What I Wish I Knew as a Beginner Artist

Photo caption: Being a professional artist requires hard work. It also requires a bit of good advice from those who are farther down the path. Image by Aida KHubaeva from Pixabay.

Becoming a professional artist requires you to have an inspired vision of the world. It requires fearlessness in the face of uncertainty, and sometimes, it just requires you to have access to some good advice from those who are ahead of you on the professional artist path.

And fortunately for our students, the artists who function as coaches and mentors in the Milan Art Institute Mastery Program have these qualities in droves. Their professional accomplishments speak to their boldness and tenacity and deep belief in themselves. 

As such, we can think of few better people to talk about this topic: What I wish I knew as a beginner artist. 

May their words uplift you and help you transcend the difficulties you face as beginner artists. 

What I Wish I Knew as a Beginner Artist

Abby Bradford

Don’t  compare yourself to another artist and never compare your work to someone else’s. Your work is unique to you and no one else can create it like you so be very proud of it!!! ✨

Nicolette van den Hadelkamp

For so long I thought it was impossible to be a professional artist. I didn't know how to start and thought it was only for a few very special people on this earth, not for me. And it was a kind of secret dream for me to become an artist. I couldn't even say it out loud. When I stood for the first time behind an easel, I knew this is what I want to do, every day. I couldn't find the fast road towards my secret dream, until I took the right turn. 

I took the online Mastery Program, and it was the highway to my dream. Now, I am living my dream. I am a full-time artist, mentor and coach. So, if you have that dream, too, then start believing in it NOW and never ever give up. Trust yourself and nobody else. Pick up that brush and make as much art as you can. Make ugly things/ Make beautiful things/ It doesn't matter. Stay in the creative flow, be patient and keep going.

Roxanne Bryan

  1. Go for it! Stop focusing on the ‘no’s’ and simply say ‘yes’ to the yearning in your heart and spirit!
  2. Be prepared! It’s hard work to become an artist.  Read. Listen. Practice. Study. Visit art galleries and museums. Repeat... repeat... repeat!
  3. Be teachable and have a good attitude!  I CAN attitude!  I WILL attitude! Be Positive!
  4. Invest in yourself!  Take care of yourself ... spirit, soul, mind and body ... This is necessary to develop yourself as an artist! Make time for yourself!!
  5. Commit!  Commit to a school, a class, a time period.  And no wavering or second-guessing yourself!  Be ALL IN!
  6. Sign up for classes with the Milan Art Institute ... That is the beginning of the road to success!  The road to becoming a full time professional artist!

Casey Wakefield

My few thoughts on this question are... 

Trust the process and be patient with yourself. Put the hard work in and go for it!

Esther Franchuk

What I wish I knew as a beginner artist is that there are multiple techniques and approaches and ways to do art, and how they’re all relevant to your style and your voice, which are expressed through the different mediums. For me personally during the Mastery Program, this was a big breakthrough in that I don’t need to follow specific patterns and the narrow road that many traditional art schools present. 

The system has changed a lot, and there are multiple markets for different kinds of art, for any kind of art, basically, so if I knew this at the beginning of my career, I would not get so frustrated in this journey if I knew from the beginning how my temperament and all of these things are applicable to how I paint. I would be painting more in my temperament, and I would not face so much discouragement that I had to overcome in order to pursue my dream as an artist.

Zybrena’s Crawford Porter

There are SO many different ways to paint and chances are only a select few will really bring me joy. Learning how to paint based on my personality really helped me to come alive during my painting sessions.

Start before you are ready! Elli says this all the time, but I remember I used to think that all my ducks needed to be in a row before I could start painting, because “painting is a luxury.” 

However, painting isn’t a luxury when you plan to be a professional artist. Start with what you have and start NOW!

I especially wish I’d known how wrong every single person who told me, “You can’t make a living as an artist” truly was. With so many “voices of reason” (both solicited and unsolicited) coming your way, it can be hard to know which voices you should heed. 

Some of the best advice I’ve received is “Ask for directions only from those who have been where you want to go.”  

Final Thoughts 

Every artist starts somewhere, and every artist goes through a period of uncertainty as he or she begins to navigate their art studies and then later, their art careers.

However, what all successful artists (like these featured artists) have in common is that they found their strength of heart and their purpose and kept on going.

If you're at the beginning of your art career and feel like you'd like a little more support and guidance, look into our Mastery Program or join the MAI Art Club, the only social learning platform dedicated to training world-changing artists.

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