Dear Art Director...

Q

Dear AD, another AD recently who told me she could tell my artwork was influenced by anime, and that might make it harder for me to get a job due to the bias against it in the industry (like they won't even look at the designs due to the style). I'm working on changing it, but noticed that some artists I follow also have anime-influenced artwork, but also have jobs in the industry. I feel a bit lost - should I completely change my style to 'fit in' more?

A

It depends on what you want to work on and how you impliment your style.  “Anime” is a very large category of styles.  Do the companies you want to work for have anything in their catalog that fits with the way you currently utilize manga/anime styles and tropes?   If not, I’m betting that’s what the AD was trying to communicate to you.  What jobs do your anime-influenced friends have in the industry?  Are they on anime-influenced projects, or do they use a different style entirely?

Did the AD straight up TELL you to change your style and abandon this one, or did they encourage you to look at your dream clients and develop techniques to target those companies?

Changing your style and developing your style are two different things;  although maintaining the shortcuts and crutches we’ve had for a while is really tempting, if that gets in the way of what you want to do, don’t shy away from deepening and experimenting!  You don’t have to throw away what you do now, just…expand on it!

-Agent Critique