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.
"Three's so little room for error."--Elwell