Thursday, March 25, 2010

10 tips for young (and old!) artists

I may be teaching a fantasy illustration class for teens this summer in my area. Thinking about what my best advice would be I came up with this top-ten list. At this point in my career, its what has served me well.. however the order is arbitrary..

Draw -try for at least an hour or more a day. Be consi
stent.
  1. Challenge yourself with what you draw. Your progress is dictated by your challenges. Always challenge yourself with tasks that are beyond your abilities… you will eventually gain those abilities if you do this, and always working within your comfort zone will limit your skills.
  2. Study the masters. Always be looking at pre-20th century art and study what those artists did. Probe these images for compositional thinking and choices made.
  3. Experiment with as many techniques and processes as you can. Don’t be just an illustrator be a painter, photographer, lighting technician, sculptor, teacher…etc
  4. Practice structure, precision, finish, technique.
  5. Practice feeling, emotion, mood, creativity.
  6. Read as many art books as you can. Read old art books. Read stuff on the internet. Reading is cheap and effective.
  7. Draw and paint from life. Learn what reality looks like. It is too easy to be led astray by always consulting other art and photos instead of going to the source.
  8. Seek out those that know. Take workshops, visit studios and talk to the people who are already doing the work you aspire to. These people know the answers, so they are your best resource for information.
  9. Have Fun! Although an illustration career can be a lot of work, if you enjoy what you are doing it doesn’t seem like work at all. Your passion is the fuel for your product, and your love of your work will show in the results.