Wondering how to be an artist? No matter how you want to refer to yourself, being an artist is not an exclusive title for those who have a career in the arts. You do not have to be paid, published, featured or recognized in any capacity to understand that you are a creator, and that you have the potential to do amazing things with your abilities.
With that said, if you want to master your art, you’re going to have to commit to it in a very real way. On the road to becoming an artist, most people discover that inspiration is only half the battle. What artists have to learn isn’t so much how to create well, but how to create well all of the time. They have to learn grit. They have to learn how to make their craft part of their everyday lives.
It is not a lack of ability that makes or breaks successful artists, it’s their lack of consistency.
Be that as it is, there are many ways you can channel your inner artist every day of your life, whether you’re working on building a company, selling your work, or even just looking to express yourself in different ways. Here are a few pointers to get started.
- Use commute time to be creative. Draw, write, or just listen to music that inspires you. Down time = practice time, if you want it to be.
- Work on cultivating your home to be a reflection of your interests. The more inviting and inspiring your space is, the more you’ll be drawn there.
- Share your work on social media. Get other people involved in your craft, and source valuable feedback from them at the same time.
- Brainstorm solutions to the problems in your life as though you were a creative consultant on a job. Creativity is not just what you do behind a lens, or when the paintbrush hits the paper. It’s a way of thinking and being in the world.
- Work when you aren’t inspired. Discover that just because you “don’t feel like it” doesn’t mean you’re less capable. Discover that inspiration is something you can choose to feel.
- Try something new. If you’re a writer, experiment with a different genre. If you work with acrylic paints, try watercolor. You might stumble upon a hidden talent.
- Style yourself in a way that inspires you. You are the most important piece of art in your life, and how you create yourself is ultimately how the world will respond to you.
- Make creativity a social thing. Get together with friends and perform, collage, or share your latest work. When you have a support network, you’ll be that much more likely to feel motivated.
- Try to create without judging yourself. The voices in your head telling you what’s bad and wrong are only holding you back from exploring your creative potential.
- Follow people online who you want to be more like. If you’re going to scroll, make sure you’re filling your hours with things that make you feel inspired.
- Start monetizing your art as a side gig. Before you decide whether or not you want to take a huge leap into a new field, try getting your toes wet. Set up an online marketplace, or try selling your work to a local store (or business).
- Limit your tools. Go somewhere and try to use what you have to take an amazing photo, or use only one brush and color on your next piece. Creativity thrives in construction.
- Be less of a critic. The more that you are kind and open to feeling out other people’s art, the more you’ll be willing to support yourself.