming. Maybe it's all about being very flexible and be willing to "start over" if your style is not the flavor of the month?



  • Great episode! On several recent podcasts you talk about viewers watching the podcast on YouTube. So I’ve tried to view a couple of them including this one and there is only a visual of your logo, title and a sound bar while you guys talk. Is there an actual video of your 3 adorable faces 🤣 and if so do we need to do something to our settings to see you?


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @mrsdion Unfortunately the earlier episodes were just audio. But we started recording video too several months ago, so you will be able to see their "adorable" faces soon! 😂 We did put a little clip of this episode on our Instagram just for fun, so you all could check out Jake's hat 😉



  • This REALLY helped me in boosting my confidence about my particular style that has been developing...thank you so much!



  • @xin-li I totally agree with you! Thinking about style kind of creatively paralyzes me, but thinking about how to express a story or what influences me, or anything actionable is way more useful.

    This podcast got me to go to the library and get some books I will do master copies of and composition studies of to fill up my creative bank account.



  • I think style is about developing a way of illustrating that feels really genuine to yourself. Your style captures your unique energy and way of seeing the world.

    I do look at trends, illustrators I like, commercially viable styles, take in feedback, etc. But what I keep coming back to is that first and foremost I should make sure I'm happy with the work. That's also why I think a lot of styles evolve - as we evolve as people our perspectives shift and grow, so of course our style does too!

    Amy NG (pikaland) has a fantastic zine on the topic of style. Highly recommend :).



  • I loved this episode but I couldn't help feeling a bit uneasy as it made me reevaluate my own style. I've always enjoyed drawing highly rendered illustrations and while getting those illustrations to be looser is something I'm working on (And I have another concern about changing a style to fit what's popular...) currently I don't think I'll ever be the artist to draw like John Classen or Carson Ellis. I love Carson Ellis' color palettes but neither of their styles speaks to me as an artist. I'm wondering if it's even possible for someone like me to get Children's book work in the near future with a style that leans towards the realistic and rendered... 😞


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @Blayne-Fox I love your work (just peaking at your site) and yeah your style wouldn't fit childrens books but i can definitely see it in young adult books/graphic novels. Although I have a few childrens books laying around the house that are render realistic. I know my stuff will never fit into childrens books, but I continue at it because it is what I enjoy to do. I believe trends shift and you never know, maybe the next trend in childrens book would fit your style and all these others will not 🙂


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