What tips do you have for aspiring artists? What are some things that anyone can do to hone their artistic abilities? This is a collection of tips that I’ve picked up over the years, some are from mentors, others are my own.

  • Always use spell-check.

 

  • Volunteer for organizations because you care about their mission, not because it benefits you.

 

  • Avoid politically correct people. (Probably the single best piece of advice for artists and non-artists alike.)

 

  • Never explain yourself.

 

  • If you create something that requires you to explain yourself, now or later, then you probably shouldn’t do it.

 

  • Buy a book on figure drawing – it’s the only art book you’ll ever need.

 

  • Find a medium that you enjoy, and keep with it until you’ve mastered it.

 

  • Do mentorships, internships, and residencies under different masters, they will teach you the most.

 

  • Always carry a camera with you and take tons of pictures. Delete all the bad ones. This will help you develop an eye for composition and remove clutter from your life.

 

  • Ask yourself, “who would want to hang this in their house?”. This will teach you how to develop an emotional connection with the viewer.

 

  • If you’re a painter, do your underpaintings in an “Alla prima” fashion and use a limited palette. This simplifies your process so you can focus on the things that matter most, like composition and form.

 

  • Paint what you’re passionate about.

 

  • When you’re no longer “in the mood” stop painting.

 

  • Your best work will come from life.

 

  • Only copy to learn, your style will develop all on its own.

 

  • Play Chess.

 

  • Youtube your questions.

 

  • Always be in the middle of a book.

 

  • Avoid television except for documentaries.

 

 

  • Take a business course.

 

  • Things that are too good to be true, generally are.

 

  • Only paint studies.

 

  • Learn to cook, there are simple recipes online.

 

  • Go on walks, they help you think.

 

  • Plants are a great way to develop compassion, so get some living potted plants and take care of them. Emotional intelligence is more important than any other type of skill you will learn.

 

  • Never stop learning.

 

  • Visit Museums often.

 

  • Stay in touch with your parents even if you don’t get along.

 

  • Remember this quote “Professionals have professional habits”.

 

  • Listen to Classical music. If you are unable to appreciate it at least as much as contemporary music, then you probably lack the sensitivity to develop into an artist of any real depth.

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2 comments

  • Dan Eames August 5, 2017   Reply →

    Thanks, invaluable to see listed in one place.

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