How to develop your own drawing style? |TIP133


“To get inspired, admire.”

(You will find a fun assignment-of-the-day at the end of the article)

Q/ “How do you develop your own drawing style ?”

By being inspired by other people. I admire them. Who ?

  • My classmate who got higher skills with whom we shared sketching and design points.
  • Comic, Manga, Concept art, animation artist
  • Painters, sculptors…
  • The fashion school I used to join in Los Angeles during summer – we learned about the 9 heads fashion croquis (Fashion Finishing School, from Nancy Riegelman)
  • Live drawing, How to draw a silhouette with a minimum of lines
  • Thanks M. Laurent Okroglic, my drawing teacher who bring us every Thursday afternoon to learn how to draw outside of the school – We sat and draw for 4 hours every week in various places such as museum, expo, bridges, architectures…
  • Then I mix all these techniques !

Tamara Craiu - Art students
Art students drawing outside
– Photo from Tamara Craiu

Inspiration is everywhere, and I believe you start being influenced by them when for a reason or an other, you admire them. People who tend to think that other people go skills because they are just lucky or innate talent may may slow down their progression.

The world is full of amazing artist whom carry their own style. If you also look for having an unique style, do not focus only on your own creation. It’s actually smarter and more fulfilling to “steal from others”. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Feel free to pick a bit from one artist, and pick up more from an other. And so on. Your taste and sensitivity will keep evolving and fine tune along the journey.

“If you want to be unique,
do not reinvent the wheel.
Steal from others.”

Many of my sources of inspiration are far away from Product design. Fashion, Manga, comics, concept art, urban sketching, everything is linked. Basically, the drawing fundamentals are the same. I keep seeing things in transparency, start a sketch with simple shapes then add the details… Explore the artists you like – and import them in your own style. Keep practicing and your sketching skills will gain in maturity.

Students sharing
Students sharing some points at a museum

If you are impressed by people who sketch better than you. Don’t feel discouraged (or maybe jealous). There is ALWAYS someone better than oneself. They may be your classmates. Admire them, and feel gratitude to have them around to inspire you or even teach you. You see them everyday, it cost nothing to approach them right ?

You can browse thousands of artist online, libraries, museums, basically from anywhere. If there is someone you like, save their pictures and store them in your inspiration folder of artist.
Digital format are definitely cool but you may consider getting their paper books.

My friend Adrien Wira*, designer at Adidas is passionate of Concept art – he told me he’s building a shelve full of artist and designer’s books. That naturally put him in the mood of creation whenever he goes back home. His passion is part of his daily life – even years after being graduated – his work keep improving and impress more and more.
* See here a Collaboration with Adrien x Chou-Tac for a mech.

Let’s have a look at a few artist that are NOT product designers who influence me.

CELIA CALLECelia Calle - line expression[2]
Celia Calle is an illustrator who draw her characters with a sense of elegance and randomness.

Celia Calle website[2]
It’s only made of few strokes and the feel of movement is so dynamic. Can you feel it ? It’s not made to be clean and perfect, yet we can feel a beautiful tension.
Her sense of motion influence me a lot in my ID sketching.

Marvel series Celia Calle[3] MARVEL comic cover made by her: MEGANIX
Her style is so unique that I recognised her style in a book shop.
Note: the artist who draw a comic cover is rarely the artist who draw the comic inside.

I like sketches that keep original strokes. We can “feel the soul and tension “of the artist. That’s what Falcoon love to express his art as well.

Falcoon - Ken[3]

Street Fighter II is my favourite game all along from my childhood till now. This is how I discovered the art of Falcoon. He created artworks for SNK and Capcom. He’s well known for exaggerating the size of the muscles, especially for the hands and feet – to give more depth to the characters. According to him, he draws without using reference picture – using only his strong visual memory. (Memory that I believe he trained by practicing for long hours at sketching anywhere, anything)

Revenge of the SixthFeng Zhu - Revenge of the Sith[2] Feng Zhy Revenge of the Sith[3]

Feng Zhu is a concept artist who worked for video games and movie industry, such as Star Wars. I highly recommend you guys to have a look at the art book: The art of Star wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

I believe that getting inspired by people we admire make the learning journey more fun ! Like a kid drawing his favourite heroes. If you can activate your imagination, you will associate learning fundamentals with pleasure.

Assignment of the day

  1. List your favourite artist and designers that inspire you.
  2. Find their pictures on Internet or books.
  3. Feel free to store a digital copy in your [Inspiration folder].
  4. Pin on the wall the pictures that are the most meaningful to you. Somewhere you can’t avoid !
    Not necessary in front of your desk.
  5. Every few weeks, pin them elsewhere. Why ? Because the brain get easily use to the environment and will end ignoring them. You may also update your pictures. Up to you !
  6. Enjoy !

Share with us in the comments who are your top artist and designers of reference. 🙂

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About The Author


If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my career, I believe that they can also help you to learn, and help you with your projects. Whether Design is a job or a hobby it doesn’t matter, so long as you do what is important to you.


  • Dee Tracy

    Reply Reply July 21, 2016

    I love Andrea Joseph’s work!

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply July 21, 2016

      Just had a look, that’s cool!

      Thanks for sharing your inspiration Dee. 🙂

  • Tman

    Reply Reply January 27, 2016

    Great one I will give it a try. Thanks

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply January 27, 2016

      Yeah be inspired from whatever you like ! 🙂

  • Tman

    Reply Reply January 27, 2016

    great one i will give it a try. thamks

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