When you are in art school, or you’re newly starting out as an artist, it can be hard to see your talent and skills begin to peter out. It’s more common than you think and can happen to anyone! Whether you’ve been declared as someone with natural talent or you’ve really had to work hard at your artistic technique, anyone can find themselves stalling.
It can be a struggle to know what to do. No one wants to be seen as untalented! The good news is that if you commit yourself to work hard you can get back to creating artwork that you’re proud of and even turn it into a career.
There are some specific reasons that may be stopping you from developing your talent to its highest potential. Keep reading for 5 ideas that could be affecting your growth. Whether you are convinced that you may never create again or you’re aggressively seeking to remedy the situation, these tips may be just the solution you’re looking for.
1. Lack of High-Quality Art Instructors
Imagine if you will, that you’ve never learned the basics. Without core fundamental skills in art, it can be a real challenge to improve. Hopefully, you have art instructors who can help you grow as an artist. If you find that the classes you are taking aren’t helping you it may not be from a lack of effort on your part at all. You may simply need to find a better teacher!
It may be a case where a good artist has taken on a teaching role and doesn’t know how to best offer up the advice and instructions needed for you to improve. In some situations, it can be a matter of just not having a good instructor at all and the advice they impart is just not high quality.
There are absolutely amazing art instructors out there, and even they can occasionally give advice that won’t work very well for you! Everyone has a different learning style, so it is up to you to appropriately interpret what tips you can use and what may not be relevant for you. Having a difference of opinion with your teacher doesn’t make them a poor instructor!
Art teachers often have chosen their profession because they like the security teaching provides to them. It may not have been their first choice at all! So if you find yourself constantly at odds with recommendations from one particular instructor, it may just be that they don’t understand how to teach well. This can be especially frustrating as a student!
Sometimes bad advice is very obvious: if someone asks you to run full speed into a metaphorical brick wall, you probably shouldn’t follow through! If you know better than what you’ve been instructed to do, you can make the choice to ignore it and set your own course.
If you want to be the best, you need to seek out the best art instructors and learn from them. Reputable schools and classes will hire the best possible instructors. If your personality or style doesn’t seem to mesh with one instructor keep looking for someone who can encourage you and help you grow in a way that works for you! Take the time to find the high-quality instruction you deserve.
If you’re taking an art class and your teacher isn’t giving demonstrations or practical applications for the techniques they’re teaching, then you aren’t getting the best education possible. If you are serious about developing your talent then having a great teacher or mentor is an easy way to do that.
2. Lack of Structure Can Dampen Artistic Success
Having a lack of structure can feel super freeing as an artist! They don’t need to report to anyone and they can be as free as they want, creating willy nilly. That may work well for some artists but if you find yourself in a struggle to improve your talent then you might consider if your lack of structure is a cause.
Learning tips and techniques can certainly improve the quality of your work, but if the underlying fundamentals are missing then you will not be regarded as overly talented. Consider if you were drawing a person: if you haven’t figured out the basic anatomy of a human, your figure drawing would look lopsided and no one would think you had many talents.
Just as you wouldn’t build a house without a strong and solid foundation you shouldn’t be willing to compromise the integrity of your art either! Foundational art skills should not be overlooked and while they can take time to develop, are worth the investment. Find a good book to teach you if you can’t find a good course, or look online for options, there are many to choose from.
Taking the time and effort to learn the basics and give your art structure can be a huge benefit to growing as a talented artist. If you’re hoping to get to a high level of art, you need to get back to learning the underlying structure. Take some classes and be sure to have a deep understanding of the basics.
It’s also helpful to take that structure and put it into your schedule. Whether you set specific working hours or time set aside to take classes and learn, having the discipline to add structure to your life can carry over into your art. When you don’t allow your art to be an afterthought in your day your talent will improve!
3. Lack of Belief In Your Artistic Learning Abilities
We’ve all been scrolling social media and we see different examples of art that are so beautiful and complex that it gives us pause. When you start to lose confidence in yourself and your artistic ability, then your ability to grow can suffer. Remember that if you don’t believe in yourself it’s hard to have anyone else believe in you as well.
Fake it ‘til you make it is often an overused platitude, but when it comes to trying to make a career as an artist it can really pay off! Especially as a student, you need to believe in yourself. While surrounding yourself with those who are further ahead than you artistically may make you uncomfortable you can also learn a lot from being in the presence of people you admire.
If you struggle with a “faking it” mentality of believing in yourself, then it’s a great idea to not focus on the things you believe you lack. Put on blinders to everything else around you and any self donuts or negative thoughts and remember that if you put in the time and effort you will improve. Maybe that seems too simple, but it’s true.
Consider anything you’ve ever had to improve upon – it probably took time and effort. If you’ve got your mind set on being a great artist, then putting in the time and effort to become one should be your ultimate guidepost. This is even more so than believing in yourself! If you aren’t sure if you’re heading in the right direction just double check if you’re putting in the time and effort.
Your time and effort are factors that you can control. You may not always get to choose exactly which classes you take, your schedule may dictate a certain one for instance. But you can completely control how much effort you put into your art! And with more time and effort you can be successful! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, concentrate on your work!
4. Poor Scheduling Can Hinder Artistic Learning
Going back to what you learned already with a lack of structure, if you have a difficult time scheduling out your days, you may not see your talents develop very quickly. If you need to put in time and effort into your work in order to improve but you aren’t making the time, you won’t get very far.
If becoming a successful artist is your goal, you will need to prioritize your time to help become the artist you want to be. Everyone will have many things you could do instead of working on your art. Maybe you need to go for a run, or you have yard work to do. Perhaps spending time with your friends and family is the most important thing to you.
None of these things are bad, but if you let them take priority over your art, you’ll never be able to put in the time needed to become more talented. All the natural talent in the world can’t help you if you aren’t willing to work for it! Art requires effort and skill as much as it does talent. So make it a priority to work on your craft.
It can be easy when you’re a full-time student to make art the priority since you don’t have as many responsibilities. As you transition out of school and into the career world, you may need to schedule your day in a way that offers you plenty of time to get to work on your art or to take a class to further your skills.
When you set realistic expectations with your family and friends that you are going to work on art at a specific time, they will respect that time. This will allow you to be available to them when you’re not building up your portfolio or expanding your skillset. Multi-tasking isn’t helpful, having dedicated time is worth it! You can make it work for you!
5. Overcoming Expensive Art Education
Nothing is more disheartening than finding a class that you’d really like to take and realizing that the tuition just will not fit into your budget. Luckily there are many artists who also believe that knowledge should not be reserved for the wealthy. Not being able to afford a decent education is a shameful reason so many talented individuals don’t develop their talents to the fullest extent.
Artistic talents should be more about your hard work over who your parents are and what they are able to contribute to your education. You control your own destiny and your own self-motivation to work hard and be an artist is absolutely essential to becoming successful.
Take away the excuse of education being too expensive and look into your many options. There are online classes like Schoolism that offer set art classes for as little as $30 a month! For the cost of a few cups of coffee, you could have access to full classes taught by extraordinary professional artists who know what they’re talking about!
Whether you’re looking for a class that can help you improve your fundamental skills or you’re hoping to learn a new technique as you branch out into the unknown, there are classes that will work for you. Online classes are also great because they are easy to fit into your schedule.
Because the classes are often pre-recorded, you can access the lectures at any time that is convenient for you. So if you are an early bird or night owl, it doesn’t matter what time you hit play on your online class: you can still learn as well as anyone! Don’t keep making excuses for yourself, if you want to be an artist go for it!
If you love art and want to develop your talents further than don’t let a thing like bad teachers and expensive classes get in your way. With online classes being so easy to find, you can get some basic fundamentals learned and give your art some structure.
Make time to learn and work hard: time and effort are the two biggest indicators for success as an artist. When you believe in yourself and keep learning, you can become a truly talented artist. Stay committed and focused on your goals, take some classes, and let your talent shine!