Finding your animation style

(Advice from a Flying Duck)

Do you want to stand out amid a sea of animators? Unsure of how to develop your own distinct style? 

In order to achieve success as an animator, you must develop your own personal style while learning to create a wide range of animations. 

To help you with this, Flying Duck has compiled some top tips for animators who wish to improve their animation style and give themselves that creative edge. 


1. Get inspired to find your own animation style.

Immersion in animation will help your style evolve more quickly. 

  • Watch animated films, listen to animation podcasts while working, and read some animation literature. 
  • See how legendary animators created their unique animation techniques. This is also a great approach to enhance your own. 
  • Copy famous animators’ work to understand their method. This will help you enhance your own style—just don’t try to pass off another animator’s work as your own.


Saul Bass is one of the most influential artists for me regarding animation, but I do pay a lot of attention to the art world and I try to look outside the animation world. (Alixe Lobato, Creative Director & Founder)

2. Experiment with new animation styles.

Find your animation style by pushing it in new directions.

It sounds strange, but your animation style will only evolve through variation and diversity. Switching up your process, experimenting with different character designs, or modifying your regular colour palette are all places to start. You could also look to non-animated sources for inspiration, such as landscapes, wildlife, or your family and friends.

Experiment with new drawing and animation styles and processes. This will not only broaden your experience and skills, but it will also motivate you to try things you never thought you would.


For me, realistic 3D is by far one of the most uninteresting techniques for treating characters; I always feel like I need something extra to give them a spirit and a personality. The same thing happens to me with realism in painting. (Alixe Lobato, Creative Director & Founder)


3. Practise your sketching skills.

As an animator, having decent sketching abilities is vital. 

  • Begin your day with some observational drawing and you’ll notice your work progressing.
  • Although clean lines are desirable, many animators have earned a fortune by employing a messy style of animation. 
  • Use any designs you’ve created as inspiration for your animation style. Remember, don’t be frightened of your drawing style. 
  • Try multiple drawing styles, just like you would with your animation technique, and you’ll soon notice results.


4. Learn new software to discover your animation style.

One of the most effective ways to broaden your style is to expand on the tools you use to animate.  Trying to learn everything at once might be stressful, so we recommend that you choose a few animation programs to concentrate on at the start. You can then look into trying different animation programs as your abilities develop.

I began with the Adobe suite (which was very limited at the time), then moved on to flash (which also vanished), and finally returned to Adobe but this time I tried a different approach by mixing with other software to combine different techniques from Cinema 4D for 3d objects to Procreate for more hand-drawn style, but I’m always open to keep experimenting. (Alixe Lobato, Creative Director & Founder)

5. Be patient!

  • Don’t expect to find your style straight away, you might change your style as you grow and develop anyway.
  • It’s useful to compare recent cartoons to those from a year or more ago if you’re looking for ideas. 
  • Include routine in your animation practice, this is a wonderful way to guarantee that you’re improving daily. 
  • Finding your own style isn’t the endpoint, so remember to enjoy the journey. 
  • Make a list of where you’ve improved and where you might need to develop further. This will help you see how far you’ve come and encourage you to keep pushing forward.



We all know the old saying that practice makes perfect, and in this case, it most certainly is true. Although developing a style is a crucial step in an animator’s career, once this is achieved, the work is far from over.

So keep an open mind and be adaptable in your animation practice, as your style will develop as you advance as an animator.

The most skilled animators continue to grow, so keep practising, don’t stress, and most importantly, enjoy your journey.

It’s going to be an interesting one!