Artist-to-Artist: advice for new creatives from some of the BEST (part 2)

Do you have any advice for artists just starting their art career? WISE WORDS FROM ARTISTS FOR ARTISTS


I hope you caught the goodness that went down yesterday (read it here).  I’ve been asking artists questions for years and they are all so full of wisdom and ready advice.

So let’s keep talking!  I’ve asked several artists this question: “Do you have any advice for artists just starting their art career?”

Their answers are gold.  Not just for the new artists, but for each and every artist who is truing new things, making a go out of this crazy creative life, or just needs a fresh perspective.

Read on, dear makers!

Artist-to-Artist: advice for new creatives from Lauren Gray

The best advice is to stay true to subject matters that are close to your heart.

In the beginning (especially if you are a self-taught artist, like I am) it is also important to try out all of the different media that you can get your hands on. I have spent countless money over the years on buying new supplies. I still buy new spins on materials just to give it a shot and see if it’s something that I can incorporate into my work.  By trying new materials and new combinations of materials it can help you identify a unique style.

And lastly, do not ever give up on the big picture. Every single artist out there has failures. I have them once or twice a week. You work so hard on something and you stick it to the end and it might end up not being a strong piece at all, something you might even decide to box up or throw away.

Those missteps do not define you as an artist. Each one of them is a tool and in the end they all do offer bits of information that you will take along with you to the next piece of work.

Lauren Gray


Can you give a tip to an aspiring artist that they won’t learn in art school but need to know?

I got good advice from someone once a long time ago that seems really simple and annoying:

‘Keep making things.’

That’s it. Make stuff all the time. Even if what you make is awful you will inevitably learn something and get better at what you are making.

Oh, and don’t compare yourself constantly to others and their work. It will keep you from moving forward. I am still working on that one myself.

Rachel T Robertson


Work every day and put your work out there.

I know people will steal your ideas but so far I think that the value of having your work widely seen exceeds the downside of being copied. In my experience lasting professional relationships and a career come from your ability to keep generating ideas and — above all — executing them well, which is something no one can steal from you.

Jorey Hurley

Again.  Such goodness!  Thank you all for your beautiful advice.  And guys, check back tomorrow for the last artist-to-artist advice post in this little series.  It’s a full one!

Emily Jeffords signiture

Emily Jeffords

Most days you can find me, in the studio with my little girls, speckled in oil paint (drinking too much coffee), creating artwork for collectors around the world and collaborating with select brands. Check out my artwork on


  • “Keep making things” is what resonates with me at the moment. As a self-taught artist and relative newcomer (I’ve been painting almost everyday for the last year), I get boggled down with finding my style, or focusing on the business side of things. But even if I make mistakes or feel lost, I keep coming back to painting itself because it’s what feeds my soul. So I am applying this “Keep Making Things” approach and hoping it will pay off in the end. At least I can say, it is a fun journey!

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  • This is such fantastic advice! Thank-you, Emily, for collecting all these inspirational tips. I find that last one by Jorey Hurley resonates particularly strongly with me.


  • These last two posts were just what I needed to hear. I love to making things, weather it’s sewing, scrap booking, or painting and sketching. I’m glad that all those creative outlets can be a tool to my art. I’m encouraged by these pearls of wisdom and the encouragement I glean from them. I love this. Thanks for sharing this.


  • Art is passion, it is your voice, a means of expressing yourself, your views and thoughts to the world. It is not necessarily the easiest road to walk specially if art is a source of income for you but then again nothing comes easy…There are times when you will feel like giving up, as i have many times but the key is just to keep going. Try not to focus on the money so much but focus on your work and the rest will come. When you feel creatively drained and uninspired seek inspiration in everything around you, including through using sites like pinterest, behance, tumblr, etsy and stumbleupon to see what other artists are doing , this is always a great source of inspiration. Last but not least don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and explore new mediums, techniques or ways to express yourself creatively…you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

    “The Purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

    Keep Dusting 🙂


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