I’m not what I would call a professional artist considering I haven’t sold any thing but I know enough to give advice to those who will listen. (And maybe to those who won’t)
SO here is the Recipe to being a successful artist
Every single artist you ask will tell you this:practice. That’s why I’m writing this. To give you a better idea of what else it takes. But no matter what—you need to practice. Doesn’t matter what you want to do. Everything takes practice.
This one should be obvious but some people don’t understand exactly what it means. As Sherlock Holmes liked to say “You have seen but you have not observed”. The key to observing is to notice the details. How a human joint works, how different people move, how a fan looks when it’s running, the architecture of different buildings, etc. Observe everything. Learn from what you see. Pay attention to details. Pay attention to the big picture. Both are important. There is always something new to learn, Which brings us to our next point„,
This is more of a personal opinion but my favorite thing about art is there is always more to learn. There is never a point when you stop unless you choose to. And I think it’s important to keep learning and be open minded. You’re willing to try new things and take criticism. You don’t want to get stuck in a rut while you watch other people grow and change.
I’ve known several artists who have been/are stuck in that rut. And the longer I’ve watched them the more that rut deepens. They’re so stuck in their own world and convinced that they’re right and don’t need criticism that not only have they stopped growing but they’re moving backwards. Their skills slowly deteriorate as time moves on. Maybe it’s a point of view. Certainly as long as they’re happy then that’s what really matters. But if you want to be successful then you can’t let that happen.
Nobody is pressuring you into this. If they are then tell them to f**k off. Art is a personal and emotional thing. Turning it into something else is destroying it. Does that include freelancing? Not at all. Just remember why you started drawing. Why you became so in love with creating that you can’t live without it. Just make sure you’re enjoying your art. You don’t have to like the end result but be relaxed enough to look at it and say ‘I can do better. Time to start another.” Don’t stress yourself out. Otherwise you’ll end up hating what you used to love.
I did once. And it took me two years before I could pick up a pen/pencil without stressing about it.
You’re going to continue learning on your own. That’s a fact. But there’s nothing wrong with getting outside help. I have several books on subjects from hands to references to expressions to god knows what else. (I’ll make a review list someday) These are all helpful and amazing. Well most of them are (Chris Hart). But there is a certain way to read these. Same thing with tutorials. Read them, practice what they have to offer and take what you like. Don’t copy, create your own. Create something that’s uniquely you.
6) THE ULTIMATE RULE
It does not matter what medium or tools you use. You have to learn how to make them work for you. I see so many questions like ‘what tools you use, what brush was that, what settings?’ Or the one that frustrates me the most:’What program do you use?’
It’s not the asking that bothers me the most. It’s more the thoughts behind them. People seem to think that using a different program will make them automatically better. Each program has a learning curve. Some of them are steeper than others but you have to start somewhere.
Just make sure you understand that it’s not the program/tool.
Is this the only road to success? Probably not. This is what has worked for me and most, if not all, the artists I know. The main point of this was to put out an explanation beyond the normal ‘practice, practice, practice!’ that you’ll get.
Take it or leave it.
But I do hope this helps somebody.