“Inktober” Drawing of Chika Takami + A Discussion About Art Style

Hello guys! Today, I have drawn yet another character from Love Live! Sunshine!!. I usually don’t draw Love Live! that often, so its a kind of a coincidence that I’m uploading two in a row. During the month of October, artists all over the internet draw something using ink, calling it the “Inktober Challenge”. I saw it and immediately thought it was a great idea, so I got out my inking pens and drew! I was not really used to using ink to shade, so this definitely lives up to its name as a “challenge”. However, it was a really good exercise, and I recommend that every artist should step out of their comfort zone at some point. Though, I’m talking about this now, what I really want to talk about is art style.

An artist’s art style, I would say, is the distinct way an artist draws. Every single person has a different, unique art style. Before the summer of 2016, I had a very solid, distinct art style. I had drawn in the same manner for about 2 years, but I felt unfulfilled. I like drawing cartoon-y people, but the way I drew back then was just TOO cartoony. This realization came to me when I tried drawing a graceful, mature character, but they ended up looking goofy and unrealistic. After this artistic failure, I tried in every way possible to force myself to change my art style. I looked at other artist’s styles, I drew so many things but ended up hating all of them. Another thing I did was copy other artist’s styles, which is something you should never do. After all, art style is the way you draw, so there’s no point to it if you copy someone else. Over the summer, I experimented with a lot of different styles. My Mari Ohara drawing from about a month ago was one of the many experiments I did. That time was so, so frustrating. I didn’t even know the way I drew anymore; it’s like my art wasn’t mine anymore. After being stressed out for so long, I decided that I needed to take it easy. If I wanted a more “realistic” art style, I shouldn’t have forced myself to do it. As I have previously mentioned, your art style is how YOU draw. What’s the point of drawing if it isn’t natural for you? All I needed to do was practice and be patient. You can’t just expect your art to get better or more realistic in just one day. I began drawing like I used to, and it became more fun and less frustrating. Eventually, after practice, studying, and lots and lots of sketches, I ended up with a fairly stable art style that I was comfortable with. Though it’s still not super realistic, it is a step up from where I was before, and it was original for me and me only. The lesson of this discussion is that you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. If you want to see a change in your art, don’t copy other people and don’t force yourself. Let the art change itself naturally when it wants to, through experimenting, using references, and tons of practice. Everyone feels insecure about their art sometimes; its completely normal. No matter how you draw, you should still be proud and embrace the way you do it. That’s about it for this long post! What you should take away from this is that you should never lose hope in your art and most importantly, keep drawing!

Hannah, 9th grade

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