Monthly Archives: December 2012

Does a Professional Illustrator Need a “Style”?


Something to think about over the Holidays.

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately. I don’t feel like I have a “style” at this time,  yet customers say they come to me for my “style.”  Do they come to me for my lack of strong visual style? Do I have a style and not know it? Is my “style” not a technique, but a way of looking at the world.

When I start a project I usually read the book and listen to the author and plan my illustrations around their vision, not mine. Of course, I also add some of my vision to give their ideas uniqueness and vitality.  I don’t make their ideas fit into my fixed vision and style. Is this wrong?

I am working on all these issues in my head. I am not asking for personal advice on my work, just a general discussion on having a “style.” Is it necessary to have a “style”? What about the author’s (client’s) vision?   Is it important to have a “style” when pursuing  a career as a professional illustrator?

I found this blog by Nate Williams and  the discussion interesting.

Please add comments below to make this a real discussion for SCBWI so we can help each other with this issue.

Dayne Sislen: