4 Steps to Your Own Signature Art Style

If you asked me whether or not I thought developing your own signature art style was an absolute necessity before you begin selling your art, I would say no. I might then go on to explain how I know dozens of artists who make their living selling their art that don’t have an instantly recognizable, unique drawing style. But in the end I think you would remain unconvinced. I think you would still believe that you need an individual style before you start selling your work. So rather than spend the time we have trying to convince you, I figured it would be easier to just show you how to develop a signature style, step-by-step. Honestly, it is better if you have one and it does help when it comes to selling your work, even if it isn’t an absolute necessity.

I discovered this method by trial and error. Everything I’ve ever read says that developing a personal style takes years, and I’ve never been able to find a step-by-step process on exactly how to do it. I could find plenty of posts titled “how to find your own art style” but none of them actually explained how to do it. They all suggested things like draw for years and years or find your inner passion magnet, whatever that is. I guess it’s good advice but I needed something actionable, something I could actually do that would produce the results I was looking for. In the end I had to develop it myself, but once I did, I had a step-by-step process that I’ve since used to help hundreds of artists find their own personal style that fits them and grows with them as they continue to develop. It really works and all you have to do is follow the steps.

There is nothing mystical or magical about developing your own personal art style. Style, like any other element of your artistic process, comes deliberately. It doesn’t need to take years or even months. Style is something you build, and you can build it in a week. Tops.

Let’s Get Started

The steps I’m about to give you should be followed in order and to the letter. You’ll be tempted to cheat and jump ahead or pick more things than recommended. Please don’t. If you follow the steps and put serious thought into your choices you will have the foundation for your own personal signature style with the very next drawing you do.

One more thing before we get started. Since developing a personal style is usually considered a creative endeavor, it will help if I give you my definition of creativity. Once we get the creative part out of the way you can follow the steps and achieve the results you really want.

Creativity

With that definition in the back of your mind, let’s get to it.

Step 1: Identify three artists or art styles that really resonate with you emotionally

OK, so here’s where you start. Pick three artists or art styles or art objects that you really love. They can be anything or anyone and you can mix-and-match. You can also choose three-dimensional art styles like sculpture or dolls or toys, but it’s important that at least two of your choices be two-dimensional styles or artists. For example, you could use all three choices on different artists who use different styles, or all three choices on different artistic styles or “isms” like Impressionism or Mannerism etc.

The artists you choose should not work in a distinctly similar style to each other and the styles you choose should be as different as possible. We are going for variety here.

The most important part of this step is to choose artists that you really admire and styles that you really enjoy. You really really need to love what you pick, but don’t forget you can only pick three.

Step 2: Choose one image that best represents each of your choices from step one

Step two is a hard one for a lot of people. What you need to do is choose one painting or drawing or photo that best represents your choices from step one. For example, let’s say you chose Audrey Kawasaki. You would choose your very favorite Audrey Kawasaki painting. Or let’s say you chose Anime. Choose your favorite Anime drawing of all time.

I know, I know, it’s hard! There are so many good ones to choose from! But it’s important, so no cheating, you can only pick one image for each artist or artistic style or 3D object. So take some time with this step and choose images that you really love, images you would hang in your house, images you would actually buy.

Step 3: Analyze each of the images you chose in step two

If you thought step two was hard, buckle your seat-belt. Step three is the hardest part, the part most people don’t spend enough time on. It’s also the most important part, so please take the time to do it right.

Here is how to do it right. Really study each image you chose. Have a pen and paper handy so you can write down your observations. For each image that you chose there is one major artistic element that really makes that image amazing, one something that made it stand out to you over all the rest. Find that. Analyze it. Write it down.

Ask yourself WHAT grabs your attention first. That’s the thing you’re after. Next, ask yourself WHY that particular thing grabs your attention over everything else in the drawing. Now ask yourself HOW that particular thing was used in the drawing.

There are no wrong observations. The only way to mess this up is to make too few observations.

Be as specific as possible. If you chose a figurative artist for example, you shouldn’t just write “I like the way so and so draws the figure.” That’s not enough information. You need to understand why you like the way so and so draws the figure. What exactly is it about this particular figurative artist that moves you over every other figurative artist out there? Is the figure realistic or stylized? Is it strong and powerful, or fragile and delicate? Did the artist use bold outlines or no outlines at all? Is the figure strongly lit with dramatic lights and shadows or softly lit with hardly any shadows at all?

Maybe it’s not the figure that interests you, maybe you find it’s the color that really stands out to you. What is it about the color that caught your eye? Are all the colors bright and vivid or are they dull and muted? Maybe there’s a combination of both. If there is a combination of both, are the bright vivid colors near or surrounding the main subject matter? Or are all the bright colors in the main subject matter and all the surrounding colors dull and muted? Did the artist use lots of different colors or are the colors mostly in the same color family? It’s things like this that you really want to know.

You should write at least a good-sized paragraph for each image describing the one artistic element in that image that makes it special for you. Several paragraphs is better and a full page best, but do what you can.

Right about now I’m betting your mind is throwing up all kinds of objections. Maybe you feel like you’re not a good writer. Maybe you feel like you don’t know enough about art to make good observations. Or maybe you feel like you just don’t have the words. None of those things matter. No one else is ever going to see this so it doesn’t matter if you’re a Pulitzer Prize winning writer or not. Simple is good as long as it’s carefully observed, and you don’t have to know anything about art to know what you like. It’s not important to use big impressive technical art terms. What is important is that you know why you like what you like. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. So take your time and really look at each image that you chose.

Teaching yourself to do this step well will be extremely valuable to you as an artist. You may recall that I made a comment in the blog post, Are You Ready to Start Selling Your Copic Marker Art?, that marketing your art and talking about your art are the same thing. Most artists have trouble with sales because they don’t know how to talk about their work. They don’t know how to talk about their work because they never learned to talk about art work in general. If you don’t know how to explain a thing, it’s difficult for other people to understand that thing. Nobody likes things they can’t understand.

By spending enough time on this step you will learn to analyze and talk about art which will help you develop the tools to analyze and talk about your own art. The more you talk about your own art the better it sells.

Step 4: Combine each of the individual artistic elements you identified in step three into an original drawing of your own

This is the step where my definition of creativity comes into service. In this step you combine the elements you chose so carefully in step three into an original drawing of your own. To be clear, here you are not combining the subject matter from the images you choose, you are combining the artistic elements you identified into a subject matter of your own. The subject matter for this new drawing should be the subject matter that you draw most often. It should be the subject that you love to draw most.

For example, let’s say that most of your drawings are of popular comic book characters but you haven’t yet developed a style that really sets the characters you draw apart from everybody else who draws comic book characters. Up to this point you’ve been drawing more or less in the style of your favorite comic book artist but now you’re looking to find your own style. You have decided to draw comic book hero “A”.

Now here’s where the work you did in step three comes in handy. Let’s say you learned that you love artist “X” line work, artist “Y” bold color schemes and art style “Z” for its bold use of lights and darks (think Rembrandt). So you start your drawing of hero “A” the same way you always do, with a rough sketch. You clean up the sketch and then do your line work in the style of artist “X”. When it comes time to color you use the bold color schemes of artist “Y” and the dramatic lights and darks of artist “Z”.

When you finish the drawing it will be in a unique style that no one has ever seen before. It will still be recognizable as your work because, in the example given above, the anatomy proportion and figure style is all the same as you’ve always done and so is the general conception of the character. It will also be seen as unique because the choices you made are unique to you. Even if two people choose the same artist or style, the way they adapt that particular element into their own work will be unique to them, and consequently, their drawings will be unique to them.

The really interesting thing about this approach is that it instantly sets your art apart from everyone else but still retains some familiarity with the work that everyone has seen before. It’s different yet familiar, unique but still recognizable. It’s not so different that no one will accept it (think Van Gogh) but not so familiar that they feel like they’ve seen it before. You’ll be surprised how many people will identify with the work saying it reminds them of their favorite artist but you’ll also be surprised how many people tell you how unique your style is and how much they love it.

Using this method to develop your own signature style really works.

Because you choose each element carefully and intentionally, the style that emerges will fit you as an individual and it will grow with you as you grow artistically. The more drawings you make, the more your style will refine itself and evolve. You may find a year or two down the road that your style has changed significantly. Most of us do. But because you started from a well-planned, foundational style, the changes will be natural and will look like they still belong to the same body of work.

Give it a try and see what you think. There’s no need to be an artist in search of a style any longer. I can’t wait to see what you make.

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174 Comments:

  1. This might help I haven’t tried drawing yet but I am about to do that i hope this works!

    • Hi Kitty, I think you’re gonna be pleasantly surprised. Just follow the steps and you’ll have a unique style quicker than you thought possible. The cool thing is, you can experiment with different styles by choosing different artists for this process. Can’t wait to see what you come up with 🙂

  2. Really useful article! Thank you so much!

    • You’re very welcome, thank you for the kind comment!

      • It helped me awell! I enjoy the doll like drawings, some more magical elements, and just plain shapes used in things like in adventure time, and the article helped me put the key elements together! Thanks!

        Now that I think about it, my drawings look like Bratz Girls

      • Hi Alu, super happy to hear this article helped! Thanks for sharing your drawing. You’re right, there are some elements of the Bratz dolls here, but there’s also plenty of originality. Nice work 🙂

    • Lindsay McWilliams

      I have a particular artist I love, Laura Klein Stephens (and 2 other ones but I like hers the most) but i can’t replicate it. I try but I really can’t. Any tips? BTW awesome article

      • Hi Lindsay, I’m not familiar with her work. Can you post an image or two that you like from her, please? Once I’ve seen what kind of work she does, maybe I can help you with your journey. 🙂 If you feel like it, you could include a work or two from the other artists you mention, maybe together we could walk through this process using your artists as a specific example.

  3. But I don’t have original art :<

  4. // hi~! just wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for making this article!!

    / i used this kind of technique and it’s really help me to realize what kind of art i wanted to make, and has helped me limit myself less when making art ^u^

    / and also, all those people reading, don’t be afraid to do this many times when finding new artists. finding new artists and observing their art will help you to know even more what art inspires you and how you want to make it. it’s great even to practice well known individual styles (( like from a tv show/comic : steven universe, lackadaisy, manga, etc. )) even if you don’t use them much, because the things that you like about them will in the end probably help develop your art style more~

    / also remember that art is all about trying new things, no drawing is the best because each one is different, and making something unique and different is what art is all about :3 each mistake helps you develop your art more, so never give up and just LOVE ART <3

  5. Whats the point? Is it your style anymore if its just a factory process? Dump van gogh, munch, and david lynch into a machine and see what comes out? All this does is limit and restrict what you can do. You should be influenced by other artists, hell, steal from them! but you shouldn’t use specific algorithms to get a style from said artists. Let it come naturally. This article is the easy way out. Like you said mr. Kerry, style should be “DELIBERATE”, not a mistakenly chosen set of rules that you must adhere to as some misguided recipe for success. I respect what youre trying to do, but I dont agree with it. These things cant be rushed.

    • Ian, thank you for the comment. I love a spirited discussion. By the way, Van Gogh, Munch, and David Lynch would make an awesome style. Good call! Now to your comment.. you seem to be mistaking guidelines for limitations and restrictions. The clearest path towards improvement in any endeavor is to start with a set of guidelines. In fact, more often than not, true creativity comes from taking a set of established parameters and then breaking away from them in your own unique way. I would challenge you to find any artist whos style was not derived from the artists that came before them. Further, your statements seem slightly contradictory. You state that we should let it come naturally, but then say style should be deliberate.. please show me a naturally occuring deliberate process. We can find some common ground though. I too respect what you’re trying to say, but disagree completely with what you’ve said.

      • I enjoyed following these steps but I don’t think it’s necessarily the beginning or the end of developing your own style. For me, It was a nice jump forward though. Also, I found that my own self came into my final piece more than I expected. You aren’t just combining other artists styles together and calling it your own. You are combining them with your own. It even says in the article to stick with your subject matter that you usually do. A piece of you and your individuality will end up in there whether you wanted it to or not. I found myself taking style concepts from other artists and changing them to be the way I wanted.

    • Yes, I agree. You haven’t developed your style at all. You have manufactured it. It takes years to truly develop your own style…and that’s a good thing.

  6. One of my favorite artists is one of my best friends and she sees what i draw, and she has a very unique style an it’s gonna be obvious that i some-what referenced her
    ~Btw this article was very helpful, i usually dp different styles on each of my drawings,. ~im gonna us this method!! (^~^;)ゞ
    • thxx c:

    • Hi Ashley, so happy you found this article useful! Don’t worry about referencing your friend. So long as you only choose one stylistic element from her work, what you end up with will still be uniquely yours, and I’m sure she’ll be flattered to see her influence in your work 🙂

  7. I’ve been drawing for years. I’ve been in school accademically studing art for 7 and half years to be specific, and I’ve never reached the place where what i’m drawing is also what i like. I’m not a bad artist, my work has been received well and i’m technically a somewhat proficient artist, but I personally haven’t felt very happy with my style. My artistic voice has so far just been the conglomeration of all the dofferent teachers and my natural tendencies.

    I haven’t tried this method yet, but it’s the first time anyone has given me an idea on how to develop a style I like. Most people just say look at tons of art and it will come to you. Perhaps that works for some people, but I find I like too many things and that makes it difficult to pin down how i want things to really look. Thank you for giving me a new approach, a different way to look at art and a practical way to start on my own journey to personal style discovery. I also really appreciated what uomoni said. Doing this multiple times gives you the opportunity to unlock combinations from your orinigal combinations. Perhaps Sargent and Mary Blair don’t look great combined but when adding the brain child of Arthur Rackham and Shel Silversteins illustrations you find the style that makes you happy.

    And the comments about originality, I respect the desire for it, but originalty is inevitable, unless you directly copy. That’s what 7.5 years of art school has taught me.

    Anyway thank you for a new idea!

    • Hi Curly, thank you for the amazing comment! I understand exactly where you’re coming from. When I was studying academically I had the same problems. My style at the time was simply a combination of the instructors that I admired and my own limitations with regards to my ability to apply the things I was learning. Not very satisfactory. In researching this post, I was shocked at the lack of practical advice on actually developing an artistic style. Everyone seemed to suggest that you should just wait and it would somehow magically develop on its own, but that’s not the way any of my other skill sets developed so it didn’t make sense to me that my style would develop that way either. The system outlined above is really cool because it really works. And like Uomoni points out, the opportunity for variation and refinements are endless. If you think about it, this is the way a natural style develops on its own anyway. We’re just shortening the process and guiding it with intellect. Again, thanks for the awesome comment 🙂

  8. It took me FOUR HOURS to find my style.. and I’m so in love I can’t stop drawing thank you so much!!

  9. I like pencil sketching a lot. Usually I try to figure out my own style of fonts (randomly). After reading this great post, I got some ground rules to create my own style of fonts. Now step by step unlike my previous method (randomly). I will try these steps, and one day I will show my fonts to you. Thanks a lot.

  10. I’m going to try this now I’m getting back into art after a long hiatus. I’m usually a jack of all trades and am very experimental, but I have been planning to sell for a long time and figured a signature art style could help. If not that, then at least it might help me get working again.

    Thanks for the post

    • Hi Cat, thank you for the kind comment! I too am a chameleon of sorts, in that I can draw in nearly any style. But once I finally settled on my own signature art style things really took off for me. I hope they do for you too 🙂

  11. I am a beginner at drawing…so will this work for me?

    • Hi Bree, that’s a very good question! Would it be possible for you to show me some examples of your work? I’d like to be as helpful as I can, but not sure I can answer your question without knowing where you’re starting from.

  12. these steps seem really hard and confusing my whole 4 years of art practice i followed what most artists say to do and thats find a artist and copy them with the best ability and it would teach you to draw like them but i found this method to be a big lie cuz as soon as i stopped looking at the images of the artists i couldent draw the image the same and it makes me feel like i just been stealing and not learning for 4 years and its kinda sad to me and makes me want to stop art

    • I think with the method Chris lays out you will make more progress towards finding a style of your own, because it basically forces to actually think about and understand what element you like from each artist rather than just copying and not understanding why the artist does things a certain way or what you like about their style. Seems easier to retain and put into practice if you understand what you’re doing 🙂

    • Hi Blake, I find it unfortunate that there is so little information out there on this subject and that you spent so long working only to end up feeling like you were just spinning your wheels. As you’ve learned from your experiences, just copying an artist will do very little good for you in the long run. However, the method I lay out in this post is different, in that rather than simply copying an artist you love, you’re analyzing that artist to determine what exactly it is that they do that you love. Once you understand what an artist is doing, not only are you able to copy it effectively, you are also able to deconstruct it and reconstruct it in new ways. Give this system a try. It’s really very simple, but I’m not gonna lie to ya, it takes hard work… anything worthwhile does 🙂

  13. Hi! I am writing from Sweden. This was exactly what I needed today and kickstarted my creativity! I am working on step 3 and will surely get back to you once finished. Just out of curiosity, are these guidelines developed by you alone or is there a teacher or someone else behind these steps? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Helena, I’m super happy you found this article useful, and I can’t wait to see your progress. To answer your question, the system described in this article was developed by me through years of trial and error. It is completely original and you can only find it here 🙂

  14. I liked the guidelines, figured out that i LOVE to draw eyes with emotion, though it’s hard with just pencil and paper. However, I am terrible at drawing eyes, any suggestions?

  15. Thanks so much for this article. I’ve been trying to develop my own style for a while now and this really helped!👍😝

  16. Hello!
    I stumbled across your article after I got another down phase with my art.
    I read many articles on style already… not really any good ones to really do something rather than “draw and wait”.
    Though yours really helped!
    After figuring a bit of the stuff out I tried putting together things, overly excited. (which is a surprise because I wasn’t able to draw anything decent all day)
    For once I am even pleased with the result. Sure there’s probably still a long way to go but I think for a while I finally got a push in the right direction. Thank you!
    (doodling is really fun now. Well I’ll see for how long xD)

  17. Hi! I really think this article was helpful. I’m still having a few problems with finding my style. I’m trying to focus on the artists IcarianPrince (You probably won’t know who he is, he isn’t too popular, I’ll upload a photo) I’ve been trying to focus on the head, jaw-line, cheeks, etc. (those are the things I’ve been having the most trouble with) Do you have any tips I could use?

  18. Hi, this tutorial was really helpful however I’m having some trouble actually managing to try to replicate the way the artist draws
    I am in complete love with audria auclair’s art style and I would love to incorporate it into my style however I don’t know how to draw the particular thing (e.g. I don’t the process to draw a face the same way she does)
    This also goes for the other artists I love

    I would love if you could help me with this
    Thank you

    • I had trouble doing this too! Try looking at a picture of her art and sort of matching it. After doing this a few times, try putting in the style of your other artists. If you’re still having trouble, trace the drawing a few times. That’s what I used, and it really seemed to help.

    • Hi Cloe, if I were to dissect Audra Auclair’s style in an effort to integrate it into the system described above, I would categorize her style like this:

      • Linear, dead-weight line work
      • Simple, muted color schemes
      • Relatively standard anatomical proportions with slight exaggeration towards fashion illustration
      • Often animorphic components
      • Hair often plays a big role in composition

      With this list in mind, I would work towards incorporating those elements into the other artists you’ve chosen in order to create a new and unique style. If you’re looking specifically to learn to draw figures the way that she does, I would recommend copying as many of her works as possible until you get a feel for her style. Hope this helps 🙂

  19. Could a type of doll be considered an “artist”? I absolutely love Lalaloopsy dolls (you can find them in stores in the kids section) but does that fall under an artist?

  20. This was such a helpful article! I was feeling very frustrated the other day about finding a unique “style”, and now I can’t wait apply this. Many thanks!

  21. can you see if i messed up

  22. Funny, I wanted to work on my Style, too and what you describe is EXACTLY what I wanted to do, but wasn’t sure about it. And now I’ve read this article and wow, okay, seems like I wasn’t THAT wrong with my idea…! :3

  23. Hey! I’ve been drawing for nine years and have improved a lot since I started, but I’ve never found a style I could stick with… I’m currently trying semi-realistic because it’s a style that I’ve always admired, I think it’s the perfect balance between the real world and a world of my own, but here’s the problem… I’m struggling to find a way to merge the unrealistic style with the realistic one… When I attempt to do so, the final drawing looks like an amorphous mish mash of extremely realistic features and basic cartoon-like features… Do you have any advice on how to combine them without having too much of one of the styles??

    I’m sorry if the explanation confused you, let me know if you understood what I was trying to say…

    • Hi Silver, I love the concept behind your idea. Would you mind showing me some of your work where you are combining these two styles? I’ll have a better idea of how to help you once I see the work for myself 🙂

  24. I have only been painting for three years and I got represented by a gallery very quickly. But the style that is selling isn’t where my heart is and I struggled becoming 10 different artists trying to find myself. Your article I just read 5 days had tremendously helped me. I followed your instructions and within 3 days, I feel I found my style. Am finishing the first painting now and solo exhibit scheduled in June will show a total of 30 originals. thank you!

  25. Hi, I’ve been drawing for a few years (An example of my best work is below) but recently I’ve gotten stuck. I feel like rather than improving, I’m devolving. I don’t have a consistent style, beyond “anime”. I tried what you said and it seemed to help a bit, but not enough to make any difference. Also, no one really notices my art, I barely get any comments and I feel like no one likes it.

    • Hi Mingdaii, what a beautiful drawing. Tell you what, maybe if we walk through it together that would help. If you’ll show me the three artists you picked when you followed the advice in this post we’ll go through it together and see what we can come up with 🙂

  26. Truly enjoyed this article. Before reading it, I read an earlier article by a nice lady that said finding my style can take years. Finally I found an actual “shortcut” that won’t leave me still searching for my style in a senior home decades from now. I noticed this article was more about drawing and sketching but I’m hoping these steps will also work just as well with paintings. Paint is my medium of choice. I will try these steps out in the next few days and hope to find myself artistically. Thanks again!

    • Hi Ever Lee, happy you found it useful. I wonder if you were reading the same article I was while researching this post 🙂 Just so you know, I started my artistic career as a classically trained oil painter, so I can say from experience that this absolutely will work with that medium. Would love to see what you come up with!

  27. This is really cool. Great article! I never saw the connection in the different styles and artists I like, but I do now! Thank you!
    I teach high school art and I am going to try this with my advanced artists at the end of the semester!

  28. Thank you for this really useful article! I can`t wait to try this out- I`ve been looking for advice on developing my style and this makes a lot of sense! I`ve signed up to your emails so I don`t miss anything!

  29. It is Really useful…. My three favorite Artists are Akira Toriyama, Masashi Kishimoto, and Sui Ishida ….. this drawing below is of Kaneki Ken… i drew it about a month ago what do you think…. is there any room for improvement?

    • Hi Gavin, what a great drawing. Thanks for sharing! I can see a lot of Sui Ishida in this, but whereas Ishida uses a more open color palette and lighter value range, you’ve really added some punch to this by giving it such a strong value structure. Your blending and shading are top notch and your highlights on the mask are awesome. Very nice work.

  30. Hello, Mr. Kerry,

    I just stumbled upon this website and article, and I find it to be very helpful.

    Here are the three artists I chose in order to try to make my own style:
    -Alex Ross (Marvel Comics artist) (line art)
    -Jim Lee (DC Comics artist) (color schemes)
    -Roger Robinson (Comic artist (not sure for what company) (darks and lights)

    I don’t have any work to share at the moment, but I just came up with these choices. I am think about using characters from Japanese anime to build with so I can prepare for making my original characters.

    So, what do you think of this idea?

    • Hi Michael 🙂 Good god, I love this idea! You’ve got really good taste in comic artists. The combination of Ross’s naturalistic figure style with Robinson’s noir style of graphic blacks combined with an anime theme would be something really special. I’m a little confused on Jim Lee for color. My impression was he’s mostly a penciler? Can you fill me in here? Not often I get to ask questions of you guys 🙂 Looking forward to your response, and can’t friggin wait to see what you do with this. Let me know if you need any help or have any questions. I’m really excited to see how this turns out for you.

  31. So excited to have found this article, I’ve been trying for years to find a style of my own, without much success. I can’t wait to try your method. Thank you so much.

    • I suck at this! Days spent on Pinterest and others trying to figure out what I like best, but styles I like are different from one another, for instance I like doing whimsical landscapes, but also characters (whimsical faces etc) so they can’t really both go in the same painting, too many choices I’m going nuts! Any advice?

    • You’re very welcome. Happy you found it useful. Would love to see what you come up with 🙂

  32. Thank you; you helped quite a bit but I still believe it’s Super DUPER Hard to find your own style, especially when you think your bad and everyone compliments you on it.

  33. Very helpful article. Actually, best one I read by far. Thank you so much! Will definitely plan on using this method :)0

  34. Your article hit the nail on the head. I have been looking for help like this for a long time. I am so excited to get started. Thanks SOOOOO much for taking the time.

    • Thank you, Jennifer. Super happy you liked it. When I wrote this post I was frustrated because there really isn’t a lot of actionable information out there on this subject. Makes me happy to have been able to create an article that’s actually useful 🙂

  35. Good lord I love this article. This has been so helpful. 🖤😁😁

  36. This was extremely helpful. I have struggled with developing my own style for children’s illustration. I don’t know if this is the end of finding my own style but I learned a lot about myself and what I really want for my art doing this. I chose all children’s illustrators (Ed Young, Lee White, and Aki Sogabate). I’m sharing my final piece after following the steps. Sorry for the bad photography. I do t have good lighting in my apartment.

    • Hi Annie, I’m very happy you were able to use this article to your advantage. Thank you for including a photo of your result – it’s super awesome! You did a very nice job combining the separate influences into something that is new and unique but still feels comforting and familiar.

      A point of clarification if I may. This article is not necessarily meant to represent the end point of finding your own at style, but the beginning. Now that you have developed a unique style of your own, you’ll find that you continue to make additions and alterations as you pursue it. Ultimately, the style that you “end up with” will likely have tons of various influences, so please don’t feel like you have to “stick” with this. Feel free to make changes and alterations based on this. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  37. This was super helpful, I followed all the steps and I now understand what I can do to find my style, however, I’m struggling to sketch out a ‘base’ you could say. It just doesn’t come to me that I should instantly start drawing, and I need more time to think, but I want to start drawing and I don’t require more time to actually think about what I need to draw. Is there any help or advice you could give to me, sorry if you don’t understand what point I’m making.

    • Hi Claudia. I’m not sure I understand your question, but I’m going to give it my best shot based on what I think you’re asking. If I get it wrong, please follow up with another comment.

      I think perhaps the best way to apply the principles in this article to an original composition would be to start out with a basic idea of what you want to draw. This doesn’t have to be complicated or well-planned.

      For example, let’s say you want to draw a fairy. That in and of itself is enough to get you started.

      With a simple idea in mind, I usually sit down and do what I call “scribble compositions”. These are really rough scribbly ideas designed to explore the idea of a fairy drawing. Once I have one that I like, I’ll clean it up a bit to make it more clear. At that point I would begin to apply the principles of this article to create the finished work.

      I realize that’s a complicated process and that a short answer like this really doesn’t do it justice, but hopefully this advice will get you over the hump and get you drawing 🙂

  38. I’ve waited 18 years of my life trying to get a style but it never works probably because i’m dumb i never passed high school well back to the point. I’ve copied art it never worked, i copied my sister’s work and my mum says ” you do you, have your own style don’t EVER copy anyone else work because deep inside you, you have your own style”. But i don’t believe her because i tried and tried and tried and nothing gives me help not even this. 🙁

    • Hi Sophia, thank you for the comment. You’re mom is both right and wrong. She’s right in that deep inside you you do have your own style. She’s wrong when she says not to copy, because the best way to find your own style is to begin with copying the work of artists you admire.

      You say this didn’t work for you and I’m sorry to hear that. Please post the drawings you’ve done based on this article and I’d be happy to walk through them with you step by step. This will work for you of you approach it with dedication and patience. Looking forward to helping you further 🙂

  39. Hello Christopher I am doing a project at school on drawing. I have to interview an expert i was wondering if I could interview you?

  40. Pingback: Encountering the Style - Little Cathedral Blog

  41. hey! i’ve had a hard time with style all of my life. this article seemed like a really good idea. i have a really realistic style and want to make it more simple. (work is attached below) i really would like to get into drawing characters but can’t get simplistic faces right do you have any tips about changing my style and faces?

    • Hi Lizabeth! Very nice work, thank you for sharing it with us. The first step in moving towards a new style is to find artists you admire who work in the type of style you’re wanting to develop. Based on your comment I would recommend you take a look at Alex Ross (particularly his pencil work), Terry Moore, and possibly Mark Schultz. All of these guys work in a semi-realistic style that I think you might find appealing based on the drawing you’ve provided. Hope this helps. Let me know how it goes 🙂

  42. So far, high hopes for this. I think this will help greatly. I’ll reply to this soon and share my findings

  43. Hi, many thanks for this article. I am currently trying to establish my own artistic style and have tried to follow the first steps. I have my favourite artist – comic book artist Jock, my favourite piece of artwork but I seem to be stuck on artistic style as I cannot seem to put a label on it.

    The artistic style i really like is kind of steampunk, neo noir, 80’s cyberpunk but I’m not sure how I would classify that. Would you happen to have any helpful hints to narrow it down?

    Many thanks in advance

    James

    • Hi James – can you post a couple of the images that you’re looking at please? That would help me help you 🙂

      • Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, here are a couple of images

      • Hi James, thank you for providing these images. They are super nice! You’ve got good taste. I think rather than try and “label” these images or pigeon hole them into a particular style, I’d be more inclined to analyze what the major artistic conventions are. All of these images are very cinematic, and while they’re all very different, they all have very distinct similarities. For example, each image relies heavily on large geometric constructs. The figurative elements are secondary but command attention by being placed in the foreground at a much darker value than any of the other elements. This is a technique commonly used in film, and since dark values come forward, this convention serves to create pictorial space. If I were looking to use these types of images as one of my stylistic elements, I would choose the deep pictorial space and dark foreground elements as the thing to take from these images. Does that make sense?

  44. Sorry, don’t know how to add multiple images to a single comment!

  45. Hello Mr.Kerry,
    I came across you article when looking for my own style.
    The three artists and art styles i ahem chosen are:
    Akira Toriyama,
    Clyfford Still
    and
    Imagine Dragons album artwork.

    What do you think of this idea, and what do you think could come out of it?

    • Hi, these are fascinating choices. Let’s do this – please pick one image from each of these artists and post them here. We’ll break them down together and see what we get. Sound good?

  46. I’m thinking I need to reconsider one of my 3 artists. Or maybe breaking down each artist is harder than I thought??
    The three I picked are
    1. Kohei Horikoshi
    2. Ahmed Aldoori
    3. Happy D. Artist
    I’m having the most trouble with #3, I think. The thing that always sticks out and why I find her art resonates with me so much is the general aesthetic in all her pictures– I really like how she incorporates nature in her pieces. Although it’s what I like best from her art, I’m not sure if that’s the element I should be focusing on.

    • Hi! First of, I want you to know that I appreciate you helping us out here.^^
      I came here because I have a commission to do a wall/street art. The problem is all the commissions I’ve done in the past are just clients wanting me to copy the picture they wanted. Still, my recent works are just painting on canvas and I’m pretty good at copying them from sketching to getting the right colors. I’ve been like this since I was in grade school. And now, my new client sent me samples of what she wanted for her wall art. I told her I’ll send her choices of my sketch plans. It’s been three days since and I always end up copying other artist’s similar ideas/design of what she wanted. Since it’s a wall art in a resto bar and of course a lot of people will soon see it, I’m scared of plagiarism and I’m anxious coz I haven’t done anything. So I decided now is the right time to have my own art style. I was thrilled when I read your blog. It was great doing steps 1 and 2. I have filled back-to-back a long bond paper doing step 3. But by the time I got to step 4, I had the same problem with the others here on combining the elements. See, my ideal artists have completely different art styles. Because that’s what you also instructed. Here are the pieces I chose: The Yok’s cool and fun cartoon, Khaoskai’s gorgeous male character, and Kiptoes’ awesome street art, respectively. I love Yok’s line art and overall style. Same goes with Kai’s. And Kiptoe’s awesome art ideas. I love all the three’s style of coloring. I don’t know how to start. I never went to an art school or workshops. Tutorials online are all I’ve got. Please, help me.

      • Hi Andy, let’s take a look at these. Understand that all I can do is tell you what strikes me personally about each of these images and build a hypothetical style based on that. What strikes me may be different than what strikes you, but I hope to be able to give you a decent overview of how I personally would combine these three works into a new and unique style.

        The Kiptoe image has a sense of deep pictorial space, with more or less naturalistic coloring and minimal line work. The thing that strikes me most about this particular image is the use of foreshortening to make the main character appear to be coming off the surface and towards the viewer. So for this artist I would take the illusion of deep pictorial space as my stylistic element.

        The Khaoskai image is an awesome example of anime style work with thin, dead-weight line work and a soft, muted color palette. From this artist I would take the anime style and desaturated color scheme as my stylistic elements.

        Finally, Yok’s work is bold and graphic with a heavy reliance on awesome line-weight variation and flat, bold colors. There’s a conspicuous lack of naturalistic pictorial space in this image, and all the elements seem stacked flat on top of one another. From this artist I would take the bold line work and stacked space.

        So what we end up with is an anime influenced figurative work with soft, muted colors, bold expressive line work, and a deep sense of pictorial space that is created by stacking and overlapping otherwise flat shapes and through the use of aggressive foreshortening. Stylistically that would be the result of this combination of artists based on my personal reaction to the works you’ve included.

        The other part of this of course is story or theme. The types of characters you choose to draw and the actions you have them performing within the work will all influence the overall outcome of the finished work.

    • Hi Nico, I’d really like to help you as specifically as I can here. Will you please post an image of your choosing from each of these artists? That way we can discuss this with actual examples.

  47. Hi Chris, thanks for your reply. Yes, that does make sense to me I suppose what I could take out of that, and incorporate into my own art would be to create artwork that feels very cinematic to look at. It’s always been something that had resonated with me and I now have something that I can explore. Thanks again!

  48. Okay, let me explain the reason why i’m here.
    I’m a young girl who loves art. I paint since i was six years old and i got into it, for real. But i was searching some artist and wow… my art was barely nothing, and i wasn’t practicing much either. So i started practicing more and i was getting better but things were still messed up for me and my art. I am trying to find a style so that people look to my art and say “oh, this is minzy’s style!”, and i want to be proud of my art somehow. This tutorial worked for me, and i’m still looking forward to what i can develop while practicing, i’m trying to stay positive!! Anyway, thanks for sharing this tutorial, i’m grateful that it worked somehow.

  49. i liked the article. i chose very different styles of artwork – impressionism and water color. one has small brush strokes while other is smooth paint. i have tried thinking of few things but got a little muddled. Things that stood out were – i don’t like realism, all three were unique and something anyone will notice and talk about – not something ppl will just go by without noticing. but styles are so different that i don’t know how to incorporate in one style.
    Artists i chose were – Van Gogh, Szabo Zoltan and Gerogia O’Keeffe. would you have any suggestions?

    • Hi Kashika, I’d like to help you as specifically as I can here. Will you please post one work of your choosing from each of these artists and we’ll work through this with real world examples?

  50. Hey. Thank you so much for the helpful article! I’m always told to just “combine other styles,” and that never works out. This system really seems like it’d work, though!! I’m only a preteen, and my art isn’t as great as this piece I’ve chosen by Jenna Draws. I’m having some trouble incorporating this style into my own, though…

    • Can you help me choose some details from this drawing to put into my own?

    • Hi Mackenzi – thanks for the comment. The first step in incorporating stylistic elements of an artist work into your own is to analyze your chosen artist’s work. Usually this is best done with 3 or 4 images from the same artist so that you can pick out the stylistic elements they use over and over again. This is more difficult to do from a single work, but I’ll give it a shot.

      If I were analyzing this artist’s work based on this image alone, these are the things that stand out to me: exaggerated facial proportions (particularly of note are the larger than natural eyes), colorful skin tones (if you look carefully you can see blues and purples in the areas of flesh), hard and soft edges (notice how the edge along her upper chest is blurry but the line on the back of her neck is nice and crisp). So from this image I’d incorporate large eyes, nonrepresentational skin colors, and hard and soft edges. Does that make sense?

  51. I loved reading this. It has put some hope into my artistic mind. But the artist’s I really love are completely opposites of each other. One artist, I love the line work and details she puts into her work, the second artist, I love how she uses an under painting before going into color and how she blends her colors together to kind of look like an oil painting and the third, I love her use of watercolor techniques. The first two artist work digitally and the last one is traditional. But after going through all of this, I’m still feeling kind of lost because each of them are so different to me and I’m not quite sure how to put them together to create something that’s unique to me. Please help

    • Hi Samantha – that they’re very different is a good thing. If you’d like, upload an image or two from each artist here and I’ll go over it with you. 🙂

      • Alright 😊

      • .

      • ..

      • Hi Samantha – thanks for the images. I think the three of these combined together would make for an awesome original style. The first two artists, at least in the images you’ve shown, have plain backgrounds. If it were me, I would use the thematic (animal/human) material and line work from your first artist, and the anatomical proportion and painterly style of the second artist, combined with the integration of figure and abstract background of the third artist. Hope this helps 🙂

  52. Will you help me combine these three pictures, I’m having a hard time figuring out how to put them together?!😁

    • Hi Esmeralda – the problem with combining the three images you’ve chosen is that they are, for all intents and purposes, the same style. Each one has large eyes, small chin, relatively childlike features, and each one has minimal or no color. So it’s clear to me that you like this style, but now you need to pick two other very different styles. I would recommend picking someone who uses color in a way that you really love, and perhaps choosing an artist who works exclusively in ink so we can “borrow” their line work. As it is, these images are just too similar to use by themselves for this exercise.

  53. Hi Christopher, just yesterday I got the results of the second phase to enter art school and I couldn’t pass to the third so I thought I’ll study on my own, but because I have been doing that for a year and I feel like I am not good at anything (I always do very different things, one day is digital art, other watercolor, charcoal, acrylics, realism, anime style, landscapes, etc.) I wanted to master something and I won’t be able to stick to one material, so is better if I develop a style. I found this months ago but is time to finally do it. The problem is I’m not going anywhere in the step 3 with my favorite artist Hiro. The first two are somehow a piece of cake, but I can’t think anything about my favorite one, I’m just amazed at how good he is, I like how even if it seems to be done very carefully and thinking of the smallest detail, it looks very loosely and sketchy and love that he uses watercolor; and that’s all I see, I’m having a really hard time analyzing it, I just see a contradiction.
    I would be very gratefull if you can help me with that one, though I’m already gratefull for this amazing post.

  54. Something from Sakimi-chan

  55. I tried it and I’m very pleased with the results, this image is before doing this.

    • And after doing it.

      • Hi Mocte – thanks for the awesome examples. It looks like you’ve got it worked out and the results are really beautiful! Very very nice work. If you’re still having trouble and would like me to help you with an analysis of Hiro, I’d be happy to do that. Please pick three more images from Hiro that you like and we’ll go over them together and dissect his style.

      • Thank you very much, and yes I’m still having trouble so here are the others pictures.

      • Other with just ink

      • Hi Mocte – once again, thanks for including these examples. I’m actually a very big fan of Hiro’s work. Defining his style can be a bit tricky, but let’s give it a shot.

        Hiro has a tendency towards generally more naturalistic figure proportions, especially with his female images. He still uses the traditional anime features, but their proportion to the overall structure of the head is more realistic. This general realism is nicely contrasted by his loose and expressive line work. Most often when anime leans toward realism, the line work tightens up and the use of screen tones to indicate form is often used. Essentially what Hiro is doing is breaking with tradition and combining the quintessential anime style with realism. He carries this approach into his watercolors, shying away from the slick digital look for a much more expressive, natural medium.

        Honestly I think his work is beautiful, but he’s so unique that I would hesitate using him as one of my influences. Most likely it would just turn out to be an inadequate copy of an awesome original artist. Would love to hear your thoughts 🙂

      • And this one with watercolor

      • He also does digital art.

      • Hi again, I agree with your analysis and I doubt I’m suited to use him as one of my influences, because if I couldn’t understand him that just makes it clear that my way of thinking and drawing is very different. Still, I want to try out how he uses watercolors because I’m very attracted to very loose drawings and paintings though I’m very slow and methodic. His linework is in another level so it’s out of the question. Right now I’m focusing on very strong contrast and I have already decided the facial features I’m going to use in my style (I choose how to draw the eyes, nose, and lips).
        Although I want something more natural. I’ll leave some examples.
        This is what I’m more attracted to, something similar to comic.

      • Hi again. You’ve got good taste 🙂 I think I see where you’re trying to get and I think in the end it’s going to work out nicely for you. If you don’t mind, do me a favor – I’d love to see some of your original work. Maybe if I can see what you’re doing we can work together to get you where you’re going. Please post 3 or 4 of your best drawings here. Looking forward to it.

      • And this is another way I want to draw that pops out in my mind quite often. I’m focusing on very strong contrast because is what I like the most, but sometimes I feel uncomfortable thinking that maybe I should try to draw this way.
        Anyway, thank you so much for helping me all this way.

      • I found out what is bothering me, my tastes are changing so I’ll redo this after experimenting doing the same picture in different ways to see what I really like the most.

      • Hi and thank you. Here are some examples.

      • Here I have trouble with the suit. So I don’t think I’ll do it this way again.

      • I really liked the result, though it was very difficult so I think I’ll change my coloring method.

      • The last one I did.

  56. Hi! I’m having some issues combining my chosen styles. They’re all very different, and I’ve tried them all seperately and been at least moderately successful, but putting them together isn’t going too well. The artists I picked are Pernile Orum, the people at Marvel Comics (I don’t know the name/names), and Gerard Way. They’re in that order in the picture, and the third really reminds me of Tim Burton, which I’ve also tried that style and I really like it. My current style is a lot like the first one, kinda Disney-esque, but I’d like to push it more towards the third. I guess I just need help. Thanks, if anyone responds!

    • Hi Morgan – considering the artwork you’ve chosen here and the mention of Tim Burton, here’s what I would try if it were me: I would look to Tim Burton for figure proportion and over all weirdness. I’d look to the Marvel comic artists for their use of solid line work and areas of big, bold black. I’d finish it off with the relatively flat, unblended colors of the Disney style animations. Combining these three elements from each of the artists you’ve mentioned would instantly produce a unique and recognizable style. Does that make sense?

      • Yeah, thanks! I’ve continued messing with the art the past few days and switched Marvel to Tim Burton. I used a Disney sort of facial structure, Tim Burton-ish hair, and Gerard Way’s style features (except mouth, that was kinda my own thing). I haven’t worked with bodies yet, but I’ll try your suggestion too. I always like to try new art stuff. Thanks again!

      • Hi Morgan – this looks awesome! I really think you’re on to something here. I like it a lot 🙂

    • Beautiful drawing you have, everyone. I prefer death is amazing. ;-p

  57. Hi. The article sounds very helpful. I’ve been drawing for 4 years now, and i always struggle with coming up with my own ideas of drawing. Mostly because whenever I draw, I try to make good art. There’s a tiny online audience of my drawings, and I feel like I have to keep up with that expectation, and often in a hurry to make and upload good art, i copy from my favourite artists (with credit, of course). Your ideas are super helpful, but how do I find how to draw? If i pick random subjects and they don’t turn out to be as good as I imagined them to be in my head, the disappointment leads to demotivation. How do I find what to draw, and how do I allow myself to make bad art?

  58. Dear Christopher,
    I am not sure if this site was a place for anime graphic artists to forum, whatever, I wanted to express my gratitude for your information and to say that was very helpful for amateur artists like me (I am an architect and designer not a painter) and please don’t laugh when you see my expression reflected on a piece of paper as attached herewith, just for your information as you have awaken someone’s asleep feeling inside :-)thank you again and good luck.

    • Hi Munkhzul – thank you for the very kind comment, and I never laugh at good art! While most of the comments on this particular article are from anime artists, the article itself was meant for anybody looking for their own artistic style. I’m happy you found it and I’m happy it helped. Thank you for including an example of your work – I like it very much 🙂

  59. WOW this is an INCREDIBLE article! As I was doing research for my own post on steps to finding signature style as fashion designers working with clothes, I stumbled upon your page. Now I’m totally going to try this out for my illustrations! Don’t get me wrong, I love my skill and so do my fans/shoppers, but I’ve always felt lacking when I would see my favorite illustrators artwork. They have such cool unique styles and I feel basic haha like most other high fashion illustrators. I’ll let you know how my experiment goes and post a before/after! (bookmarked your post 🙂

  60. Hello Mr. Kerry. I am in love with this article and I can’t wait to get started. I have been having a lot of trouble with my art- it’s hard to explain but I’ll give it my best shot. I have a great idea planned out and I’ve painted the picture, and I like how it turned out, but something’s missing. I’ve always had this goal to make something so amazing that it brings tears to someone’s eyes and I know that’s a long shot but I at least want something that will scream me. In other words, I lack confidence. Any advice?

  61. What if what I love the most is hyper realist nearly photo quality paintings but I am well aware I do not have any level of talent to create that and am looking more to find a cartoon style one which I know I can create because I’ve done it before. Should I just look at my favorite cartoon artists of all time and ignore my favorite hyper realistic artists? I’m talking like my favorite artist ever is Sorayama but there’s no way I’m that good.

    • Hi Billie – I don’t know that I’d recommend giving up on a hyper realistic approach just because you feel like your skill set doesn’t match your aspirations. Rather, I’d recommend working studiously to improve your work with regard to its realistic qualities. Having said that, hyper realism is a style in and of itself, and it’s difficult to simply pull elements from such a well defined genre. Sorayama, for example, would be extremely difficult to pull anything useful from simply because his style is so uniquely his. However, it may be interesting to combine a more stylized “cartoony” figure with the hyper realistic accouterments that Sorayama often utilizes.

  62. The three artist I chose were Ursula decay , fukari and Valerie garnace but I don’t know what elements to choose from out of each artists style
    I don’t know what to do

  63. I really enjoy this article, i have been searching for a style now for five years, but have been so discouraged. For the most part all the paintings i have done i have not been satisfied with. The people who most inspire me are Mark Ryden, Dilka Bear, Nicoletta ceccoli and Emily Winfield Martin. Here are some of the illustrations i have been working on i still feel though something is missing.

  64. And here is another image on another illistration of mine.

  65. And here is the last one. I really would appreciate your feed back and your suggestions.

    • Hi Rosanna. Thank you for including the examples of your work. They’re very nice 🙂 Regarding the four artists you mentioned – from the standpoint of this article, each of these artists work in a style that is too similar to each other for them to be viable choices. If it were me, I would pick my very most favorite artist from this group as my starting point, and then I’d think way outside the box. For example, combining Mark Ryden’s proportions and oddness with Modigliani’s use of line and color, and Caravaggio’s use of dramatic light and shade. The combination of those three artists would put a unique spin on this type of work and be something familiar but unlike anything else, anyone else, is doing.

      • Hello, thank you for replying and your feedback. I agree with what you said in regards to the artist that i have chosen, they are very similar. I have been thinking long and hard on this, but i think the artist that catches my attention most, is emily winfield martin.
        I absolutely love the soft colors and i just love the quirky magic she catches with each of her painting the last thing i enjoy about her work is how effortless her work translates from children books, to stationary to even doll.

        My hope is to one day to become an illustrator/comic book artist but i feel( in my opinion only) that the characters i create won’t translate to anything other then paintings and if im very honest with myself, i highly doubt they will see the light of a gallery much less an art show.

        Other then these artist i have listed, i have also a strong love for alphonse mucha as well for virginia sterrett anything during the art noveau period is gorgeous to me. I have a lot of favorites that is for sure.

        By the way thank you very much for introducing modigliani’s work its lovely. I used to paint girls with elongated necks. And the paintings of his subjects with completly blakened out eyes are so creepy and striking i a wonderful way.

  66. Hi Chris, I wanted your opinion on my fairy drawing? I really love art and sometimes I’m happy with the way some of my drawings turn out. Just not all of the time. My problem is I worry too much.

  67. Hello! I’d just like to thank you for writing the article. It really gave me motivation to start doing art again. I chose these three artists: Mookie (top left), aniyoongi (top right) and salmonella_fish (bottom left). Also attached is a picture of my notes, which I took seriously and tried to write as much as I could. 🙂 I think I’ll also send you a picture of my style when I’m finished. I have yet to get there tho. But really really thank you. You’ve helped a lot already.

  68. Hi, what a great tactic for finding an art style. Thank you for sharing this I think it will really help. I really like the artists Naoshi Arakawa, Sui Ishida, and whoever the artist is of Yuri On Ice or Death Note. Could you possibly help with finding an art style that will fit me?

  69. Pingback: Architecture Illustrations (and how to find your own style in art) | I Am That Small Girl

  70. Hello, I love anime, I put my drawing in the anime stuff. Hope you love it. Meow!

  71. Pingback: Finding My Artistic Style – Dusty Palette

  72. thanks, this is an extremely useful article! you really condensed something daunting into something actionable!

  73. I wouldn’t say I am an artist but I do draw an insane amount but I cant imagine it. Any thing I draw is from someone else. I can draw great when I look at something but not when I’m on my own, what do I do if I wanna be better?

  74. This was very helpful! I used to have a original style but people said it looks to much like lavaneder Townes so I used this to tweak it a bit! Kinda sad to let the old style go since a lot of my friends were rlly proud of it, o well

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