It does not matter if you are an aspiring artist or a well-established creative guru – we all have started somewhere. We practice and make mistakes – and that’s perfectly fine, because it is the part of the learning process. As one pretty wise man said:
However, in order to learn effectively any artist should realize what his/her weaknesses are and what mistakes to avoid. I’ve been involved in creative sphere for many years now. And I’d like to share my personal list of things you definitely should avoid in your creative practice. Please mind that these mistakes are listed in no particular order.
Mistake # 1. Comparing yourself to others
One of the most common slips is comparing your skills to other artists. Trust me – this can do a great disservice to you. There is always someone more experienced or lucky to find his perfect niche out there. You rarely realize how a particular artist got to the point where you first discovered his works. That cool art can easily be a result of years of development and self-searching. Thus, the only thing you can do is concentrate on yourself and your personal growth.
Sure, it’s good to keep an eye on what your fellow artists are doing out there, what is trendy and what’s not but please don’t let it overwhelm you and discourage from moving further.
Mistake # 2. Way too high expectations
It’s only natural to be inspired when starting something new. That’s what fuels us, charges with energy. But more often than not people do get trapped by their own unrealistic expectations. It’s hard to become famous right away, it’s even harder to become a master of any craft. These things take time, hard work and dedication. It doesn’t mean the process of getting to the top can’t be fun and exciting. But you need to realize that obstacles will definitely be there. And you need to be prepared. Concentrate on the overall dream but try reaching it one step at a time. By doing this you will have a better picture of what lies ahead and you will adjust your expectations accordingly.
Mistake # 3. Copying other artists
There is a very thin line between being inspired by some piece of art and actually coping from it. It’s perfectly fine and useful to study from your favorite Da Vinci or Klimt, learning drawing techniques and color combinations. But it’s really unprofessional and unethical to rip off the unique style of a living artist without giving him any credit.
It is in fact the common artists’ sin on social media. You see something amazing done by another illustrator, you want to use the same style/colors/shapes and end up with a distinctively derivative work. And this can harm you in many ways:
- There are people who deal with art everyday, like art directors or professional illustrators. They know their industry and can easily recognize what your source image is. It can earn you quite a bad reputation if you decide to include it in your professional portfolio.
- You don’t learn much in the process. The artist you admire might have spent a lot of time developing his style and mastering his craft. You, on the other hand, have just made a copy of that end result.
- Just imagine that you in fact became a famous artist. You worked hard, spent your time and energy, developed your own style. And all of a sudden someone is simply stealing your distinctive visual traits. How would it make you feel?
It’s still a great deal of debate where inspiration ends and stealing begins. Nevertheless I would highly recommend not to include the works that are ‘too much inspired’ in your portfolio 🙂
Mistake # 4. Excessive Perfectionism
Striving for perfection is a healthy thing to do. No doubt about it. But not if it takes too much of your time that you could have spent creating another art piece. Way too often artists try to reevaluate their finished works trying to make them impeccable when the elusive details exist only in their minds.
All these unnecessary struggles prevent you from sharing your work with the world and receiving valuable feedback, which is a great source for improvement by itself.
Mistake # 5. Changing style constantly
I get it – it’s always fun to try something new, experiment with new apps, tools, art-forms etc. But there is a fine line between discovering your own artist identity and switching to different style every time something appears on the horizon.
Especially when you did not invest enough time in whatever you were doing right before that. My advice is simple – chose a style which is most visually appealing to you and concentrate on it. Practice within this style until you see a real progress. By that time you will get the feeling if it suits you or you don’t enjoy working on it that much. Only then you can clearly see if something else will be better for your personal expression.
I hope my advice will help you avoid these mistakes and you will reach your dream as an artist without those bumps on the creative road.
Remember, take your time, work on your skills, practice and believe in your own talent and artistic vision.
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