Keys to Successful Art


Are you a budding artist or perhaps someone who just dabbles in  art – whether it’s painting, drawing, sketching, sculpting or any other avenue of  art ? Or perhaps you’re someone who’s been involved in  art  for a while but are still frustrated at times and think of giving up on  art  as a hobby or professional venture. If you are such a person or just someone who loves  art  in general I have a few key concepts you should keep in mind when it comes to your work that might help you from getting burnt out or quit altogether.


The First Key Concept I’d like to discuss is passion. Without passion or desire your  art  won’t mean too much & will really be just another drawing, painting or what have you. Also, without passion you won’t want to stick with  art , not only as a professional but also as a fun hobby! If you are into  art  and really love it you’re going to want to create things that you’re passionate about; that can be anything from a cause such as endangered wildlife, historical love like a specific time period or perhaps you just love people and want to catch them on paper, canvas or sculpture. Whatever you are passionate about you need to tap into to create really great  art – without passion  art  is very boring just like anything else in life and let’s face it,  art  isn’t a hum drum area- you want to give it some zest, some life and when you’re passionate about something it shows in your artwork.


The next item I wish to discuss is something that’s very obvious yet often overlooked and that is PRACTICE. You have to practice each day if you want to get better and get to where you want to be. That’s true whether you sketch, paint or sculpt. I’m not saying you have to practice 4-5 hrs each day- the time amount is not as important as sticking with it is. For example, practicing 5 hrs one day and then maybe 20 mins the next and then no practice for a couple of days will NOT get you as far as simply practicing an hour each day faithfully. If you want to practice 5 hrs each day that’s fantastic but just be sure you can stick to it and make it a reasonable time allotment or you will not get as far as you want to go.

3-Knowing When to Stop

This is just as IF NOT more important than practicing because trust me, I’ve been there- you get frustrated with your sketch or painting and if you have a stubborn streak like I have, you want to keep going til you get it JUST RIGHT. Yet the more you keep going, the more frustrated you get & the sketch or painting or what have you, goes no where. I know it’s hard for some of us to do this but when you get frustrated or are losing focus it’s time to take a break. That could mean 5 mins, 2 hrs or a couple of days; whatever it takes for you to get back in the positive mind set. Trust me, I’ve been in this boat many times and I’m not one to just sit idle; it drives me crazy BUT I know that working further on a piece that’s frustrating me at the time will get me no where but wasting my time and blood pressure. There is no time limit on your creative process (unless it’s for a class or commission project) So please just take your time & when you feel yourself getting angry & frustrated- take a break and do something else.

4-Keep at It!

This is where many people also get into trouble. They have the desire to draw, paint or sculpt and so they give it a go and in the end the piece doesn’t look anything like they wanted it to and after a couple more tries or sometimes even after the 1st try they give up completely. I’m here to tell you YOU CANNOT LET YOURSELF GIVE UP! That’s the worst thing you can do. There are very few natural artists out there who can whip up a perfect image the first go at it & take a look at your life, very few things have you accomplished on the first try that mean anything of importance; whether that’s learning to ride your bicycle, driving, math, acing tests, etc- it all came to you after practice and trial/error so don’t think that  art  is any different because it’s not. Stick with it and you will improve.

5-Don’t Do the Comparison Project

By this I mean we all tend to compare our talents or the lack thereof with other people, whether that’s our friends, family or professionals. It’s only natural to do this but it’s also a superb hindrance! Everyone is different, that doesn’t just mean how we look & act but also our skills and talent and vision. You will never paint like da Vinci or Rembrandt no matter how hard you try so please don’t put a pressure on yourself that you’ll never be able to live up to. You have to the BEST YOU you can be; not a copy of someone else. The sooner you realize this, the happier you’ll be and the more confident you’ll become and that too will show in your work.

6-Final Key- at least for now- Have Fun

I’m sure I’ll be adding a few more keys as time goes on but for now this is my last one and it’s absolutely THE MOST IMPORTANT- have fun! It won’t do you any good if you’re not happy with sketching or painting & just do it cause it’s expected of you. If you don’t have fun at it you may as well find a different hobby or career choice because you’ll become miserable and it’ll show in your work too; you can’t hide such a mindset.

Source by Mike Sexton

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