How do artists develop a unique style?
Most of what we learn formally as artists is via imitation, so how does one develop a distinct style of their own? There are so many places to share artwork nowadays (Deviantart, flickr, etc.) and I feel it is hard to stand out in these large communities with so much diversity. Do you mix-and-match aspects of styles you like? Do you stick with what you know and wait for a gradual evolution?
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.