does having a style improve chances at getting certain jobs?
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Thread: does having a style improve chances at getting certain jobs?

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    does having a style improve chances at getting certain jobs?

    Now, despite that most of the community here emphasizes classic training (myself included), and many people here are in the industry, I am curious about those who are going into an industry that doesn't always have a realistic portrayal, such as comics and animation. Take a company like DC comics or Disney for example. Everything is stylized. So does this mean that someone with next to no classical roots and who only draws in said style (for sake of argument lets say its a style that works very well for the company), does that mean that they have a better chance at getting a job than someone who's style is more rooted in life?

    Is it better (in terms of getting a job) to have a great style, and do it very well, but not be able to draw from life or do anything outside of a style, or be classically trained, be able to draw from life, but have a style that is pretty bland?

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    Well, I'd say that at least Disney wouldn't bite. After all, their animators need to emulate the style of the specific movie as well as sometimes copy the animating style of another animator (like, if two animators animate the same character). I would also be skeptic about someone having a great style but not being able to draw anything from life.
    As for Marvel/DC... I do hear that they (or at least one of them) too have a "house style" that they prefer their artists to use, which is why some artists do not like working for them.
    But some places do like the artist already having a some sort of style. Like in mine, the job description said "cartoony style encouraged".
    And I have gotten illustration jobs partly based on my style, but even then I was asked to change the style to the needs of the customer.

    I'd say it's better to be classically trained and to have a bland style because then, hey, you can always learn new styles. Because having just one style and considering it to be your "magnum opus" will be just likely to blow into your face in the long run.
    Or even more shortly "a really good artist can draw in any style".

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    I imagine it'd be best to be able to adapt. Having your own style, one that's interesting, visually pleasing, and is recognizable - can have its benefits and may land you a few jobs or clients who want to utilize that style.

    That being said, there will also be many, probably many more instances in which you'll need to emulate the styles of others, and work with your team to ensure consistent quality and feeling to all of the work. Most who get to paint nothing but their own styles and ideas are people who've already put in the years of time painting what and how everyone else wants them to.

    If I had to say one way or the other, I would say focus on being able to adapt. That isn't the same as working on everything under the sun and being mediocre at it all. Jack of all trades master of none doesn't work too well all the time. It's best, I think, to go with "Jack of all trades, but still master of some shit."

    (Little note. These aren't guarantees, or rules. They're just what I'd think is most likely, most common, based on a lot of reading and very very limited personal experience.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    Well, I'd say that at least Disney wouldn't bite. After all, their animators need to emulate the style of the specific movie as well as sometimes copy the animating style of another animator (like, if two animators animate the same character).
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    As an animation student myself, I can vouch that one of the most essential skills a professional animator must have is the ability to match what's on a model sheet in every detail, and in every pose. Animation is a team sport, and any scene will have a number of people working on it, and in feature films there can be a team just for a single character. A studio like Disney looks for and trains "all styles" artists, who are adaptable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Two Listen View Post
    I imagine it'd be best to be able to adapt. Having your own style, one that's interesting, visually pleasing, and is recognizable - can have its benefits and may land you a few jobs or clients who want to utilize that style.
    This.
    Also, you probably don't notice, but your drawings will always come out in your own individual style - style isn't always as obvious as Picasso and manga, but i'd imagine artists like that were aware of what made their work unique and eccentrified it over time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghast View Post
    Now, despite that most of the community here emphasizes classic training (myself included), and many people here are in the industry, I am curious about those who are going into an industry that doesn't always have a realistic portrayal, such as comics and animation. Take a company like DC comics or Disney for example. Everything is stylized. So does this mean that someone with next to no classical roots and who only draws in said style (for sake of argument lets say its a style that works very well for the company), does that mean that they have a better chance at getting a job than someone who's style is more rooted in life?

    Is it better (in terms of getting a job) to have a great style, and do it very well, but not be able to draw from life or do anything outside of a style, or be classically trained, be able to draw from life, but have a style that is pretty bland?
    Stop worrying about hypotheticals. Honestly, your question is so full of misconceptions it's pretty impossible to answer.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghast View Post
    Now, despite that most of the community here emphasizes classic training (myself included), and many people here are in the industry, I am curious about those who are going into an industry that doesn't always have a realistic portrayal, such as comics and animation. Take a company like DC comics or Disney for example. Everything is stylized.
    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Dang, Disney not needing classical training, that's the funniest damn thing I've read so far this year.

    DC I can almost believe, but only for Tiny Titans. Even then it's a stretch.


    Edited to add: Once reproducing something like this freehand at any angle doesn't intimidate you, then you can talk about style at Disney.

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    Last edited by Nezumi Works; March 22nd, 2011 at 08:12 PM.
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    Hi Ghast!

    To be a strong Animation artist an individual needs to have a strong understanding of draughtsmanship in addition to design, anatomy, and acting.

    You can't animate something well if you don't understand how it moves, or how it looks from multiple angles. Many designs for animation are simplified for a variety of reasons that can vary from a personal aesthetic of the people in charge to budget restraints.

    If all a person knows how to do is one particular style without any of the underlying knowledge, the work is going to fall apart fairly quickly as soon as they are asked to do something they haven't already done. (and likely would have a lot of glaring errors to begin with.)

    What do you mean by 'bland' style?

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    Illustrating is a craft and you should know everything about it.

    For some gigs you have to adapt, but you can also get some jobs having a distinctive style. I would say try to have both. If your are the best painter of dragons on the web, you will certainly be more often remembered as the one artist without a focus in his work (or you are nerverwrecking good, but to be true, most of us aren't). If you are a great handiworker you can work everywhere, because you are able to emualte other styles.

    Think of this: times change. Once there was a time when Rob Liefeld was on the top of the world with his drawing, nowadays people aren't very fond of his art. So it is always good to know your craft, then you can adapt to the changed climate and switch over to something else.

    I'd say this is an AND situation. Try to have both: style and no style.

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    When Steve Lieber was drawing "Hawkman" for DC in the nineties he and I attended the same open life-drawing studio. After one session I complained to him about a conversation I'd recently had with a third cartoonist friend wherein he extolled the merits of a cartoonist he'd just met in these terms;

    "His style is such that you can't tell if he can draw or not."

    After I ranted about talking like this "style" was actually a virtue Steve said, "I think it is a virtue."

    In response to my evident surprise and discomfiture he went on to say,"You have to make up your mind; do you want to be a cartoonist or a draughtsman?"

    This was my first inkling that the interests of cartooning and good drawing could necessarily diverge. But it makes sense, I suppose, given the deadline pressures of the former and the latter's dependence on sensitive observation.

    I seem to remember Kev Ferrara making a similar point about the disillusioning focus he found among fellow cartoonists he met on the con circuit.

    A few years ago I consulted a member of my church who ran his own commercial art business for advice on getting into commercial art. His 30+ year career went back to his art student days when he did illustration work on the side. Back then he explained you had to demonstrate a range of skills. He did paste-up, cartooning, realist portraits, exploded views of car engines.

    He insisted in the digital age that kind of range is no longer an asset, that exhibiting that kind of versatility is just to confuse interested parties who want to know if you can handle the one thing they need done. So his advice is to establish the one thing you excel at, your "style", and sell that and its uniqueness.

    I still think style should naturally emerge from the evolution and refinement of your drawing skill, not from a deliberate attempt to hide your deficiencies. But then, my livelihood isn't dependent on my art.

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    Draw what you want to draw and do it the way you want to. The last thing art is about is copying someone else's style.

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    Quote Originally Posted by t1118 View Post
    Draw what you want to draw and do it the way you want to. The last thing art is about is copying someone else's style.
    A-n-i-m-a-t-i-o-n

    Your personal style has jack to do in an assembly line.

    Some commercial illustrators must be able to emulate what the client wants. They want Frazzetta, they want kirby, they want toth, they want williamson, animators are no different.

    Besides, style is only how one interpets information and translates it on the page. What you include, and exclude from the picture you're making.

    Last edited by OmenSpirits; March 25th, 2011 at 08:15 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nezumi Works View Post
    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Dang, Disney not needing classical training, that's the funniest damn thing I've read so far this year.

    DC I can almost believe, but only for Tiny Titans. Even then it's a stretch.


    Once reproducing something like this freehand at any angle doesn't intimidate you, then you can talk about style at Disney.

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    Heh, looks like the OP touched a nerve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewHD View Post
    Heh, looks like the OP touched a nerve.
    Nez is an animation student.

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmenSpirits View Post
    Nez is an animation student.
    I figured. Well, if my goals fall through, at least I can get a job at Disney since you can pretty much just copy from anime books to get the skill you need to work there.



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    I grew up wanting to be next Joe Mad. Nowadays I am a student at a classical academy, and after 12 months of studying nature and being immersed in the works and traditions of old masters, nothing could interest or impress me less than comic book artists.
    it might sound like a rather pretentious (read: twatish) thing to say, and I won't argue with that. however, being good at drawing and being the best you can be at drawing are two very different things; as good as Joe Mad is at making pretty pictures, a simple Bouguereau pencil sketch blows anything he has ever done out off the water.
    I'd rather be a mediocre realist painter than a brilliant comic book artist, because the former requires more skill, training and hard work than the latter.

    so, to summarize: someone with classical training would most probably be bored by Disney and DC comics when there are Delaroche and Draper.

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    How can you not have a style? Is this some sort of Zen koan thing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by duztman View Post
    I'd rather be a mediocre realist painter than a brilliant comic book artist, because the former requires more skill, training and hard work than the latter.
    But remember that being a good comic artist also requires a bunch of other skills than just being a good artist

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    I'd rather be a mediocre realist painter than a brilliant comic book artist, because the former requires more skill, training and hard work than the latter.
    I think you're wrong. And since when does the amount of hard work and training decide the validity of the output? Who cares if you can render a perfectly realistic figure if the picture you're making is boring? I'd say most modern realists have a lot to learn from Joe Mad. Though they might have a few things to tell each other...

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    Quote Originally Posted by duztman View Post
    it might sound like a rather pretentious (read: twatish) thing to say, and I won't argue with that. however, being good at drawing and being the best you can be at drawing are two very different things; as good as Joe Mad is at making pretty pictures, a simple Bouguereau pencil sketch blows anything he has ever done out off the water.
    Yes, because comics aren't about being the best you can be at drawing. They're about visual storytelling. If you want to be good at drawing then draw. If you want to be good at comics then tell stories.

    You see a lot of illustrators getting into comics because they think "I can draw better than that!" And they can. The trick is that whatever level you set for yourself, you have to repeat that about 100-200 more times before you can get a book together. You get much better mileage out of animators, they understand the concept of simplification so that you can get the thing done sometime before you die of old age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tobbA View Post
    I think you're wrong. And since when does the amount of hard work and training decide the validity of the output? Who cares if you can render a perfectly realistic figure if the picture you're making is boring? I'd say most modern realists have a lot to learn from Joe Mad. Though they might have a few things to tell each other...
    it doesn't decide the validity - whatever that means - of the output, but it does translate into quality. if you ask me, a perfectly rendered figure is never boring; again, look at Bouguerau, he made a career of them.

    I still think Mad is a great penciller within his medium, and his drawings look cool, but it's a pity he didn't take it to the next level, technically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by duztman View Post
    it doesn't decide the validity - whatever that means - of the output, but it does translate into quality. if you ask me, a perfectly rendered figure is never boring; again, look at Bouguerau, he made a career of them.

    I still think Mad is a great penciller within his medium, and his drawings look cool, but it's a pity he didn't take it to the next level, technically.
    Sequential art is a REALLY difficult medium to work in, and do well, and shouldn't be belittled with the kind of comparison you're making.

    EXAMPLE: The GODS!



    Last edited by OmenSpirits; March 24th, 2011 at 08:34 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cory Hinman View Post
    In response to my evident surprise and discomfiture he went on to say,"You have to make up your mind; do you want to be a cartoonist or a draughtsman?"
    Really? Tell that to Mort Drucker, Jack Davis and some of the other cartoonists at MAD

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    [QUOTE=duztman;3073954], a simple Bouguereau pencil sketch blows anything he has ever done out off the water.QUOTE]

    Bouguereau doesn't draw any better without reference than anybody else trained at a professional level. This is a Bouguereau sketch. Bouguereau spent three weeks at ten hours a day or more on a single painting. Academic painting requres time, thats all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cory Hinman View Post
    He insisted in the digital age that kind of range is no longer an asset, that exhibiting that kind of versatility is just to confuse interested parties who want to know if you can handle the one thing they need done. So his advice is to establish the one thing you excel at, your "style", and sell that and its uniqueness.
    In the digital day and age you can have multiple personaes.

    Or in other words, some artists sell different styles under different names to not confuse potential customers.

    Quote Originally Posted by duztman View Post
    I grew up wanting to be next Joe Mad. Nowadays I am a student at a classical academy, and after 12 months of studying nature and being immersed in the works and traditions of old masters, nothing could interest or impress me less than comic book artists.
    it might sound like a rather pretentious (read: twatish) thing to say, and I won't argue with that. however, being good at drawing and being the best you can be at drawing are two very different things; as good as Joe Mad is at making pretty pictures, a simple Bouguereau pencil sketch blows anything he has ever done out off the water.
    I'd rather be a mediocre realist painter than a brilliant comic book artist, because the former requires more skill, training and hard work than the latter.

    so, to summarize: someone with classical training would most probably be bored by Disney and DC comics when there are Delaroche and Draper.
    I wouldn't dismiss comicbook artists so quick. Draw a 48 pages comicbook or better a 96 pages comicbook. You'll see that you'll have to have every illustrative muscle ready and trained to complete the task. It's not as easy as you think. If you only look at Joe Mad regarding comics you miss an awful lot. There's much more to behold, much more.

    It's okay if you have a different taste now, but art is no competition. There is no #1 artist or art in the world.

    Last edited by Sascha Thau; March 24th, 2011 at 07:29 PM.
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    [QUOTE=dpaint;3074199]
    Quote Originally Posted by duztman View Post
    , a simple Bouguereau pencil sketch blows anything he has ever done out off the water.QUOTE]

    Bouguereau doesn't draw any better without reference than anybody else trained at a professional level. This is a Bouguereau sketch. Bouguereau spent three weeks at ten hours a day or more on a single painting. Academic painting requres time, thats all.
    now, let's call a spade a spade: there is a difference between thumbnail sketches and pencil drawings. observe:

    external link (could not parse into post)


    The lack of reference is besides the point; few are capable of making such delicate studies, no matter how much time they have on hand.
    Believe it or not, but academic painting is not a question of a roomful of monkeys given an infinite amount of time to write the works of Shakespeare (or paint a Bouguereau, in this case).

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  45. #27
    Elwell's Avatar
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    Nothing like a good old artistic dick measuring contest...


    Tristan Elwell
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    JeffX99 is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Nothing like a good old artistic dick measuring contest...
    Is it ok if I use centimeters? So I have higher numbers!

    Last edited by JeffX99; March 24th, 2011 at 11:29 PM. Reason: to save face...
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  49. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Is it ok if I use centimeters?
    Wouldn't millimeters be more practical?

    (too easy)

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  51. #30
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    Just makes the numbers go "up"!

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