Conformity in art is a huge deal. Being able to replicate realism in a moment’s notice is what makes artists valuable in most—if not all—creative industries. Expertise in anatomy and proportion of all kinds can make or break an artist’s portfolio and, more often than not, companies are afraid to take a chance with someone who bends the rules or does things a little differently.
I’ve been told that “in order to break the rules, you have to learn them first.” I believe this wholeheartedly, but I also rather conversely think that art is more fun when it looks out of this world. By no means am I advocating for artists to forfeit learning the fundamentals and basics of anatomy, set-up, or things like that, but I do think stylization is just as important as having a good grip on the basics. Stylization makes things unique: it can make the most mundane objects eye-catching. It can transform normal into whimsical. The most humdrum and overplayed scenarios can become breathtaking and otherworldly if stylization is just given a chance. It’s refreshing to see studios taking a leap of faith and giving artists with an otherwise “unconventional” style the spotlight.
Now I know I don’t speak for everyone when I say this, but I’d take unorthodox and weird over tried and true any day without a second thought. Strange and unusual tend to stand out a lot better anyways and are also remembered better, for better or worse. It really all boils down to preference, but the general consensus is that more people are likely to actually remember something if it looks different, i.e Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse or Invader Zim. Two franchises that have nothing in common, save for the fact that they don’t conform to industry-standard styles. Not only that, but taking chances with strange styles such as these open up the doorway for smaller, independent artists to stay true to their own merits and visions, rather than censoring themselves in the name of consumerism. What makes something good or stylish is subjective, as always, but there’s a lot to be said in how it plays into the media we consume on a daily basis. So, next time you’re sitting down to watch something, pay attention to how it all plays out. Does it take risks with its narrative or does it play it safe?