The way I feel about style is like having a kid. At the beggining you are just happy that you have one and you just wanna keep playing with it. Alot of people when they start off with their styles they don't know they have one yet. Until they start understanding the differences between artists and how they approach a paper. I used to be so stunned to see a wicked artist go through a blank page so fast, and at the end they have batman's face in 2 or 3 mins. For experienced artist that's how they are suppose to draw when you are bored. So when you see someone that amazes you, you start drawing like they do, hoping that you will feel the way they feel when they draw. The difference is, you didn't start off the way he/she started drawing. So how you have started, affects the way you are trying to copy their style. Basically you are mashing your personality to their personality. In hopes of finding yourself, but some times people love other people's work so much. That their work starts to look a like.
When I started off I wanted to know how people draw in Uncanny X-Men comics. I wanted to understand how they made those strokes and why they made those strokes. As I grew up I was lucky enough to be appart of the Internets revolution that when I was in high school, there was this thing that I called Online Artists. It was very small time but alot of kids like me knew how to code in html and love to draw. Combining the two to make a website to showcase their online comics and their artwork. Everyone started to link up and create webrings to unite each other. Within all this I saw the types of styles that people are evolving into. I started becoming a "Jim Lee Clone" for years, then saw someone that drew completely different. Joe Mad was this awsome artist that got huge when he started penciliing for Spiderman then Uncanny Xmen. I then fell in love with how he made panels so dynamic and expressive. His style was a mix of western style comic book, and an influence of Japanese Manga style. I wanted to know how that felt like to draw something that huge feeling. I thought that if I drew like that I too would feel great. I wanted to know more about him and how he approaches his work and found out that he used to be a "Jim Lee Clone" too. I felt kind of happy because I thought that maybe I'm finally doing something right.
When I went through college I learned more about style and myself. I noticed people's personality shows so much when you watch them draw. Weather they're impatient, or if they take their time to draw every bit of detail in a robot. Some people when they draw their characters a tad chubby, they're kind of chubby themselves. And that most artist know how to draw themselves no problem. I realized that for me, all i realy wanted to do was keep exploring how to make different strokes and different styles. I fell in love with styles and trying out so many different styles. Because of this I feel that I don't know who I really am. You can kind of say that I had multiple personalities when it comes to drawing. I even felt like I had to keep up with them and raise each style's "experience points". This to me isnt' exactly a bad thing, but I really should at least go back to my original style and give it my main focus.
Back to the topic, Style to me is basically your personality on paper. Everytime you draw your thought affects how you are going to make this piece, you are putting a piece of you on paper. Same as how you speak to people and how you treat people. How you treat your paper says alot about yourself. It tells your story as to who you were inspired by and with that tells you the kind of stuff you are into. One of my favourite thing to see are sketches because it's raw and un-edited. With it you can read a person's mind and how he/she approaches everything.
You possibly have you own entire approach as to what style is to you so I would love to hear it. If you would like to share them just drop me a line on the comments and Lets all talk about it.