C&I 18: 30 Inspirational Tips to Artists from Other Creatives (2 of 3)

18: 30 Inspirational Tips to Artists from Other Creatives (2 of 3)

In Episode 18 we have our second installation of advice from 30 artists, galleries owners, magazine editors, authors, creative business owners, etc answering this question: “If you could give one bit of advice to an artist just starting out what would that be?” This is part 2 of 3. Find the first installation: Episode 8 (1 of 3)


1. Put miles on the brush…or pencil. – Suzy Smith

2. Don’t put your focus on sales. Focus instead on finding yourself, finding your medium, finding your motivation and drive. Once you have a portfolio you are proud of, start showing it off. – Archer May Dougherty

3. Not everything you make is a Grandslam. Sometimes you strike out but see each piece leading to the other and so forth. It is a constant practice and learning experience. – Matthew F. Dougherty

4. Contracts are your friends. – Emily J Moore

5. Read dali’s book. 50 secrets of magic craftsmanship, published 1948. Memorize them all!! – Norm Goodwin

6. Curb the ego and work. – Jeremy Cross

7. Don’t be scared to try something new. – Alecia House

8. Compete with yourself and no one else. Don’t try to be anyone else because you can’t. Do the work you love because often that’s the only reason you’ll be doing it. Be generous with what you learn. Be happy when other artists succeed, more art means more possibilities. Every rejection is a step closer to finding success. Find out what recharges you and remember to do that even when you’re on deadline. Discover what you love about making art and remind yourself regularly. Draw or paint even if you don’t feel like it, inspiration will come. – Steve Cleff

9. As someone who only picked up pencils a year ago – Draw draw draw! Pinterest is a great resource for inspiration. Draw some more. Ask your friends for honest feedback. Draw more and find your own style. Try heaps of different mediums until you find one that suits your style. Don’t give up it takes time to get good at anything. Did I mention draw more?  – Jo Jette

10. Know why you make art–even if you don’t understand it intellectually and you can’t explain it to other people (or even yourself) Know it in your soul, feel it, focus on it and follow it. – Heather Watts

11. It has to be the art you love. Don’t second guess ‘what art is selling these days’. Find a way to combine all your passions (non-art too) into your art. The passion is tangible and is at least half the reason people will respond to your artwork. – Derek Gores

12. Get a non-refundable deposit of half upfront on commissions. – Christina M. Anderson

13. Never give up. – Wanda Ragsdale

14. Many artists find joy in creating whenever they get the free spirited notion or an inspiring idea. But when you are commissioned to create for a buyer or required to produce a specific number of pieces for a showcase/project by a certain date, art can be tedious. You cannot reach your highest heights by only being capable of creating “whenever I’m in the mood” art. You must prepare yourself for “on demand” art as well. – Zeus Luby

15. (a) Experimentation will have breakdowns, but can evoke some awesome breakthroughs. It’s ok to borrow techniques from others, but don’t limit yourself from standing out from the rest. Then people can borrow and learn from you. – Adam Layne

16. (b) Don’t limit your exposure to just posting art on social networking sites. There are many people who still get their foot in the door from face-to-face meetings, emails, snail mails, submitting to art shows and publications, and supporting other artists’ exhibitions who in turn will become your fans right back when you have a show. Creation is only part of the equation. Having a diverse action plan to get all sorts of eyes on your work will open the door for many more opportunities. – Adam Layne

17. Don’t do your work with sales in mind, do what feels right to you for you. A gift of art far outweighs bought art. Question yourself as to WHY you are creating. Art is as personal of an experience as religion ought to be. – Jeremy La Belle

18. Work hard, network and get your work out there to be seen. – Leslie Ditto

19. Don’t give up. Be careful of false promises. And learn from other artists. And you can be easily replaced. – Krystopher Sapp

20. Don’t give up! Your ideas are better than you realize. – RussPhoto Art

21. Adapt or perish. – Erich J. Moffitt

22. Follow you heart and trust your inner voice – Simone Young

23. Don’t be a pushover, stay humble, and don’t lose your integrity. – Luciano Martinez

24. Be fearless, be brave, be ready to have your heart and ego stomped on, but never ever EVER give up. – Julie Zarate

25. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. 100’s and thousands of them. There are hoards of happy accidents just waiting to happen. Just free your mind up to make room for growth always, and keep going. – Elly Ehrnst

26. Don’t let the cost of materials get in the way- learn to use found and recycled materials, garage sale items, Goodwill items, and hand-me-downs- this will make it easier to make mistakes without fear – Bradley Cahill

27. Set a goal of 20-30 pieces to complete within 6 months, exploring style, subject matter, media, and other challenges. You’ll come out of it with a direction to follow! – Kelly McKernan Cavanah

28. Young artists shouldn’t copy established artists just to get social feed validation and get into galleries. They should develop their own unique voice with their own unique library of icons and symbols. Just because it exists and is on the internet doesn’t mean it’s there for the taking. Less entitled, more humbled… Brandt Peters

29. Study: know your art history, a bit of philosophy of art, learn what true art means so you won’t fall into the “fast food” art scheme, and will have better resources to judge your own work. Know yourself, so your chances of doing something that truly belongs to you will increase. Prepare to work hard, but that should not be a problem to the ones who have a powerful drive. Persevere. Never think you are “good” enough, chances are that you are not. at the same time, give yourself chances to make mistakes and evolve. Pay attention to what more experienced and schooled artists have to say and learn from them, stop thinking that knowledge equals elitism and snobbery. Be humble and never stop exploring. – Patricia Ariel


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