Picture It – Clamp down on this new art post!

Picture this: a deck of cards, monsters and a kid with spiky hair in various shades and colours. Or this: a red and white ball, (mostly) cute critters and a simple yet effective style.

If you were thinking Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon, you’ve got it.

Ruby once said to me not too long ago that having an instantly recognisable art style is valuable, and I am inclined to agree with this wholeheartedly. Who doesn’t recognise Yu-Gi-Oh’s or One Piece’s distinct art styles? Or even, the subject we will be covering now, CLAMP’s works? (Yes, we’re on a roll with CLAMP this week.)

CLAMP has always seemed to differ from the norm with their art style. Although it doesn’t vary as far as say, Eiichiro Oda’s art in One Piece, the features of it are quite distinct, even as it has varied over the years whether dramatically or subtly. They seem to have settled into their own style of late though.

Even if we put one from each of their series, there would be too much to post, so here are a few more recognisable ones. You can see their slow progression over the years and their innumerable works (mouse over for titles, click to enlarge):

Don’t be afraid to draw in your own style and feel as if it is inferior to others’. Even if it’s nowhere near as detailed as CLAMP’s artworks, your art can be simplistic, yet effective – you only need to check the internet and see the wealth of art that can be both highly detailed and highly simplistic yet both can still be equally sought after.

It’s clear that CLAMP’s gone on a journey with their art over the years, undoubtedly also because of the members of the artist circle leaving and the artists’ roles shifting for new series. We should also go on a journey and try out new styles and genres without getting trapped in our comfort space.

Challenge yourself and don’t feel restricted by what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’.