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Are you an artistic person who loved to draw as a kid or took art classes in college, but you were discouraged away from art at as a serious profession? Or maybe you are a frustrated or struggling artist who has to work a ‘real’ job, or rear children with no time to create.
Obviously, we all have rent or house payments and other bills to pay. So how does someone being to follow their dream of being an artist? Walt Disney explains, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
Here is a list to help you get motivated and “jump start” your art career:
Get the creative juices flowing!
- Take a painting or craft workshop
- Start a sketchbook or journal. Carry it with you and make a few small drawings a day.
- Watch an art demonstration on YouTube or on a DVD & paint along with it (hit the pause button when you need to!)
- Create a ‘Studio’ space. Find a small corner of the living room, kitchen or bedroom to work. I worked at my kitchen table for year. I know a professional artist who paints in her bathroom! Just stay organized.
- Get up an hour earlier or stay up an hour later – find time!
- Make creative time a habit. Just like you make time to exercise, make time to create!
- Think big, but start small…begin just twice a week, then you can add more studio time as you progress.
Now it’s time to develop your own style and artistic voice!
- Do you prefer oils, acrylics, pen & ink, egg tempera, graphite, digital painting, ceramics, etc…???
- Look for consistency of style and technique in your artwork
- Start producing finished, frame-worthy pieces of art.
- Enter a competition and don’t get discouraged if you fail – we all do at times!
- Join a local Co-op Gallery or artists’ group
- Enter an arts and crafts fair
- Learn how to prepare for your own art show at a coffee shop, bank, restaurant, interior design store, etc…
- Set goals
- Stay focused – an art career takes a lot of personal motivation!
- Document your artwork
Ready for the ‘big-time’!
- Create a body of strong, consistent work
- Produce a powerful portfolio from your best documented artwork
- Write an interesting Artist’s Statement
- Find the right professional gallery
- Enter juried museum exhibitions
- Create a website and/or blog
- Understand your market
- Use social media to promote your art
- Never stop learning!!!
My own jumpstart art story:
Although I took art classes in college, I consider myself ‘self-taught’. To my disappointment, I really didn’t learn very much about fine art in college other than rendering.
Later, my art career sprung up between loads of laundry, during the babies’ nap-time and late at night. To help me keep self motivated, I would enter various painting contests and I joined a local artists’ cooperative gallery. I read every art book, took some workshops with famous master painters and watched instructional DVD’s.
Landscape painter Kevin McPherson’s book, “Fill Your Paintings with Light and Color” was particularly motivating for me. In his book, Kevin suggests painting 100 little 6×8 plein air paintings. I did just that! I took my pochade box with me in the car each day and when my kids were playing soccer, riding horses or in ice skating lessons. I would whip out a quick 30 minute outdoor sketch. This was a great exercise and really improved my paintings.
Painting and drawing consistently helped me get ready for to find the right gallery. A friend saw my little works and offer me to show them in her store. I had a ‘gallery opening’ and a sell out show! While my artwork was still hanging, I invited the Kneeland Gallery director over to see my paintings. She loved them and asked me to show with Kneeland – and the rest is history!
Oh…and by the way…it is never too late! I know many successful artists who didn’t start painting until they were retired. As long as we have our faculties, we can improve in art for the remainder of our lives and that’s why I Love Art!
Please share your story with me, I’d love to hear from you! Lori
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