How to Be a Better Artist

By Kyra Chambers •  Updated: 05/22/20 •  7 min read

You love drawing. And you want to be a better artist.

Art class was your favorite in school.

You couldn’t do something you weren’t passionate about.

So you decided to do something you love.

Choosing to be a full-time artist is risky. It’s different and a change from the day-to-day routine we’re taught in school.

And with change comes growth, so deciding to base your livelihood off of your artwork is a big choice.

A life-changing decision that requires a few qualities to be more than just a starving artist.

Like Pablo Picasso.

Some traits Pablo Picasso had that every artist should aspire to be are:

In order to be the best artist you can be, you have to stay on top of your skills. And be willing to learn new things.

So, practice your craft and study new techniques.

Study how you view things in your life. What attracts you. And what emotionally affects you.

All of these factors into your work ethic and how you create.

Emotional awareness is something you should always work on so you can learn how to control them and understand how things affect you.

To Be a Better Artist Get Back to the Basics

Oftentimes, we get so caught up in learning and demonstrating the latest and greatest techniques.

Without a good basis, it can be difficult to balance all of the new concepts you want to try.

There will be times you’ll get overwhelmed and won’t know what technique to use to create the thing you’re envisioning.

During those moments go back to the basics and practice the techniques that got you to fall in love with art in the first place.

Even take some time to sketch mindlessly and let your imagination wander.

Techniques can always be sharpened and going back to the basics can help you do just that.

Become More Observant

Watching the world around you, immersing yourself in your artistry, and paying attention to other artists can help you become a better artist yourself.

But only if you refrain from comparing yourself to other artists.

Observing is key to detail, precision, and movement.

Whether you are watching the way certain objects move about.

Or impressed in the way that another artist uses a particular stroke.

You are learning something new in the process.

While you do not have to mimic these techniques, gaining knowledge about them can be beneficial.

Learn New Techniques

It’s easy for an artist to become so comfortable in what they are used to, that they are fearful of trying anything new.

Don’t let this hold you back.

Understand that failure is good and in this case, doing something you don’t like can help you.

Creating outside of your comfort zone is beneficial to your craft because you’ll find what new techniques you like and dislike, and what techniques you’ll choose to stick to.

And if you haven’t found an art style to stick to, this may also help.

Immerse Yourself in Art Classes

This goes hand in hand with technique introduction.

Understanding the history behind various types of artistry can help you understand the underlying concepts.

It can also lead to new visions and creations.

Surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are interested in the same things you are can be refreshing and motivating.

Don’t let your career become stagnant, due to a lack of desire to learn new things.

Open your mind up to other artists who love the practice as much as you.

Eliminate Your Fears

Yeah, sure, this concept is much easier said than done.

Even unearthed fears can help hold you back from the artist you could become.

Apprehension about the response of others to your art, fear of the unknown and indecision about art as a viable career can affect your ability and desire to create.

This is a downfall for an up and coming artist. Do whatever it takes to overcome your fears.

Take awkward classes, immerse yourself in strange techniques and practice exhibiting among various group sizes.

Becoming comfortable with the fear of the unknown is empowering.

Fall in Love with Your Own Art

When your livelihood depends on your ability to create, making art can feel like more of a task than an enjoyable hobby.

The number one reason why many artists become burnt out is based on the likelihood that they will become too overwhelmed with the logistics of creating new pieces.

Take some time out every so often to create art that is purely for pleasure.
Don’t worry about the money it will bring in or how others will or won’t like it.

Create for yourself first, and learn to fall in love with your art.

Accept Failure

There will inevitably be times when you sell yourself short or produce work that is less than your normal quality.

Don’t beat yourself up.

Accept that bad days and mistakes happen, and try to make the best of it.

If you let one piece of artwork or one day define your whole career, then you are bound to be unhappy.

Understand that art is not perfect and neither are you. The main goal you should have is to learn from your failures.

Take something away every time you are disappointed, and grow from it.

Schedule Time to Create Your Art

In order to create, you need to be given the time and acceptance to let yourself go and do just that.

Give yourself time and space to let your mind wander, make your art a priority, and visualize new creations.

Take a vacation if you need to.

Turn your phone off.

Just getaway, and give yourself everything you need to be the artist you were destined to be.

All too often, we forget that art is created in the beauty of nature and foreign environments when senses are heightened.

Use this to your advantage.

Find What Makes You Create

To become a better artist, be inspired.

Turn up the music, turn the lights down low, seclude yourself and do whatever it takes to get the creative juices flowing.

Give yourself time to find your intentions.

Don’t place a time limit on creating, and eliminate interruptions.

When we give ourselves time to be authentic and real, it creates phenomenal artwork.

Forced art can lead to burn out and resentment.

So you want to create spaces and times when you’re allowed to enjoy the process.

Explore and be free.

As simple as that may sound, it is hard to find time specifically for this without feeling guilty.

But you deserve dedicated time to your passion and creating for fun.

Whether that’s once a day, once a week or once a month.

Make time for art the way you make time for sleep and exercise.

And give yourself enough time to get lost if you do so.

To Be a Better Artist, Search for New Inspiration

In order to create new pieces, every artist needs new inspiration and insight every once in awhile.

Different perspectives give way to different ideas and creations.

This means that you may need to think outside the box in order to be successful in changing your way of thinking.

Google searches, word of mouth and the discovery page on social media are great resources for finding locations and experiences that may generate fresh, new ideas.

When you can’t stand to paint another canvas maybe it’s time for some new inspiration.

Locations that are rich in movement, color, shapes and music are typically good for encouraging a creative flow.

A more quiet, secluded and dim location is a better option for a mellow mood and relaxation.

You know yourself better than anyone else, so find someplace that suits your artistic capacity and go with it.

Kyra Chambers

Kyra Chambers, also known as Kyra The Creative is a Photographer, Artist, and Multi-media Designer. She's been taking pictures since 2016. She loves to capture memories for families and impactful images for professionals.

Keep Reading