Ten tips to succeeding as an artist

Do you want to shape your future, like an artist molds clay?

Then you've come to the right blog!

Every young or newly budding artist can tries to find tips and tricks from experienced artists. So here you are, either you're a deeply passionate artist wanting some tips or you're a curious person who wants to be more creative, either way this post is for you!

So get your snacks and favorite drinks ready because this may or may not be over 1,500 words. =)

Here are my ten tips to becoming a better artist, whether beginner or advanced.

1. Compete:

A little competition never hurt, and in this case it could be a great help! Just be sure not to compare yourself too much to another artist while competing with them. If you want tips on staying away from comparisons, check out this helpful blog post.

Putting your art in competitions can be a fun and rewarding experience for artists because, if it's in person you can meet some great artists and learn from each other.

And if you do win and even if you don't,  you could get honorable mention and that's publicity right there. Plus, you could win a lot of money in competitions.

Overall competitions are great places to see in different ways what the art world likes to see or experience.

2. Ask fellow artist, classmates, and teachers regularly for critiques.

Constructive criticism is one of the best ways for artists work to improve.

You can improve a lot quicker and better when you are shown what needs improvement and how you can improve it.

I was once in an art class where each critique we would put up our work and the students would only say things they liked about each piece. Here's the problem we didn't grow much if any throughout the class because we were never told where we could improve our skills or how we could improve.

When handled with tact and charisma constructive criticism is one of the best things artists can use to grow.

3. Go to craft shows!

Entering your art in a booth in an art/craft show is a really wonderful experience.

You get to design your own booth or "shop", meet various crafters and creative's, as well as meet buyers and possible patrons. It's smart to have an email list book open and advertised so if people like your work they can keep up with you, same with business cards.

Craft shows are a really wonderful experience and I think every artist despite their art style should find one to be in. You get publicity, selling experience, marketing to see who likes what art most.

And you could make a nice profit, I'm talking from my experience here and I'm planning on doing countless more craft shows as well.

4. Take classes.

No artist ever stops learning and if they do then they have stopped art altogether or died. From simple beginner drawing classes, portrait painting classes, or even reading a how to book. Artists never stop learning from each other, themselves, their inspirations, and the world.

The man who taught me how to paint with oil paint was retired and had just started painting as well in the past few years. He was in his late 70's and he told me himself that artists and people in general will never and should never stop trying to learn.

You never know how much better you could be with a little help and guidance and those that are prideful or don't think they are a good enough artist or creative. Just throw those thoughts away any try it you'll be surprised at what you can learn and master.

5. Observation.

Take time to observe other artists from various media's and ask questions. Use the internet for this, it is a huge help to watch artists do their paintings and show the process of their work. In this internet age, there's no telling who or what you will find.

Commenting on their posts or videos, and I'm not talking about something like: "Yeah, this was cool, shoot me a message back."

No, tell them why you liked it and are wanting to learn more, the more excited you sound and grateful that they posted their content the better chance that they will comment back or get in touch with you if you have more questions.

Getting to ask experienced artists' questions is a great springboard for your life as an artist. Because it can really help to get you on a faster pace and know what to look out for and what are essential (like a website portfolio).

Who knows who or what you'll find out there, you might even become art friends with other creatives who share your views. So observe and do your research.


6. practice, Practice, PRACTICE!!!!!!!

The old saying practice makes perfect really is accurate, nobody starts out as a master. I personally have to draw, write, paint, or doodle everyday or it doesn't feel like I completed the day yet.

I practice every day because I strive to become the best artist I can be and whatever kind of schedule you want to go on, make it regular so you can improve your work constantly.

It doesn't have to look good, it doesn't even have to be big, you just got to practice. An incredibly large amount of many artist's art works is trail and error junk. But its practice and you learn what looks good and what works compared to what doesn't.

7. Inspiration collection.

Something that helps me a ton when I want to get the creative juices flowing is to look into my collection of pictures or animals, figures, landscapes, ect. As well as music, podcasts, quotes, and sketches that make me want to create.

My main two go to's are music and pictures. I am a Pinterest addict (seriously, I probably need help) because there are so many great photos of mountain, ocean, ballet, horse perspectives that inspire me in my own art that it makes me think of various ideas and I paint it on the spot sometimes. And when I paint the music helps me become more and more fluid and passionate about what I'm making.

Create your own creative collection that helps you get creative when you want to, or need to work on your art. It could be dancing, watching a part of a certain movie, even drinking a special tea that puts you in the right mindset. But having one as a safety net when you have artists block is very wise, cause when you aren't feeling it you can't work right or you barely work at all.

8. Read.

Countless successful people are readers, it's wise, fun, and you will be able to broaden your views on multiple topics. Professional artists are quite intelligent, they are able to talk about practically every subject there is to talk about because they read and are open to learning.

It takes geniuses to make artwork: musicians, writers, painters, sculptors, dancers, filmmakers you name it there is brilliance in the arts and that's something that cannot be denied.

So try to read more, it could be a how to art book, a political novel, a comic even. You can learn from all kinds of books, plus you just might be inspired for your next art piece.

And if you are a reader, great job, keep it up!

9. Learn business.

If you want to make art for a living, you need to know how to sell it and market yourself. It's a lot more than just creating a website. Because the whole:

"If you build it, they will come." thing doesn't apply here, trust me.

Right now I'm minoring in marketing,  while a friend of mine who is also an artist is minoring in entrepreneurship and they both are very helpful for both of us as artists, we learn thins every class we take on how to better our business plan to get our names out there.

Sadly, so many art majors aren't trying, or have forgotten that making artwork is only 50% of the process, while marketing and knowing how to sell your work is the remaining 50%.

Key takeaway: be a successful artist sooner= learn the business.

10. Never doubt yourself.

 Every artist should have a bit (like a pinch) of an ego, but in a good way because we are supposed to be confident about our art. If we are not confident and believe that our own work is worthwhile, then how many potential buyers will care to see your work or think it's worth what it actually is.

Don't give up without a good fight. So many great creatives didn't give up on their dreams and ideas because they chose not to without a good hard fight. To name a few:

  • Thomas Edison failed the first 10,000 times at creating the light bulb.
  • Walt Disney failed 302 times, he was fired because he didn't have any "creative or original ideas".
  • Dr.Seuss failed at getting his first book published 32 times
  • Marilyn Monroe was fired after one year of working for 20th Century Fox because she wasn't pretty or talented enough to work in show biz.

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." ~Einstein, failed 104 times.

It'll take time and commitment, but you will have fun doing it if you really love it. Over the span of my life, my art has improved significantly (see below). If I can do it so can you, all you have to do is try again and again. So don't give up, don't give in, that's the way you're sure to win.

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