Photo caption: These Milan Art Institute students have the right idea: Masterful skills require masterful practice. Photo courtesy of the Milan Art Institute.
Here’s a truth you may not often hear.You don’t need talent to succeed as an artist.
Now, here’s a deeper truth: You do need skill to succeed as an artist.
The problem is that many otherwise passionate would-be artists confuse skill with talent. That is to say that what we perceive as talent is actually a set of skills that have been honed over time through tenacious practice and discipline in the face of obstacles.
Fortunately, art skills are skills that anyone can learn, but make no mistake about it. If you want to succeed wildly as an artist, you’re going to need some powerful skills.
It’s a non-negotiable.
Elli and Dimitra recently spoke to MAI’s Art Club about this topic. Here are three takeaways from their talk.
It’s still important to understand how to create form and how to use artistic elements, like form, light, color and line properly. These are skills that you learn when you take classes that emphasize traditional art skills. In other words, when you learn how to paint and draw representationally, you develop the foundational skills you need to create beautiful abstracts and other less representational works.
Learning these skills helps you get the most out of your classes in abstract painting and to paint less traditional paintings with mastery. This is particularly the case for artists who want to paint in an abstract realism style.
Even the greatest masters, like da Vinci, had to learn to grow their skills. When you really understand this, your appreciation levels grow. It can also be the motivator you need to level up and achieve true greatness as an artist. Dimitra reminds viewers that many of the artists that we appreciate put in the hard work required to be called masters.
For some people, making art is a personal thing. They do it for their enjoyment, caring little about taking it to a wider audience.
However, the artists who want their art to speak to a broader audience must embrace skills training. Moreover, excellence in the skills department requires a lifelong commitment. Even after painting for 25 years, Elli admits that there are skills she still wants to learn and master painters she still wants to learn from.
The most proficient artists embrace skills training. Furthermore, they constantly dedicate themselves to the tasks that will help them improve. Those who have virtuosity as a goal begin to see skills training as fun instead of a chore. As a result, they are eventually able to create remarkable paintings with the finesse and vision of the hero artists they admire.
Did you like this article? Then take a look at Art Club. MAI’s Art Club produces valuable content like this regularly.
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