Find your process
When working on a brief, trying to come up with the idea straight away can produce half-formed, half-interesting ideas that will probably need developing. The fun lies in the journey to finding your solution, not jumping straight to a potential one. I have my own process when it comes to structuring my projects, which works best for me. This usually consists of studying the brief, seeking visual stimuli, sketching ideas, comparing all of these and running with a few before deciding on one route.
The urge to assimilate styles you’ve seen before can be a tricky hurdle to overcome – perhaps stemming from the old GCSE habit of copying artists’ work. One way I’ve found to counteract this is to create mood boards: collecting lots of other peoples’ work, rather than just a few examples, as well as other reference pictures. That way, you can deconstruct the images and look for common threads that run throughout. Maybe they are composed in a certain way or share a similar colour palette. This then becomes your inspiration and not your source to copy, plus you’ll have reason, research and awareness to support your own work.
I’ve also found it best not to get too caught up in the idea of having a style. Have fun with the practice, explore mark-making techniques and workshops, collaborate with people working in other disciplines and you’ll naturally find a way of working that suits you.