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How to become a professional artist

You may think that the notion of becoming a professional artist is nothing but a romantic intangible dream. But if you have the desire to put in the hours, the skill and the willingness to get better, and a valid knowledge of the art world, becoming a professional isn’t as hard as you might think.

Below are some more fundamental skills you require and some tips you should take on board if you want to turn that dream into a reality.

Get acquainted with art: figure out what you like

You may have a huge love for art, but to get ahead in the art world, you need to be more specific on what field you particularly enjoy and wish to make your own. Remember that art is a jigsaw puzzle with a thousand pieces, so whether you want to make sculptures, draw comic books or create the next Mona Lisa, get acquainted with art and figure out what appeals to you and your skill set the most.

Practice, practice, practice

It is said that it takes a person ten thousand hours of practice to become an expert in any field so until you have surpassed that mark, make sure you practice non-stop to hone and sharpen your skills. Constant and obsessive practice is how you start as a good artist and turn into a great one.

Take a course

Another helpful step is taking art courses and studying art. This will help you get a job in art galleries so you can earn money while you create, and it is another way of becoming a much better artist. Look on websites like Career FAQs to get a good idea of what course best suits you.

Figure out your weaknesses, and turn them into strengths

To become a successful professional artist, you need to be a well-rounded practitioner, and one of the best ways to do that is to turn your weaknesses into strengths. If you are bad at watercolours, repeatedly practice until you become great at them, doing so will make you versatile which is a key factor to becoming a professional in the art world.

Be different

One of the best ways to get ahead and on top of the art world is to stand out from the crowd and embrace experimentation. Everyone from Jackson Pollock to Salvador Dali were never afraid to be different and it made their careers.

Plan

When you think of an artist you may think of down and out geniuses only living for the present. The truth is that every successful artist is meticulous when it comes to art. Treat it like a job, plan for the future, make budgets, network, and compile a list of helpful contacts. If you want art to be your profession, you have to be professional.

DIY: Put on shows, start a movement

Sometimes the best way to get ahead is to do it yourself. Great artists like Keith Herring, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat all started their own movements by putting on their own shows, creating their own unique styles and making the art world come to them. Take a leaf out of their books and make it happen for yourself with some shrewd DIY skills.

There is no ready-made formula for becoming a professional artist. And while most artists who have been successful would wilfully admit there was some luck attached to their success, there are still things that you can do to get a head start. Follow the tips above, add a healthy dose of patience, and an undying love for the art world, and you will be well on your way to becoming a professional artist.

Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Time: 30 Minutes

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