When creating art, you can do whatever you want.
When creating art on Instagram, though, you really shouldn’t.
But I guess that’s one of the platform’s upsides, because it makes you consider how each piece you create fits into the whole, how you maintain some sort of consistency throughout your portfolio. And it’s a little crazy.
I know my Instagram isn’t actually my portfolio (that’s, theoretically, what this site is supposed to be), but the idea is the same: All your posts are displayed alongside each other, and like a well-coordinated outfit, they should … go together. They should share a similar style.
As is my custom, I’m undecided on what that style should be. Even though I’ve settled on my illustration style (finally), how do I present it?
Seems like the simplest way to unify things would be with color. But frankly, at this juncture, color theory isn’t my strong suit. To play off Nerf’s tagline: It’s monochrome, or nuthin’.
I can happily make everything some shade of teal/turquoise/aqua, given that’s my present favorite color. But what happens when teal/turquoise/aqua isn’t everyone else’s favorite color?
Or what if it isn’t the right feel for an illustration? And what if I post something that isn’t an illustration and it isn’t that tone? (i.e. a photo of a work-in-progress or an inspiration) There must be a way to branch out a bit.
So maybe saturation is something I can handle better, the intensity of the color. That’s more consistently controllable between illustrations and environmental photos. I can go for bright and high contrast, OR muted and more subtle.
This past week, I’ve experimented with a consistent arrangement of my flat lay photos: sketchbook on the left, and some caffeinated beverage (or other accent) coming in from the right. The trouble still comes, though, with how those photos play against the illustrations themselves…
That might be a tough one for my style, personally. If the art was naturally textured, like watercolor, this would probably open more doors. But since mine is pretty stark and graphic, I can’t veer too far from that, I think.
At present, I think I’m leaning toward the more muted colors, that might be my best bet. As you can see from the screenshots below, I’ve gone through quite a few style attempts in the past few weeks. Like my website, it’s still a work in progress.
Hopefully the keyword there is “progress.” 🙂