Not everyone can make it as a professional artist. Although some people believe artists are gifted and born with the talent, it takes much more than that to succeed. Just being able to draw well is not enough. There are other qualities that artists need in order to have successful art careers.
- Of course, the main quality of a successful artist is the ability to draw or paint. They need to have artistic talent, including an eye for color and design, and knowledge of the many types of art tools used. Skill is needed to draw objects and people exactly as they appear or to create works of art that people will enjoy and possibly purchase. An artist should include her best works of art in a portfolio that is kept with her at all t imes, so that when she comes across someone interested in her work, she has samples to demonstrate.
- Artists also need to be passionate and self-motivated. They need to be willing to practice regularly and must genuinely love art and feel the need to create. They need to motivate themselves to come up with the best work possible. Most artists are self-employed, meaning they have no boss to look over their shoulder and prod them to do their work. Therefore, artists must be able to stay on task and keep focused on their work. They need to pursue their art regularly. Only drawing or painting sporadically won’t do anything for your career. You need to have the passion. Just like any job, in order to do it well, you need to always be working and willing to learn.
- Artists also need creativity. They need to find something to create that makes them stand out from other artists, something that they can use as their mark. Nobody wants to see the same thing over and over again, and they can’t copy the work of other artists. They need to constantly come up with fresh new ideas.
- Communications skills are also important. Of course, visual communication is a big part of art—that is, being able to communicate and express your feelings through your artwork. However, oral communication is important as well if you’re using your artistic talent as a career, since you’ll need to be able to sell yourself. You’ll need to communicate with others to market your work. If you want to profit from your work, you’ll need to talk to and network with others to gain potential customers and make a sale.
- Patience is also important. Art takes not only talent and skills, but a lot of patience as well. You can’t expect to be a popular artist overnight. Art involves knowledge of the tools, colors, and different methods used, and even if you’re an excellent painter, these things don’t come naturally. Painting especially takes a lot of practice, sometimes months or even years, so it’s necessary to be patient and persistent. Expect to spend a lot of time immersed in art and doing research about art through magazines, journals, the Internet, and associations.
- Some type of educational background is preferred for those looking for art careers. A degree program in fine arts includes subjects such as art history, studio art, science, computers, and English. For those looking to study a specific type of art, such as multimedia, craft, or fine arts, an independent art school is a good choice and focuses primarily on studio work. Either way, formal training has many advantages. It gives artists the skills and knowledge to succeed in an art career. They learn to network with other artists. They gain new experiences that may be useful to inspire them to create new artwork. It also gives them an advantage over artists without any schooling.
- Another important quality for artists is to be able to take criticism well. Not everyone is going to love your work. If you train in a formal setting, your teachers will criticize your work and give you things to improve upon. Instead of getting defensive, it’s best to receive honest criticism from people who care about your success and use that criticism to make your art liked even more by others.