What Should You Do to Become an Artist?
Give Your Creativity Free Reign, And Follow The Signs!
I get asked this question a lot by friends and colleagues who know I'm a self-taught painter.
Most people assume that to become an artist you need to go to art college. And that is one route, but it's not the only route. In fact, for some people, art college is the worst possible choice. Why? Because that process of teaching can dull the creative fire. I honestly believe if I had gone to art college I would have been expelled! Why? Because I don't conform, and the best artists don't, they create their own path.
Do you know which famous artist didn't go to art college? It was Vincent van Gogh, and look what he created? Not bad.
My route to being a painter was by 'accident'. I was looking for a way to express myself when I discovered I couldn't write during my cancer treatment. When I picked up my first paintbrush, an inner door opened for me, and I fell in love with the whole process of painting. For me, it was and still is a way for me to express my voice.
There are almost certainly clues in your life right now about your artistry. Think back to your childhood - what did you love doing? Who encouraged you the most? Follow those clues as they will give you important information about your next steps.
When you have found your medium, set about educating yourself. Leave no stone unturned, and be conventional and unconventional in your approach.
I found practising artists who tutored me, and I educated myself. I found those tutors by following my nose, not because I had great contacts. I just 'interviewed' several until I knew I'd found the one who I clicked with. That's really important. I asked a lot of questions, and became the apprentice artist while I discovered my path, and I'm still learning. Since I began painting in 2002, I've had joint exhibitions, sold my work, and been commissioned by private and corporate clients to create artworks. Not too shabby.
Start by looking within your networks - who do you know who can advise you? If you draw a blank, expand your search, and get creative with this until you find your tutor.
So if you are asking yourself, 'what should I do to become an artist', here is my formula:
Allow your creativity free reign, and then follow the signs. It's that simple.
Book yourself into that pottery class you've been checking out, sign up for that photography class, or better still, grab your camera, drive to the beach or wilds, and start clicking.
And ask yourself: what do I see? what do I feel? And listen to your answers. You'll know what to do next.
Explore your wild side!
Amanda Seyderhelm is an artist and creativity coach who works with individuals to discover and express their voice. To read more from Amanda or to enroll in her weekly video go to her bloghttp://www.apaintingartist.com/blog and sign up on the form on that page.
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