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Problems with Different Styles

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My biggest struggle I've always had with illustration has been style. I'm just so in love and inspired by a wide variety of styles that I've never been able to choice just one to focus on. I feel like this struggle is really holding me back.  I am seeing some improvements with narrowing down my style to be more cohesive. My style for picture books is almost all the same.  I would say it's 1-2 styles.  I heard this is fine as long as you have multiples in each style to show that you can pull each one off. 

But I also really want to develop a portfolio to do middle school and possibly young adult books as well. Some illustrators like Jon Klassen or Dan Santant have been able to just pull their picture book style over to older age groups as well. I don't know if that would work in my case and I was also thinking that maybe I could just go with a completely different style to help me still enjoy variety.  My picture book style is cartoony, I would say similar to Benji Davies. Maybe for the older age groups I can do a more realistic digital painting.  I sort of just feel lost with choices right now.  I think now is really the time for me to decide though since I haven't really gotten my work published and out there (besides a couple self-published books a number of years ago).

I was wondering if anyone else out there has had the same struggles as me or has any advice on portfolio styles.  Oh one more question. I love the kid lit world, but I also get work illustrating movie posters. The films tend to be horror or just more intense in theme.  I really do love this work as well. But is this hurting me to have adult illustrations on the same website and facebook page as my kid lit illustrations? Should I have separate social media accounts for both work, they are for a completely different audience and I don't want to turn off any potential client by having such different stuff and confusing them. 

Oh also my movie poster work tends to be a bit more line based and graphic.  So it's also a completely different style.  Is this just way too many styles.  I have a hard time getting myself to stop one.
#1 - February 09, 2017, 12:19 PM

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