How I discovered my style of art and became a better artist

Bobby Robin
4 min readMar 24, 2022

“Oh my God!”, my mom exclaimed, and not in a good way. It was the kind of “Oh my God” you say when you think someone needs medical treatment. Needless to say, I was expecting a more warm and encouraging response, maybe a little proud even, when I showed her the artwork I’ve been working on an entire day. She pursed her lips and eyed my art for a moment, carefully choosing the right words to say.

A cartoon digital drawing of a zombie
My art that left her speechless

Umm…well, it’s… different. Hmm….nice choice of color honey.”, she said with a weak smile. She passed the computer to my dad, who instantly started laughing boisterously, it was like spearing my pride right in the chest. But like a soldier, I stood my ground.
It’s game art. You know, for 2d games. I’ll put it in my portfolio, so if someone likes my art, they can hire me.”, I said.
Oh sweety, you think someone is going to hire you after seeing this?”, my mom asked, looking genuinely concerned. If my dad is a Viking, then my mom is a goddamn sniper, and that was a kill shot!

Sheesh, tough crowd.”, I thought. And so I decided to take my art to the one place where there are people who would sail across the entire world and still argue that the earth is flat.
The internet.

So I started an account on Artstation, created my online portfolio, and beamed at my own accomplishment. And this is where I am today, but my obsession with making art started way earlier when I was just a kid. I used to have a sketchbook (which, of course, I made myself by chopping up paper and pinning ’em together. Yeah, I’m resourceful that way). And I used to draw everything from anime to any random stuff in the room. I remember that some days I did not feel like putting in the effort to practice my craft, but even as a little kid I’d push myself to persevere through the mental block and invest a few minutes, if only, for practice.

A digital drawing of a zombie in sweatshirt and pants

Remember — picking up a new skill can take some time. Noone becomes an artist overnight, but it has compounding effects and if you stick to it, you’ll see exponential growth over time.’
I still use reference when making art (every artist does) but I reckon I have way more fun and learn at a much steeper rate when I break away from the reference and create my own design. Drawing from my imagination was something that I always steered clear from because I was scared of messing up, but doing just that helped me become a better artist in every way. If there is only one takeaway from this entire blog — it would be to experiment with your own design. You just might surprise yourself!
I’ve tried different types of art — everything from architectural design to concept art and I’ve decided that my style of art would be character designing for 2D games. Why? Simply because it is what I enjoy doing the most.
There is no right or wrong art, good or bad art, there is just art that some people enjoy, more than others.
My head would be exploding with all of these quirky characters, and bringing them to life through my art is truly fulfilling.

Final thoughts

Contrary to popular belief, no one is born with skill instilled in their blood. Skill is manufactured behind closed doors, through countless hours of practice. Owing to how incredibly versatile the human brain is, I truly believe that anyone can learn anything. Every complex topic can be broken down into its fundamental, much simpler, constituents. Every expert was once a beginner. All you have to do is take it one step at a time.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

- Chinese Proverb