Read part 1 HERE.
Welcome to part 2 of my new design series! As promised last week, today’s subject is about how to find your own unique style. One that is different from everyone else’s.
I don’t know about you, but one of my greatest struggles was finding my own unique amigurumi style apart from everyone else’s. After all, no one likes a copycat, right?
Before we begin, let me just say this:
The truth is, we ALL have our own unique style whether we know it or not.
It’s true! Have you ever observed that if you give the same crochet pattern to five different people, they will all come up with slightly different results? This has become even more evident to me in the past year since I started selling my crochet patterns. Nobody can get pattern perfect results except for the designer. And when I say “pattern perfect” I don’t mean that no one can get their ami to look as cute as the pattern suggests. On the contrary! As I mentioned last week, some people have a special gift for making their amigurumi turn out way cuter than the pattern calls for. I just mean that no one’s amigurumi is going to look exactly like the one in the pattern. And that’s okay. That’s just your own unique style coming out!
Pretty cool, huh?
“Okay,” you say, “that’s all fine and dandy, but I still want to know how to design my own unique amis.”
Fair enough! I just wanted to share that very cool fact with you!
It all takes time
While I was discovering my style, I would look at other people’s amis and think, “Wow, they all have such a unique style, even if the designer wasn’t specified I would still be able to tell it was their design.”
And then there are some designers who add something to all their designs that single them out from all others, making their work instantly recognizable.
I wanted that so bad, but I didn’t know how to go about doing it. I wanted my work to be instantly recognizable too and have people think, “I’ll bet Storyland Amis designed that!”
I struggled with this desire, going back and forth with my design style. Changing this, changing that.
It was discouraging.
But what I didn’t realize was that while I was changing things and getting discouraged, I was actually discovering my very own style!
I didn’t know it, but people were already beginning to recognize my work when they saw it. They could see ME in it. What do I mean by that?
About a year ago I designed a custom order chameleon that wasn’t at all like anything else I had designed in the past. I posted it on Instagram and someone left a comment saying, “I love him! He’s different than a lot of your other designs but still has your style. I love all of your creations.”
Hmm. . . and it made me think, “Hey, there’s more to this designing thing than head shaping and arm length!”
Truly there is and I don’t even know how to best describe it. If each animal is so different in their own respect, then how can it still be obvious that they were made by the same person? It’s almost as if you’re putting a bit of your very own personality into each ami you make. And that goes for whether you’re using your own or someone else’s pattern. I really don’t know any better way to explain it.
My insecurities didn’t quite end with that one comment, but it did make me think.
Let’s get practical
Practically, though, how do I design my amis? How do I figure out what body, head, arms, legs, etc. to use?
When I first started designing I felt like the only way my animals would be unique from everyone else’s, while at the same time instantly recognizable, would be to find one basic design and then just change certain things about it to make new animals.
One basic head design, one basic body design, etc. Just change the ears and muzzle when necessary, and voila!
What’s wrong with this method, you say? Actually, nothing’s wrong with it. If that’s what you want to do, then that’s perfectly alright! It looks like you just found your style!
But I wasn’t happy with that. The problem with me is that I felt like I had to design that way. How else could my designs be branded as my style?
Well, I finally learned something and now I don’t worry about how similar or dissimilar each design is from each other. Now I do what works best for each animal. Instead of forcing a certain style on each design, I let the design create its own style. I can’t tell you how freeing this has been for me!
Instead of telling myself that because the elephant and the bear have round heads or short arms the giraffe and frog have to have round heads and short arms, I imagine what would look best for each design, regardless of what my other animals have looked like in the past.
I’m so excited to share this with you all because if you’ve struggled with feeling inferior with your own style like me, this was such an eye-opener!
Of course, if you want all your animals to have the same head shape and the same arm and leg design, then by all means, go right ahead and do that! That’s just one more way you can express your own unique style. Just do what’s best for each design.
Design how you want to design, not how you think everyone else wants you to design.
Practice makes perfect and sometimes it just takes time to find your style. Remember when I said that while I was changing this and that with my designs I was actually discovering my own style? That’s true for you too! It takes time to perfect anything.
Don’t think it’s not normal to be ripping the same body part out over and over. That is part of being a designer. You will get discouraged and it will be hard, but in the end, it’s worth it!
Don’t worry, I’m going to be sharing practical tips on designing in future posts. Just think about what I’ve said and remember to stay true to your own style and do what you feel is best for each design.
Also remember that even if you can’t see your style, other people likely do. Sometimes we’re too used to ourselves.
There is so much I could say about this subject! What do you think about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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The post “ Part 2 How to Design Your Own Amigurumi – Finding the You in Your Style” first appeared on Storyland Amis