Do You Have Style?

By Ryan W. Knope May 2003

Welcome to the second installment of’s monthly articles. This month we will start with the topic of style and its extreme importance in being recognized throughout the art world.

Have you ever found an artist that has a certain style that you love? His/Her work inspires you and commands you to look at each piece and it’s infinite detail, telling a tail that seems to merge together and grow with each piece of artwork? Most recognized artists follow a theme. Whether it is loose or strict you can see it. Look at the art of Feng Zhu (, Stephen Stahlberg (, Gouta Nanami ( and you see that they all follow something in particular that has brought them a crowd of viewers that have grown to love their work.

In my own work I follow a very broken down sci-fi theme with high modeling details. People know me for my sci-fi hi detail models/scenes more than anything else. Once you look at a few pieces of my work you can kind of tell my style and whether or not you like it.

Style is important! If you are all over the place people will not recognize your work when they see it. Everyone can make automobiles, but can you make one that breathes… one that’s different from everyone else. The world is populated by copy artists. When a copy artist produces artwork there is very little originality and the work is boring. For the most part people don’t want to see a hundred real life objects in your gallery. Creativity grabs people! Enough with my ramblings about creativity, let’s figure out how to get there!

Ways To Define A Style

Whether you are a teenager or middle-aged man there are things that you enjoy about life. Think of your favorite movie, video game, sport or any pastime. What do you like about these things? Before defining style you define something you love to look at or hear.

How does certain music make you feel? Sometimes I listen to a song and think about what type of setting I would have if the song were part of a soundtrack for a movie. Close your eyes and try it. With my artwork you could probably guess that I listen to industrial/rock music that has a dark feel to it.

Another idea is to grab up your favorite pieces of artwork produced by your “heroes” and define what you like about them, find a common ground between all the pictures that draws you in. Once you find this, you may have the base of the style that you want to develop. This doesn’t mean copy their works! This means find inspiration from a developed style and grow from that. Style isn’t developed in a day, a month, or a year. Style is developed over quite a few years.

Details are a fine addition…

One way that I define style for myself is high detail. It helps set me apart from the average Joe or Jo Anne in the same category. Make art that grabs a person time and time again. My main goal is to make art that people can notice more details every time they look, and if they look even more closely, they see much more.

A Little Twist Please…

I tend to try to add a little twist to my artwork. Some scenes of mine raise question… why is that there, or how come that is standing un-supported… and so on. When you leave the viewer wondering how something is in your scene it grabs their attention. Weird things tend to grab people and make them go for a double take… wow… what is that?

If You Already Have Style…

Even if you already feel that you have style, you can take it one step further. Do some research on artists that follow the same genre as you. Find out what sets them apart.

Developing A World…

Another idea is to develop personal artwork in sets to draw people back, kind of like episodes in a series on television. I have developed two worlds so far, although both worlds were cut short by crashes. I am developing my third world/series now. This keeps people coming back to see what is new in “your world.” In my recent ventures checking out galleries I have not seen too many people doing this, and I am surprised.

The benefits of developing a style are great. That is what makes the art world so fun, there are tons of people doing it, and a new style around every corner, so grab your corner of the art world in style.