I recently did a poll on one of my fandom social media apps, Amino, asking what people would do when they notice an error on a piece of art. From this post, a lot of comments brought up the point about how the “error” could just be an “Art Style”. It brought me back to a discussion I just had with my friends prior to making this poll.
“When does a style become a lazy way to avoid anatomy?”
Saying that the artist “doesn’t have to worry about anatomy, because it’s their style” makes it feel more like an excuse rather than a well thought out, artistic choice. At this point, the “style” merely is a shield used by amateur artists whom do not yet know how “criticism” isn’t an attack. Making art can make an artist highly attached to their work, however, something they all must remember is “not to marry your work”. In the end, your work does not solely define you and when someone makes a critic on the work, they are not criticizing the artist themselves. The critic is only towards the work that is presented.
I read a journal post by a deviant artist, Tristaeza, On deviantart, users can choose an option which actively asks other artists for critics. Tristaeza gave their critics to artists whom asked for and was often given the response of “It’s my art style”. They then explained the difference between a “style” and “stylization”;
“Style: An artist’s way of drawing that makes him or her stand out from another artist.
Stylization: Purposely stretching or twisting actual anatomy and adding unusual patterns (such as curls in fur or tree bark) in the drawing to make it look unrealistic/cartoony.”
Anatomy became something that many newer artists have not considered an important part of doing art. When Tristaeza tried to critic people of basic anatomy errors they were quickly told that it was merely how they styled it.
Drawing things out of anatomy is definitely not completely bad, however, a basic understanding of anatomy should be known before exaggerating/challenging them. Knowing why you actually draw things the way you do will definitely help elevate your work.
Anime styles have large eyes and well defined eyebrows, this is to express emotions more easily and effectively within their tight production schedule. This is how the style evolved to what it is today.
Style should never be an excuse to “not draw, or know to draw anatomy”. Style should be a way to elevate one’s own expression of their work.