As I think about "How to Become a Better Artist" the most important truth is what I'm teaching today.
As we all know, no one becomes a professional athlete, good at dreadful public speaking, or a wonderful musician without...practicing. Since this applies to everything, it applies to art as well. The more you practice, the better you become. Seems easy! It can be, when you have the desire. "Practicing" can actually be fun!
Can you imagine having an idea and being able to draw, paint, or even sculpt it. Or to be able to say to yourself, "oh I can paint that," and actually do it. You can get there...with practice.
Some people think you need to be gifted to be an artist. I've been told I'm a "gifted" artist. This couldn't be further from the truth. I didn't just receive a present one day that gave me a whole bunch of knowledge and skills. It's very strange to think that could EVEN happen!
I was great compared to my peers because I spent hours at recess making art. I read lots of art books. I took several classes. It took me a long time to develop the knowledge and skills I have today. This doesn't have to take years of course, especially when you have a good teacher. But knowledge and skills are just not "gifted" they are learned and practiced.
When I talk about knowledge and skills, I’m talking about getting the results you have in mind. I can see where you are as an artist now and where you want your art to go. Then I show you what you need to learn and practice to get there. Because I've gone through the process myself and studied many artists who went through it too. Now it's your turn and the results can be INCREDIBLE.
I've also been teaching art for a long time so I’ve had all kinds of students. I've had some that wanted to learn art for about a week, because they realized they couldn't be a Monet in a day, so they quit. I have also had students that dedicated a lot of time to their lessons and artwork and became really good at it! There will always be those that discover art is not something they want to dedicate time to and those that love it so much they can't imagine life without it. You need the desire to become better to actually take actions to become better.
Art is not like athletics where the most successful do better with the right body type, if they practice hard. Or is it like academics, where the greatest minds plow ahead. Art is expression and while you're creating there is no wrong way or answer. Art accepts you just the way you are, even if you are color blind or need to create with your teeth or toes. This is what makes art so wonderful!
So this week I encourage you to dedicate more time practicing art. My lessons and tutorials are here to help you do this. Each art lesson includes something artists need to know to become better. Each tutorial I create is to give you an opportunity to practice. If you decide to become a Createful Art Member you get weekly lesson plus reference photos to help you paint along in my tutorials. You can get even more, so check it out and sign up if you're serious about becoming a better artist.
Learning takes time, so remember to pace yourself. Go as fast or slow as you want. Take the time to internalize the lesson and practice what you have learned. Once you're a member you have access to every lesson I have taught thus far (a lot!) but you don't need to swallow them in a day. You don't have to do every tutorial either. New lessons and tutorials are shared with you weekly but remember that you set your own pace. You will get your moneys worth for sure, just by growing your knowledge and skills at the pace that is comfortable for you.
I will also be dedicating time to practice. One thing I have been practicing is loosening up my work, which tends to go towards realism. Not that I don't like realism, but I love my paintings to have playful colors and loose brushstrokes. So I made several 10 minute paintings with no reference photos below to loosen up my work and I'll continue practicing. You can watch those videos below to see that practice doesn't have to have a great result or to become anything at all. It just has to be done.
Practice is focusing on the joy that comes from the process of creating.