5 Tips for the Self-Taught Artist: How to Hone in on Your Skills
Those who “teach” themselves art can understandably become frustrated, particularly as a beginner. You have a bit of skill, you realize that – but how do you nurture your talent and bring out the real “artist” in you? Whether you paint landscapes in watercolor, still life works in oil or acrylic, or love abstract works of art, sometimes it’s easy to feel as though you have reached your limit in terms of your skill or imagination.
However, as an artist did you know that there really is no limit when it comes to creative, imaginative, and beautiful art? You can learn to “hone” your skills and grow as an accomplished self-taught artist.
1. Your Mindset – Give Yourself Permission
To hone in on your skills, first hone in on believing you can. Self-doubt is the biggest quencher of creativity. Artists are sensitive and harder on themselves. It’s easy to give up when you don’t believe in your work. Don’t let the fear of other people’s judgement stop you from creating your work. Judgement ties in with self-doubt. Give yourself permission, sometimes you can’t wait for the people in your life to give you the approval.
2. Don’t compare your work with other artists.
Sure, it seems almost impossible to do. You see other people’s works of art and are amazed at their talent. You cruise Instagram looking at the talent of artists throughout the world and you feel… “name your feeling“.
You are an individual, so your work should reflect your own skill, talent, and creativity. Other artists’ work can inspire you and give you ideas, but never look at others’ work and let it make you feel inferior. As artists, we never ever stop growing in regards to our skills, talent, and learning – it’s an ongoing process. Don’t stop!
In a busy world, it’s easy to get distracted. Sometimes you look at a blank canvas or paper, and you think that’s as far as you will get. Disconnect from distractions, sit and relax your mind; block out everything else, focus on the energy of what you are creating – This is the power of art.
Let your creative juices flow, and when they begin, don’t hold back! Put those beautiful colors on the canvas and let it lead where it may.
4. Keep it simple.
When you are in the beginning phase and just starting to develop your talent, stick with one or two media such as watercolor or charcoal. Start with a simple subject, and don’t even attempt a project that’s really intense or complex, such as painting a huge panorama depicting horses, meadows and spicy colored woolen blankets.
You should start simple, drawing or painting fruits, bowls, water pitchers, and other things that are really basic. As you master the most basic, you can build out and begin adding shadows, light, and other elements that give your work dimension. Eventually you will find yourself painting the most complex art works that seem to come alive on the canvas, filled with texture, shadows, light, color – life!
5. Gratitude: Feel blessed for the talent you have been given.
Not everyone has the ability to create art, and not everyone can even learn it with someone else teaching. If you have been blessed with artistic ability, be happy with doing your personal best, and know that studying your favorite artists’ works and practice will take you to new levels that will excite and inspire you!
Honing your skills when you’re an artist is a process that continues forever; be inspired, be motivated, and most of all let your art reflect yourself and your passion!
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