1) Practice Makes Perfect
As cliché as this might sound, there are no shortcuts to improve your skills. Don’t expect to be a portrait master by doing just one portrait drawing. Keep practicing. You might not reach perfection, but you’ll acquire an indescribable satisfaction at the end of the day when you realize that your skills have improved.
2) Create Your Own Style
Everyone has a unique personality and finding your own style is not that difficult if you truly understand yourself. Sometimes, you just know it by heart. Sometimes, it takes time to discover. Remember, taking bits and pieces of other people’s original style and putting it together is not your own style. Be bold enough to find your own. If you haven’t found it, keep searching and you will find it soon.
3) Be Inspired, Don’t Steal
Once in a while, you see something nice out there and it makes you go ‘wow!’ And it makes you want to come up with something of your own. This is called inspiration. Recreating the exact same thing? That’s STEALING! Big No-no!
If you have been inspired or if you must STEAL (ask permission first), always remember to credit the original artist. You would wish for the same when someone uses your artwork for similar reasons, wouldn’t you?
5) Be True to Yourself
Remember, your artwork reflects your inner emotions and your personality. If you are going to do things just to please others or to get positive feedback, what you do might not appear as genuine as you wish it to be. Satisfaction wise, you will feel that something is lacking. Always be true to yourself. Trust me, it shows.
6) Don’t Get Too Comfy
Most of the time, the people around us, especially friends and family members would give us positive and encouraging comments. This is not a bad thing because positive feedback can be a great boost to your confidence and after all, they are proud of us! But learn not to get too comfortable and drown in them. This can cause your creative journey to be stagnant. Always get feedback from people who are from the same creative background and most importantly listen to yourself. If you think a piece is not finished, then you’re probably right!
All of us go through an emotional cycle and along the way, we grow and learn many new things. What amused you a year back might not bring you the same excitement now. Just because you enjoy doing detailed work before doesn’t mean you have to continue doing the same. Follow what your heart says and create what you feel. Embrace the change and watch the magic happen!
Moods play a very important part in an artist’s life. Some abandon their work when they lose their mood. Being an artist doesn’t mean that you have paint all the time. Sometimes, taking some time away from your work helps. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t feel like painting. Instead, spend your time doing other things, like watching others at work or listening to some good music. You will feel inspired again in no time!
9) Learn How to Handle Criticism
Let’s admit, not everyone is going to love what you do but that’s the real challenge. Keep going and do what satisfies you. When you get positive feedback, keep them close to your heart and push yourself to go further. When you get negative feedback, don’t get dampened. Instead, ask yourself why did you receive such feedback? Hide the work and come back to it a few days later and ask yourself if the feedback made sense. We tend to miss a thing or two when we are too engrossed in our work. Always use criticism as a tool for improvement. Kind comments don’t necessarily have to be true and nasty comments are not necessarily wrong.
10) Artist Block
This is probably a sign that you have exhausted and squeezed the last drop of your creative juice. Don’t be too hard on yourself when this happens. All you need is a small break from things and a little bit of inspiration. Sometimes, talking to a friend helps generate ideas. Free style doodling helps to relax the mind and inspire you with new ideas. And also, it’s a perfect excuse for a little holiday or getaway! 🙂
Hope you find these tips helpful. So what are you waiting for? Pick your brushes up and paint away. Good luck!