How to Become a Better Artist

5 repeatable steps guaranteed to take your art to the next level

Photo by Tim Arterbury on Unsplash

Step 1: Practice fundamentals… then practice them more

This is listed first not just because it is where every artist starts (or should at least), but also because it is one of the most important things you can do to grow as an artist. No matter how experienced you are, whether you're just starting out or you're an industry professional, practicing your fundamentals are the key to success.

"An amateur practices until they get it right. A professional practices until they can't get it wrong" - unknown

Everyone knows fundamentals can be dull when compared to the idea of creating your next masterpiece, but if you've ever compared your art to someone else's and wondered why yours isn't stacking up to theirs, there's a strong chance it has to do with a meticulous, borderline obsessive focus on perfecting the basic exercises you learned on day one.

Step 2: Challenge yourself

Take your fundamental exercises and make them increasingly difficult:

  • Experiment with variations and combinations of your exercises
  • Test how many times you can complete an exercise and get consistent results
  • Push yourself to finish your exercises faster, without sacrificing quality
  • Repeat

Step 3: Give yourself feedback, and be honest

Whoever first said "practice makes perfect" was wrong. Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent. Don't fall into the trap of thinking you're making yourself a better artist just because you've repeated an exercise several times; only if you've given yourself a critical assessment of each performance and ensured that it was an improvement over the last will that be true. Ask yourself:

  • Did your work turn out exactly as intended?
  • Are you feeling more comfortable performing the exercise than when you started?

Step 4: Get professional feedback

Honest self-evaluation plays a key role in developing your skills as an artist, but it's easy to miss things you wouldn't have thought of without an outside perspective. You also can't work on, at least intentionally, what no one has told you needs attention. If you're serious about your art, sooner or later you're going to want to get feedback from qualified artists. When you're ready for this step, SoulShare has everything you need to start meeting professional artists, online or in-person, and getting their feedback.

Step 5: NEVER Give Up

No one said developing your skills would be easy: it's going to take time, focus, and most importantly tenacity. If you ever need support to keep you going, other artists found on SoulShare can be a great resource.