Larry Brogan: Developing a Style

By Larry Brogan
Courtesy of Tattoo Road TripEvery artist wants to be recognized for their art and they want it to stand out among all others as distinctively their own. In the world of tattooing, you will find many artists whose work is as recognizable as their names, such as Guy Aitchison, Paul Booth and Joe Capobianco. People like this may have been born to be artists but the skills they posses did not come easy. They were developed over decades of constant study and practice with a pencil and paper… 

Nearly any visual art starts off as a drawing, be it a quick thumbnail sketch or a fully rendered, meticulous design. By studying the work of artists they admire and borrowing from everyday influences like fashion magazines, horror movies and even the texture of the nature around us, artists piece together a mixture of what they observe, along with the spark that resides within their own mind, body and soul. If they dedicate themselves, hopefully what emerges is a signature style all their own that, at a glance, people know who created it…

All too often, people take the easy way out and blatantly rip off someone else’s art, calling it their own or deliberately copying an already existing style instead of putting in the time to bring out the inner artist in themselves. Just like the music world, along comes a fresh new band with a catchy sound and a string of hits and the next thing you know there are twenty other bands on the radio that sound just like them. We see it in the tattoo industry all the time. Some new kid comes around with a sick new look and is the talk of the scene. The next thing you know, the tattoo magazines are flooded with a dozen lookalike artists, usually falling short of the original.

Drawing does not mean simply tracing an existing image; it is using your art stills to free hand draw what you see in life, from a photo or just out of your head. By developing your ability every day in your sketch book, you will see gradual improvement and, eventually, you may evolve into an artist others want to emulate.

Next time you find yourself wasting the day away playing video games, goofing off on the Internet or spanking the monkey, just remember there is no limit to what can be accomplished artistically, if you practice enough. By drawing, drawing and drawing some more and absorbing all of your outside influences, along with the talent and skill within yourself, you should be able to generate your own spin on things and create a look and style all your own.

(Larry can be found at Tattoo City Skin Art Studio in Lockport, IL.)

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