How to become an artist

Create artwork.

You don’t have to go to school to learn that (or how to do it). School is valuable because it allows you to quickly learn about the mistakes of other artists, to perfect your form through honest (and often harsh) criticism, and to meet and connect with other artists or studio owners or institutions.

That’s valuable for an artist, but more importantly is creating artwork.

You don’t become a writer by simply thinking about writing a book. Similarly, you can’t become an artist if you’re not creating art.

So the first step to becoming an artist is to create artwork. But what then?

“You become an artist by deciding that you are one. Then follow the long and hard process of convincing other people that you are one.” – Mario Klingemann

If you’re going to make a living selling your artwork you’re going to need a way to sell it. Fortunately there are a lot of ways to sell your art online.

But simply putting your artwork up for sale isn’t going to be enough to sell it. You’ll have to get your art noticed, by creating relationships with other artists, studios, museums, and collectors. You’re going to want to get your art in a gallery as quickly as possible.

Then what?

Try teaching others by guest-speaking at schools or providing workshops online. Actively maintain your online shop, a website and/or blog. Keep building your artistic network so people know who you are and what you do. They don’t have to love what you do, they just have to know.

What comes next is easy: keep making artwork.

Photo by Tim Dutton.