Musing about Artistic Styles and More

Hey, y’all I’m Lady T. and I make the New adult fantasy comic MagicalMashup!

I’m sure most artists have contemplated what it means to have a style and how it can be developed at one point (or now). An artist’s style is usually easier to notice when it’s someone else’s over our own, but some of us are more conscientious about what we make so maybe not. This got me thinking about when others realized they could characterize their styles as something uniquely theirs and that it includes my own.

Art timeline for me that is all over the place tbh

I saw a quote on Twitter by user @Taijuey who said: “I think part of developing a style is admitting to yourself that you just don’t like doing certain things.”
This got me thinking about my own artistic thumbprint. For sure it’s a combination of things as I started drawing because I really liked anime and wanted to see my own characters brought to life outside my head that evolved into being the change I want to see in the media i consume. I remember how easy it was for me to draw faces, but bodies took me for a loop. As I grew as an artist, I tried to draw more varied subjects and that’s when things started getting interesting bc I realized there were things I just didn’t like drawing and I would be avoiding them as mush as possible to focus on what I did like and that shaped how my style developed over time. I just really like faces and shoulders y’all ok!!

As an artist, have you ever had that moment when someone you’ve known for a while looks at your art compared to another artist and can clearly tell which one you did? That’s style recognition, even if it’s not where you want it to be yet. Then they said something like, “Ah yes, I can tell you made this because it’s totally your style.”? Only to have you realize…OH SNAP, I HAVE A STYLE!? Then you try and figure out what they meant by “your style” and you ask what they meant, and if you were lucky they could form their thoughts into words and you gained some insight about yourself, but if they couldn’t be precise you just scratched your head and tried to reflect on your own? I know my experience can’t be singular lol.

The first time I heard this was in high school from one of my geeky art club bodies who said, “Ah that’s so H-Queen” (at the time my nickname was H-queen, but that’s a whole other thing pft). I didn’t think too much about what he said as I felt like my work was pretty generic in comparison to theirs, but even then there were things I would do in my art that made it pretty obvious that I was the one that drew it, but it took a while for me to notice that about myself.

Did someone say color

Style isn’t just formed by how you draw, but also what you draw and the themes you use in the work you make. I’ve always been into drawing intimacy, cute moments, going against gender roles, and subverting what a main character should look like. Over the years that has turned into my focus on the diversity of women’s bodies in art, though I admit my male forms aren’t nearly as diverse I can at least understand why I developed this way. I made the deliberate choice to focus on the underrepresented ways in which women can manifest in media and bringing that to the forefront of my art as it was hard to find. I saw more diversely bodied males growing up over females in cartoons, comics, movies, and all that good pop culture stuff in between. Though times are a changing abs there’s is more body diversity rep going about, the intentional drive to do my part is engrained in what I like to draw and how I draw. I totally want to keep expanding my inclusion net though, ur my foremost goal is focusing on the change I can make with what I like to create most.

More things change the more they star the same

Other things I’ve learned about my style include my fondness for round shapes. Even if something is supposed to be seen as rigid or at a sharp angle, I always find my hand naturally adding a curve. Another thing I’ve noticed is I don’t draw a lot of bangs on my characters which is interesting considering the foreheads I draw are pretty small in comparison to the rest of the face. I also love larger-than-life hair. Like, c’mon, have y’all seen my protagonist? Totally in line with this observation and the co-protagonist has gained more volume over the years as I started to challenge myself more by drawing shorter hairstyles that weren’t just a bald head.

(back in the day Kaelen’s hair was so flat pressed. Couldn’t be standing next to my girl with hair that bodyless lol). I still tend to go for longer hairstyles over shorter ones as I find those more fun and easier to draw, I admit I don’t like drawing short hair as it’s actually pretty hard for me (don’t even get me started on facial hair).

One psychedelic trip to the future pls

Through analyzing the things I like to draw and what I don’t like to draw in comparison to my body of work there are a few things I’ve come to know about my art style as of today. It’s playful, kind of trippy, filled with organic forms, fluffy, bold, sensual, carefree, and dare I say fantastical!

Anywho what are some observations y’all have made about your own styles you can dish on mine if you’d like too? Can you describe your style if asked or are you still trying to figure it out? Do you consider your self style less? Are you interested in hearing what others have to say about your style? Feel free to add a small collage of your work (preferably one image with a few pieces of your work pasted next to each other, but if you can’t do that, posting 3 or 4 pics should do fine too) and indicate that you are interested in having your style described by anyone in the forum.

TLDR: Through thinking about artistic styles and being told I have a style after trying so hard to define my style, I was able to learn the components of what my artistic thumbprint is that makes up my style. For me, it’s the inclusion of subject matter, what I enjoy drawing vs what I don’t, and how I found ways to accentuate what I like. Tell me about where you are on your stylistic journey and if you don’t know, post some of your work and see what others have to say.

💜Lady T. 💜

Backgrounds in comics what do?

IDK about ya’ll but backgrounds have always been something I’ve admired when I see them done, but dread the thought of doing them. I used to think it was a universal dread, like knowing you will have to get over the aversion to drawing hands, but have found out that’s not really the case. Some folks really go ham on backgrounds and love it.

I knew that in making my comic I’d have to draw some backgrounds, even if they were just in establishing shots, so I tried my best to find any program or tool that would help make it easier on me for creating that which I dread. I’ve found a few neat things that have helped me with interior design like using Planner 5D for structure layouts and rooms (It’s a pretty baller program by the way for folks who could use a lil assist in room layouts, but don’t want to completely build something from scratch like in SketchUp.) and well the Sims 3…back in the day when it there were tons of mods and support for it.

I’ve found that drawing backgrounds or landscapes is something I don’t mind doing when they are stand alone (and not based off of anything to grounded in reality), but when they have a reason to exist due to characters and being interreacted with I’m like…do what now? I know it’s something I’ll get more accustomed to as I do it more, I mean Chapter 1 of my comic MagicalMashup! starts with a house exterior in the middle of the woods as the first panel (that was a journey). Anyway, I’m curious to hear how others tackle the subject.

TLDR: Backgrounds are work. How do you approach backgrounds and settings in your comics or do you just not? Any tips or tools you’d recommend? Wanna express your joy or dread over making backgrounds? I’m all eyes heh.

I’ve gotten some pretty good advice on the matter, so I’m just going to go from there and. Challenge myself to draw my characters interacting with background elements.

Nothing to it but to do it. -Lady T.

Getting My Watercolor Groove On

It’s time for another art challenge!! This time it’s World Watercolor Month! Another month long art challenge and you bet I’m participating and excited to reach that finish line. Amongst all the other things, I’m working on with the comic, and now planning a wedding amidst this pandemic, I’ve added this extra art exercise to my schedule as well.

Why? Well to be honest, I love the steady growth and experimentation that art challenges provide. I’m not as rigid when I participate in them, and they let me explore whatever pops into my mind. I’m not harping on myself about being consistent or trying to be a perfectionist. I take it for the learning experience it is and just create. In times like these, that kind of energy is exactly what I need to keep my creativity and self in a healthy state of existing. I also get a lot of filler characters done during these challenges for the comic too. I mean I’m going full in on the fantasy, so gotta bring the people and beings of the world to life too. Productivity all around!

I’ve wanted to dedicate time to improve my watercolor game for a few years now. Heck I even thought it would be a great idea to color all backgrounds or architectural references for MagicalMashup! in watercolor (and even did a few) before realizing that the amount of work would still be the same.

I still have to get over myself about backgrounds and just draw them more ( not only that, but mixing the palettes necessary for each nation would consume a ton of time bc I’d be trying to match the digital swatches by hand and just woof. I mean just making the digital coloring palettes took weeks alone :V).

In the end, I just kept back-burning dedicating the time needed to up my watercolor game. Often to focus on getting my digital art together, figuring out what do with acrylic inks, or learning how to use Alcohol Markers adequately.

Art is a never ending journey of learning, so I figure alternating between the mediums that I’m invested in while giving each one its own dedicated study time is the best way to satisfy my itch to use a variety of mediums. This way I can develop all four while giving them the attention they require to see improvement and get a better understanding of each medium. I love creating in all four mediums for different reasons, so logically I’d love to combine all four and see what happens. A lofty dream that will end in something amazing or terrible. Either way, I’m going for it… but not just yet. There is still only so many hours in a day. I’m still developing a comic after all and that comes first, so I get my physical media practice in usually on weekends with a few acceptations.

One BIG acceptation is an ART CHALLENGE!! What better way to start the practical part of the learning cycle then with an art challenge! It just so happened that when I was deciding when to start taking all my color theory and light studies into practice I heard about World Watercolor Month (the universe has spoken)! I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of this month long journey and sharing the results, but first I want to talk about my prep!

A parianahous  of the deep looks on at you looking at them
Just a quickie with the Kuretake gansai tambi set of watercolors that I haven’t use. I want to at least use them for use more quick sketches if nothing else.