4 Strategies For Building Yourself As An Artist 1/17

4 Strategies For Building Yourself As An Artist 1/17

A guide for how to grow yourself as a creator and improve your work.

Brad Smith

In this day and age, being an artist and getting your work released into the world for people to view is easier than ever. Various social media outlets and creation tools allow anyone to be a creator in any artistic field.

Being an aspiring music producer, I’ve experienced the struggles of getting your creations viewed and receiving feedback. Whether it be building a following or a network of other creators to work with, it can be very tough when you’re first starting out. But fear not! If you’re just starting out, here are some helpful tips that can help you progress as an artist.

1. Create what you like and don’t try to be someone else

It’s very easy to want to imitate and create the same styles of your favorite artists. They have a significant following of people that appreciate their work and you dream of being in their shoes. But the reason your favorite artist is so popular is because they created what they thought was awesome and other people enjoyed their creative artistic styles.

It’s great to have influences that you can pull different characteristics from and blend into your own style, but it's important to stay true to what you like and not what you think others will like. The world doesn’t want another copy of the same artist, they want to see or hear that pushes the boundaries and creates a new lane of creativity. You’ll produce much better work that will truly reflect you as a creator and you’ll be proud because it’s something YOU made.

2. Network with other like-minded creators

Social media in today’s day and age is a super powerful and effective tool for any creator to get their work viewed and get in touch with other like-minded fans and artists that share the same interests as you. Building a network of creators with similar tastes in art as you will give you an edge when it comes to improving your skills and work. You can ask questions, receive feedback and get advice from other artists with more experience in the artistic field you're passionate about.

Building a network can also open up possibilities of reaching different fan bases and creating opportunities that you may not be able to obtain yourself. Other artists you'll come in contact with will have experienced the same obstacles that you'll encounter of eventually encounter and can help point you in the right direction. So don’t be afraid to talk to others! The right people will help point you in the right direction.

3. Welcome feedback

One aspect of being an artist that can be the most nerve-racking is receiving feedback from people who view your work. Though this can be scary, feedback is essential to figuring out what you’re doing well and what you can improve on. No one likes to receive negative feedback on something they worked hard on and are really proud of, but don’t worry!

An outsider’s perspective is vital to the development of an artist. It can show you what you’re doing good at and where you could improve on. So don’t worry about that hater who might write you a nasty comment online. Unless they actually have something constructive to say about you as an artist that you can use to improve your work, they aren’t worth your attention and will only slow you down if you let their negativity affect you.

4. Continuously strive to improve your skills

If you’re truly passionate about your artwork and producing it makes you happy, continue to work at it and give it your absolute best! Any sort of practice that engages you with some aspects of the production of your craft can do nothing but benefit you and make your work better in the long run. If you like to paint or draw, try and make one small drawing a day. If you’re a musician, spend an hour or two a day getting more familiar with your instrument or production software.

Even something as simple as watching a few youtube videos and educating yourself on something you weren’t previously aware of can do nothing but good for your artistic knowledge. Kanye West made five beats a day for three months straight, and even though they weren’t all good, they gave him an immense amount of practice with music production and he’s now referred to as one the biggest pioneers in modern hip-hop.

Draw that picture, paint that painting, write that song and push the boundaries of what you know as the norm. Most importantly; keep being creative.

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