Why Style-Diversity Has Become A Necessity

When I started out drawing and painting things were different. When posting to art communities back in 2002 you either did Photomanipulation or fantasy art. Never both. I believe this is still rooted in the fine art community - that an artist has to have a certain style.

This style is what?
New style developed in early 2016

An indicator of expertise? Let me tell you what it is;

Specializing in one style only is a guarantee for a return on investment by art dealer and art collectors.

If you do illustration for a living, this mantra has no meaning because what you do is applied art, not fine art. You might  still have a chance to get into a gallery or even a museum in a lifetime. Look at Gottfried Helnwein for example, he has done that and still maintains at least 3-4 styles in artistic expression.

And what many people fail to realize is that it is still possible to reduce styles by then, not before you dive into that market. Because if you do that right at the beginning you limit yourself a lot.

Another reason why style diversity is necessary is because of our technological age. We live in times where internet is mobile and looking up a name is just a fingertip away.

Part of the Ancient Kaiju project

The internet is a bliss for those with a bad long-time-memory but when it comes to artist names, how many of those can you name whose work you found on websites or facebook? I bet not more than 10 initially, which is totally normal and this number will decrease in years to come.

Skull:z and Idols Project

What stays is distinctiveness. 

The artist who does Skull portraits of superheroes, Landscapes with Kaiju´s in it and book cover with weird old people, that might stick for a while. Simply because there is no one else who does such a combination.

Weird old people cover illustration

Very often it is a combination of things so unrelated that it will stick. Think about that and see where you can apply this to your portfolio.

Brom style experiment

Another point that many fail to see is the endless possibility. With the overwhelming showcase on every corner of the internet you think everything is done before. Well, that might be the case, but combinations are endless.

I find it interesting at times to see people who really believe in ending capabilities. This is the worst mindset you can grow onto.  I´m sure you have been there before. But in reality nothing ever ends. A combination of 3 things is so specific, the possibility of someone else picking up the same topics as me is low. And even if he or she does, the outcome would be different enough.

There are many reasons why experimenting with new styles and techniques is beneficial. Business always wants you to repeat success (as Milton Glaser puts it) but the artist in you needs experimentation to grow as an artist. And the digital art is a great playground for exactly that.

How are your experiences with this topic?
Let me know in a comment, thanks.
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Oliver aka Fantasio is a creative blogger who likes to share his insights about art, marketing and social media. Follow Fantasio on twitter or facebook

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