As artists, we often put our hearts and souls into our work, but it’s rarely an easy process. There are so many ups and downs that come with being a professional artist. It can be frustrating, exhausting, and even soul-crushing at times. It’s essential to find ways to grow as an artist to stay true to your creative self and keep bringing new art into the world. Here are some tips for becoming a better artist:
Keep learning and practicing
As an artist, you must learn every day. Learning new techniques, improving your skill set, and gaining knowledge about your materials are examples of how you can remain a student. Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t master your craft, but rather, you’ll never know all there is to know about what you do. Likewise, practicing your art is essential for becoming a better professional artist. You must find ways to apply what you learn and use your newfound knowledge in a real-world setting. Therefore, practicing and establishing useful habits for practicing art is one of the most important ways to refine your artistic skill set.
Don’t take criticism personally
As you improve your craft, you’ll likely begin receiving criticism from peers and professionals in your industry. When you receive criticism, remember that it isn’t always a reflection of your true worth or value as an artist. Manage your expectations by realizing that you likely won’t receive praise every time you show off your work or receive some constructive criticism. Instead of taking criticism personally, consider it an opportunity to learn and improve your work. Learn how to separate constructive criticism from destructive criticism. Constructive criticism offers solutions and suggestions for improvement, whereas destructive criticism attacks your artistic skill set and confidence. Be sure to keep a positive mindset when receiving criticism, as it will be much easier to make necessary changes when you don’t let criticism get the best of you.
Invest in better equipment
Artists are often advised to make art with whatever materials they have on hand. While this advice holds some truth, it isn’t the best approach for someone who wants to improve as a professional artist. What you create is a direct reflection of your skill set. If you make art out of low-quality materials, your work will likely look unrefined. As you progress and improve your artistic skills, you might notice that certain pieces of equipment aren’t as high-quality as they should be. In such a situation, you might feel tempted to cut corners and stick with what you have. Resist the urge to cut corners and invest in better materials as soon as possible. For example, if you’re a painter who works primarily with watercolors, invest in a good-quality watercolor set, or if you’re a singer, invest in a microphone that will record your voice clearly, such as the rode nt1a microphone. While you can’t expect to go from beginner to professional artist by purchasing the most expensive materials straight out of the gate, you can use those materials as a goal and a reminder to save up for them over time.
Network with other artists and art professionals
As an artist, you likely spend much time managing your creative process and the artistic skills you’ve cultivated thus far. However, there are other artists out there who are likely refining their skills at the same time. By networking with other artists, you have the opportunity to learn from those who have progressed further in their artistic careers than you have. This is an excellent way to learn from others’ mistakes and progress more quickly than you would otherwise, and it also widens your circle and can help grow your audience. In addition, by regularly attending meetups, workshops, and other events organized by artists, you have the opportunity to build lasting relationships with like-minded individuals. These relationships can help you progress toward becoming a more refined artist by providing you with a support system and helping you receive the critical feedback that you might otherwise avoid.
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