WAIT! Before you read this, have you signed up for my monthly e-mail newsletter? It’ll be a round-up of the month’s posts and art updates, and perhaps some special little treats! 😉
For years now, I’ve always had people drop me messages, asking if I had any advice for budding artists and how they should go about getting better at what they do. Most of the times, I have a look at their work and give them feedback based on their own style, but there are only so many people I can do this for. So today, I want to share a general set of the best advice I’ve ever received or read, and how I like to implement it into my own artwork.
1. Use social media, and use it well.
This was one of the very first pieces of advice I’ve ever received, and it is the only reason my art career is as big as it is. Social media is one of the most powerful tools artists have at their disposal.
I won’t drag on about social media for too long as I do plan to do a whole different post on it, but it is definitely something to consider as an artist!
2. Upload better pictures of your work.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. It doesn’t matter how good your art is. Unless you represent it well online, on prints, or in a virtual portfolio, it is never going to get the attention it deserves.
If you go on to my DeviantART and go all the way back to my first few pieces, you’ll notice that the images were taken in awful lighting with a bad camera and little to no editing. I thought I was being “authentic” at the time, thinking that was a true representation of my work. It really, really wasn’t.
Before you upload a picture of your work, always ask yourself, “Would I open this and look closely, or would I just scroll past it?” Keep working until the answer is the former.
3. Take the time to learn.
It’s all well and good to be proud of where you are, but never stop learning. Ever. Where you are right now is not your limit. There are several resources, both online and offline, that cater to every style under the sun. Use these. Teach yourself to be more efficient, to have a steadier hand, to pick better colour palettes, and just to be better skilled in general.
If one day you plan to sell your art, you’ll find your work among a sea of others, created by artists of every skill type. Make sure that each piece you create stands out from the crowd.
It may not be perfect at first, it’s been over 5 years now and I’m still working towards creating my own style. But as long as you know you’re committed to learning at every given opportunity, there is a good chance that you’ll be great one day!
4. Choose your subjects wisely.
While I’ve already mentioned how important social media is, it should definitely not be a top priority. Creating art for the sake of sharing is the one thing that can damage your artistic profile more than anything else. What is trendy today will mean nothing a week, month or year from now, and in the long run, catering solely to what’s hot on Instagram or Vine is going to make your art irrelevant.
Now I’m not saying avoid all trends at all costs, not at all. It is the easiest way to build a social media audience, and fan art is widely reputed among many different age-groups and cultures. But remember, if you do intend to sell your work, people are more likely to buy meaningful pieces over familiar faces.
If you look at all the masters, you’ll notice that the reason their work is so celebrated is because it is timeless. Just something to bear in mind!
5. Actively seek critique…and use it.
I can not stress how important it is to ask for critique! Doesn’t matter who is giving it, if they are able to peruse your work, their critique counts. If you look at most of my original uploads, I always make it a point to add a little closing sentence about how I’m always open to and really appreciate constructive criticism. Even just a simple “Thoughts?” does the trick.
Remember, you are but one person. Oftentimes, working on one piece for hours can give us awful tunnel-vision, and we may gloss over some blatant errors without meaning to. I know because I’ve done it so many times!
So, when someone points it out, thank them. Seriously. They are doing you a massive service, because we may not remember every compliment we receive, but we are highly likely to remember criticism. Now that someone has called you out on a mistake (especially on a public forum), you will subconsciously try to never repeat it again!
So there we go, these are the most important bits of advice I try to include in my work (and life) every single day. I do hope this helps you, lovely reader, as it has helped me!
If you’d like me to write more of these Top 5 posts, please remember to Like or better, drop a comment below!
As always, thank you ever so much for reading, and I hope you have a super bright week ahead!