This is by no means a complete list or guide, it’s just some tips I have picked up, that work for me, to make life easy along the way :)
- Buy or find ample art materials.
- Choose materials that you love to play with.
- Remember that you have everything you need around you to make art with, use what is already to hand.
- Visions: they can be just a starting point, you can let go of them as you work organically or you can stick rigidly to them to honour the original vision.
- Wait until your art is finished before asking for feedback or showing it off. Honour your art by letting it be a true reflection of only your undiluted heart.
- Trust yourself.
- Take a new turn or risk in every piece, the magic happens this way.
- Make to a high standard, no cutting corners. Go that extra mile to make something heroic.
- Keep detailed notes on how you make each piece. Recipes, techniques, the order you do things and names and brands of colours you use.
- Recognise when and if grace enter’s a piece.
- Don’t fall in love with your art too quickly or keep the parts you love visible right through to the very end.
- Act on the energy of the moment, when a piece wants to be made – make it.
- Allow your art to be what it wants to be. Do not deny it!
- Listen to your art and obey it. Let it guide you.
- Look for each step to take, however tiny, to move a piece forward.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes when making, to avoid physical distractions.
- Keep setting yourself challenges in each new piece, this will help to maintain your interest over 40 years.
- Practice and don’t be precious, don’t expect works of art to come out either.
- Observe clarity and keep an open mind.
- Stay fit and agile. A healthy body is a healthy mind – healthy heart, healthy art.
- Make your life drama free. There is enough drama already in the world without you adding to it!
- Sort out your love / home life, so it’s supportive of what you do.
- Sort out your income, so money is not an influence on what you create.
- Give yourself a designated creative space, where you can be completely free.
- Recognise when you are motivated and inspired.
- Give yourself more than enough time.
- Trust your own experiences and ideas, that they are valuable enough to be made into art.
- Be silly.
- Read and travel to broaden your mind.
- Make friends with people, not of your tribe, to broaden your horizons.
- Watch Youtube tutorials, attend classes, do courses, teach and learn.
- Be ready for all sorts of obstacles and hurdles, take them in your stride and keep going.
- Exhibit regularly
- Update your artists statement regularly.
- Ask for feedback and when you get it, take it on the chin, listen and learn, no need to react.
- Sell you best pieces, so it forces to make more of a high level.
- You are making for people you will not meet, pay it forward, give them a real treat.
- Let prints and licenses sell themselves, concentrate on selling the more valuable stuff.
- Give approval, do not expect it.
- Be encouraging of others work or be quiet.
- Join a group of artists and meet up regularly.
- Let other people cooperate with you and earn money from your art too. i.e. gallery owners, web developers, assistants, coaches, packaging experts.
- Photograph everything you make and name your files with the title, your name, materials and date.
- Archive your art in print quality (2000 pixels) and screen quality (1024 pixels).
- Back up your hard drive.
- Sell licenses – it’s another income, plus another way to share and archive your art in the world.
- Create a free online portfolio with Saatchi Art
- Purchase your own domain name.
I have written more about marketing and selling art in another post.
This is a really useful article. I’ve always wanted to start painting or creating art and am planning on moving to the Alpujarra asap, so will definitely be signing up to your art classes.
We’ll have to do online classes as I’m now in Barcelona. But for now just sit yourself down in front of some good quality art materials, with the light behind you, and allow yourself to play. The painting will take care of itself when you turn up! The Alpujarras is one of my fondest homes and has a wonderfully active and supportive artists group there – Artists Network Alpujarra.