Over the past three years I’ve had the awesome opportunity to interview some of my favorite artists. One thing I love asking artists (because I’m always aching to know myself) is what piece of advice they wish they had received when they started their creative career.
Of course there is a whole lot of value in learning things the hard way – allowing the lessons to become etched into who you are as an artist and a person, but good heavens, wouldn’t it be nice to just learn and to be encouraged by these things from the onset?
That’s why I ask. Because, so often the creative life can feel open and lonely and even scary. It’s nice to know that others have walked in your path and have succeeded!
Because there are so many insightful answers, I collected a bundle of responses and will share them over the next three days.
So, let’s do this!
“Do you have any advice for artists just starting their art career?”
I think staying busy and always working even if it’s for an hour is helpful. I have a 4 year old a full time job, so it’s hard to find time. If I can steal away for an hour in the evening I always feel so much better than if I didn’t.
One more thing…If you don’t “have it” one day and the paint just isn’t flowing the way you want it to. Don’t be afraid to put the brush down and comeback to it later.
Its good to be hard on yourself and have very high expectations of your work.
Look at a lot of great art, know why it is great and aim for those qualities in your own work. Learn to recognize your strengths, don’t try to force yourself into a style of art that doesn’t fit your skills or style even if its work you admire.
Eventually you will come into yourself as an artist and it will be fun to trace back life events (like motherhood) to see how life effects the charcoal you just danced all over a page.
In the mean time, network and become friends with supportive, wise people who also want you to succeed. I am very thankful I have a lot of them in my life.
Passion, dedication and belief in what you are doing are the key ingredients to success.
If you are not extremely passionate about making art, it’s probably not the best career option for you. It’s certainly not an easy way to make a living, but if you have to create art to feel like yourself, that is a very good place to start!
I’ve noticed lately, that a lot of people are anxious to create a business out of their art before they have really developed themselves as an artist.
When you feel authentically ready to show and promote your work, I suggest putting together a really simple and beautiful website that highlights your work in a non-distracting way. Blogging is also a great way to share your story and keep things fresh for people who are interested in what you are doing. There are so many ways to connect online now through social media, etc.
It’s an amazing and powerful time to be an artist as the world is literally at your fingertips! But again, doing the work in the studio should be taking up more time than doing the promotional work on your computer. At least that’s my opinion.
Ahh… see what I mean? A bundle of wise words and sage ideas. I need these voices in my head every day! Check back tomorrow for another dose of advice.
Thanks–I needed to hear a lot of this today!
Ive only been regularly making art for about 2 years. I hear the advise a lot that it’s important to create…create…create. My challenge is…what do I do with all the art I create absent of an audience? What did you do when you first began and had loads of art. I value each piece but I also don’t want my art studio to look like I’m an art hoarder (lol). Any suggestions, charity ideas, etc? …or is that just an inevitability of being an artist…that you will have loads of art on hand at any given time. Thank you for your thoughts and advise. 🙂
Great advice:) I think the best advice I was given and which has helped me most, is to show up and work every day. Just create something EVERY day, even just a simple sketch. When I started doing that, it meant that I was in a better position to take advantage of opportunities coming my way. I’m still only starting out on this journey, but following this advice has meant that I have achieved more in the last year than in the 10 years before that!
Great piece. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m in the pulls of working on my watercolors and wanting to do more with it. I’m spending more time just working now, rather than building a long term business plan. Baby steps, and absolutely making time every day- even with my three yr old and 11 mo old. I get the mom thing, and really appreciate all the advice 🙂
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Really wonderful to be reminded of the importance of keeping the creative fires stoked. It sounds like some established artists practice “putting the brush down” when inspiration isn’t flowing, moving on to something else seemingly unrelated, and then coming back. Thank you.
Thanks so much for this. I really needed it ❤ ❤ ❤