Novice to Master: What is the Path to Becoming a Proficient Artist?
How can you get from being mediocre to making art that you are proud of?
This question haunts me regularly. Most of us who do creative work will ask this question.
Even though I have pursued art professionally to some capacity over the last decade, I still don't feel good enough.
I still think I have a long way to go!
I want that magical art portfolio, excellent technical skills and a style that dazzles viewers.
Yet, these things don't come easily.
In a world infatuated with convenience and rapid fulfilment, developing patience towards things that take time to grow can be frustrating. Additionally, it's absurdly simple to keep up with other illustrators and painters with just a quick swipe.
As we scroll, we are reminded of the gap between where we are and where we aspire to be. It can leave us feeling frustrated with our own journey as artists.
"I want to get there, FASTER!"
If you have also felt frustrated with your progress, and want to become a better artist, here are three key elements to focus on - Patience, Perseverance and Practice.
It's easy to become frustrated with the slow process of improvement and give up prematurely. Unfortunately, growth is not always linear. It takes courage to show up and do the work even when we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. It takes maintaining our zeal and drive to show up, regardless of how long it may take to become the artist you dreamed you could be.
Patience allows us to push through the discomfort of growing pains and trust the creative process even when it feels uncertain. Being patient is easier said than done. I am trying to be more patient and kind to myself as an artist.
As artists, we must learn to trust the process and cultivate optimism and resilience even when progress feels slow or uncertain. By focusing on the journey rather than the destination and taking each day as it comes, we can stay patient and persistent in our pursuit of artistic excellence.
To persevere is to continue to work even in the face of difficulty or when there is little to no sign of progress. It requires a mindset shift, a willingness to let go of the need for instant gratification, and accepting that progress comes in small, incremental steps.
It's important to trust that even if you make mistakes and feel like you're not progressing, you're still learning and growing.
Practice. Lots of it!
It's easy to fool ourselves into thinking we are becoming better artists when we binge-watch art YouTube videos. Have you fallen victim to this mentality? I have. The reality is that practice makes progress, and no amount of art tutorials will make you a better artist.
After you watch an art tutorial, put it to use. Draw. Paint. Sketch. This advice applies whether you intend to pursue it professionally or as a hobby.
By drawing regularly, you will hone your skills and speed up the development of your motor control and image recall. Additionally, you'll improve your efficiency, requiring less effort to start and complete a piece of art. You will also develop your drawing stamina; like any muscle, it is built with time and effort.
There is no formula to become a prolific artist; everyone has their own journey to mastery. But if we stick to these three simple rules, we can get close to being the artists we dreamed we could be.
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