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Friday, October 9, 2009

STYLE GUIDE: find your own illustration style.

I think it's important to maintain a certain style to your illustration no matter what the trends are out there. It took me more than 10 years to finally find (and accept) my signature style and I am still facing the challenge of truly putting it to the fullest. Here are my thoughts on finding your own style in your illustrations.

Know your strengths and take them higher than your expectations. Super realistic figure drawings? An eye for details? Textured experiments? Focus and get to work.

Speak up! Having a big idea behind your illustration makes better storyteller in you. And when you have a story to tell or a thought to share, you get to imagine how you would share it. Your tone makes it uniquely your own.

Surprise! If you surprise yourself with your process, that's a good start. If you're satisfied with the end result, make room for more surprises next time.

Don't get too inspired. Inspiration becomes deadly when it grows with you that you start to imitate (maybe unconciously) exactly that which got you inspired.

Review review review. Review your work over and over and see if it doesn't "look like somebody's".

Stick to YOUR style. But let them grow in maturity - not in numbers or popularity.


  1. you know my stand is on "style", we both have different views on that. but im so glad you found the strength and courage already. im happy to have pushed that side of you ;)

    ayawg undangi dimpola! :)

  2. yup and i respect your views on "style";)

    you know i am forever thankful for you tingbats - for unleashing that illustrator side in me and to tell me not to care even if the public would have judged it as "batia!" Haha! salamat :) there's no way to stop now :P

    *Just want to clarify that these tip-thoughts are only for your illustrations that doesn't involve any creative brief, or illustrations that need to solve a communication problem. Because then, you might want to shift from one style to another just so you can deliver a message to an audience. *wink!

  3. your forever welcome, dimpola :P chaaaar!

    *ni clarify kaha =))

  4. As an 'outsider' (observer + enthusiast + supporter), I agree with you that it is important to maintain a certain style - a certain unity or unifying element in your art. It's one thing to be a good illustrator and be kick-ass in theory & skill but it's another to have a style that is all your own in this vast playground of art + illustration. It's the same as playing music. You could be the best guitar player in town but with no special licks & melodies of your own, you'd just be another guy who loves his guitar. I digress.

    You've always had that element of surprise in your work Godiva. Even if you were treading a diff style & approach before, I'd always see what I call the 'Godiva stamp' in your work - your seal of individuality. I thought it was the blue & green hues or the little lines to unpredictability. It was always a sweet guessing game.

    Admittedly, our BITE collaboration was the most pleasant surprise because you had considered it almost a 'departure' from your old style. I remember how I was WOWed by it and my impressions were: It was complicated but simple. It was linear but so full even with the vast space in that small canvass. It was you.

    With that said, I guess your art will always have soul. That's the most outstanding style of all. Even if I didn't know you, I'd know that your illustrations will always have your passion + soul imprinted on it even if you were no yet fully secure of your skill then, or that you were still treading a half-way consciousness to what your art 'should be.'

    Before this turns into a novel, I have to say I really like your new color palette, linear references to sea creatures and other new elements popping in your art. I snicker to myself with these fresh additions to your art family that I never thought of your new style a 'departure' but more of 'coming home.'

    Don't cease to inspire but not to the point of being deadly :)

  5. haha sorry! my comment is longer than your blog entry. you left YM so I wrote and wrote haha xxx

  6. OHmygoodness! taasa lagi! o_0 lots of love! hahha!

    i'm beginning to think you know my hand better than i do :P but thank you, thank you. For trusting and liking my artworks - for being empathetic to the thinnest lines and colourscapes i've created and for (truthfully) saying they have soul. you make me blush and work/play harder ;)



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