You've been animating a certain way for a while, and now you're ready to make some changes. You want to improve your technique, but don't know how. Changing your animation art style is something that every animator faces down the line. But how to change your art style as an animator can be a lengthy process before you get to do it.
In this post, we'll show you how to take the first steps toward changing your art style as an animator and the next thing you know, your animation style will evolve and better represent your brand and identity as an animator!
Step 1: Look at your Old Animations
GIF by South Park via GIPHY
The first step to changing your art style is looking at the old animations you've made. You should:
- Compare the animation work that you want to change with your new animations. Look for any similarities or differences in both styles, but also try to see if there are things that could be added or removed from either side of the equation.
- If there's anything from your old style that you want to keep, write it down! It might be a specific line drawing technique or an approach towards color usage--whatever it is, make sure it doesn't get lost when transitioning into something new (and better).
Your old animations will always be a point of reference and what you should use to determine what exactly you want to change. This brings us to our next step, being:
Step 2: Find the Things You Like and Dislike
Read our blog on How to Find Your Own Animation Art Style!
Now that you have an idea of what you want to change, it's time to figure out what exactly needs to be changed. To do this, make a list of things that you like and dislike about your current work. You can also look at other people's work and see what they did that was cool or interesting--and whether there are any particular techniques or styles that stand out as being particularly good or bad in their work.
Here's a case example from an animator who tried changing their art style:
"I noticed when looking back over my old animations that I tend not to use enough contrast between different colors in my drawings; this makes them appear flat and boring because there aren't any highlights or shadows on the characters' faces/bodies/hair etc (this is called "key lighting").
This makes everything seem less vivid than it could be! So now I'm going through all my old drawings with a highlighter pen so I can find places where there should be more key lighting (i.e., where two colors meet)."
Step 3: Make a List of Things You Want Try or Change
GIF by Fleischer Studios via GIPHY
The next step is to make a list of what you want to do in order to effect change. This can be anything from general things like "I want my animation to look more fluid" or specific details such as "I need to work on my feet placement". Don't be afraid of being honest with yourself about your weaknesses as an animator, because that's what this exercise for animation is all about!
The reason why we're not worrying about what other people think of our art style is because if we do that then it will just lead us down the road of comparing ourselves with others (a dangerous path indeed if done incorrectly).
Step 4: Be Conscious on How to Change Your Art Style as an Animator
GIF by Cyberpunk: Edgerunners via GIPHY
As you continue animating, be aware of your progress. Don't be afraid to make mistakes and try again! Don't compare yourself to other animators too much and don't let them hold you back from experimenting with new styles that might not work out at first but could lead to something great later on.
When you're starting out, it can be difficult to stay motivated. Try setting a goal for yourself that's just outside your reach so that you can always strive for it. This may be something like finishing an animation in two weeks or getting 100 views on one of your videos!
Step 5: Don't Be Afraid to Experiment with Animation Art Styles
GIF by Puss In Boots via GIPHY
Now that you've decided on a new animation style, it's time to start experimenting with it! Don't be afraid to try something new and see what works for you.
You can use this as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as an artist and what types of things make you happy. For example, if you decide that your new style is going to be cartoony, then maybe there are certain elements of traditional animation that still interest you--like the way characters walk or talk--and these could become part of your new style too.
Experimenting will help keep things fresh and fun while making sure that everything stays within your comfort zone at the same time!
How to Change Your Art Style as an Animator Takes Time!
GIF by Pudgy Penguins via GIPHY
Changing your art style is a process, and it takes time. The first step to changing your art style is to be patient with yourself!
- Be consistent with your practice. Set aside some time each day or week where you can work on improving your animation skills and developing new techniques in the style that you want to change toward.
- Don't forget to ask for feedback from others who are more experienced than you (and even those who aren't). They may have some great advice on how they would approach this problem differently or offer suggestions on how they think it could be solved better.
- Don't give up if someone doesn't like something about the way that you've done something--they may not know what kind of effect their criticism will have on someone else's creativity! Remember that everyone has different opinions; don't take them too personally when people disagree with what direction they think would be best suited toward achieving success within any given project goal(s).
GIF by Creative Courage via GIPHY
So, there you have it! Five steps on how to change your art style as an animator. Remember that it's okay if your style doesn't change overnight. It takes time and effort to cultivate a new look, but keep at it! And remember: the more you practice, the better you'll get at knowing what works best for you.
For more information about changing your animation art style, as well as answers to any other questions you might have, be sure to follow our blogs, check out our free masterclass, and our Animation Business Accelerator Program, download a copy of our free marketing handbook, and check out our blog on “How to Start an Animation Studio”!