Being an artist can be a difficult job! It requires almost constant creative thought and means you are creating new things all the time! This takes a huge toll on many different artists over time.
All of the stress and work that goes into being an artist can sometimes manifest bad habits used to cope. There are a few specific bad habits that many artists seem to adopt over their careers. Identifying these habits in yourself and working to change them is a huge part of your artistic journey!
To have a long, great career as an artist you must rid yourself of these common bad habits. They are the coping skills that drag you and your creative process down over time. Here are six of the common bad habits you should avoid.
1. Don’t Get Art Info From Only One Source
Often artists will find an art style or an artist that they want to replicate and end up stuck in that rut. They do not go farther out of their comfort zone to find new inspiration or teachers. This leads to artists who are not as well-rounded and could even just be a watered-down version of their original inspiration! One way to avoid this is to take a lot of online art classes or find schools to draw inspiration from.
The secret is to find inspiration everywhere you look and in all different art types! Finding fresh art that you love or being inspired by different pieces will help you to incorporate a new style into your own work and will add a whole new level of interest to your artwork! It will also teach you new and interesting techniques that you might have never even considered before!
Art is so personal and unique to the individual. If you are basing all of your work off of one artist you like or off of the teachings of one artist, then you are only doing what they thought should be done instead of finding your own style. This leads to work that is not as original and personal as it could be! It’s good to mix it up!
Your completed art should reflect you and the things you love. Individualistic style is important. So go find your favorite art pieces and learn what you love most about them to see if you can use any of those ideas yourself. Take as many online art programs by as many teachers as you can and learn exactly what kind of art you want to create!
2. Don’t Stop Posting On Social Media About Your Art
Admittedly, social media can be difficult to keep up with and maintain. In the modern world, however, it is the best way to showcase your art and get your work out there. It also will help you facilitate a fan base and potential buyers!
Once an artist is discovered on social media and they start creating art for money they often slow down their posts. Sometimes they are working on a big project that they can’t share, or are swamped with paid projects so they do not have time for personal work. This is a mistake in the modern day where so much interaction comes from social media.
Many artists, as they gain notoriety, will begin to depend on that. If you work for a studio or are known for working on one specific project, then you might get stuck there. As time passes and your big project loses interest it is important you still have a career and your name is still out there in the art world.
Social media allows you to continue showing art that you do simply for the joy of creating as well as your big, paid projects! This keeps your name in the art world and gives you something to fall back on if you ever lose your studio job or drop out of popularity. Keeping your presence alive on social media is a lot of fun and gives you better career insurance in a field as turbulent as art!
Social media can also be great for getting feedback. If a certain style or design is really resonating with your followers it can inspire which direction you go next with future projects. Keep posting, even if it’s just a little sketch or doodle to keep your fans happy and engaged.
3. Don’t Be All About Business
This bad habit tends to happen as you begin working with other people. It is tempting to keep meetings all about business and complete projects as fast as possible. This is a natural reaction to working with others as it makes you feel more successful and like you accomplished something quickly.
However, the people you work with over time are going to be important to your career and in your life! It’s okay to be yourself and have a personality. Creating good working relationships is vital in every career and art is not the exception! It might be tempting to keep it all business but building REAL relationships will give you better work in the long run.
When you’re in the zone of creativity it can be hard to engage in some small talk or it might feel distracting but you need to keep a good balance with others so that you keep your relationships strong. You will find the people who like and respect you will do better work with you and help you do better as well!
Having a support system of trusted friends and business partners will keep you in check. These are the people that will tell you if they think you need to work on something and you feel comfortable doing the same! You can keep meetings short while still engaging in personal connections.
It is important to create relationships with the people you work with so that you feel comfortable critiquing them as well as complimenting them. This is a tough industry and you will need friends as well as people you can work well with besides the online art courses.
Do not keep it all business when you are working with others no matter how much faster you feel it would make the project go! Your overall success as an artist depends on your talent as well as your relationships with others.
4. Don’t Get Jaded
Often people who have been in the industry for a long time find themselves becoming jaded with their work and the industry itself. It is also sometimes seen that even students become negatively fixated with their work and the things they are trying to accomplish. This leads to hating the work you are doing and becoming resentful!
When you catch yourself slipping into jaded behaviors it is important to focus on the parts of your project that you actually really love! Even if there are just small details that you find funny, focus on them, and let those details be what keeps you going through a project! This will remind you of the aspects of your art that you love and also makes your experience creating better.
Don’t forget to feed your creativity or artistic soul! This important behavior could be as simple as taking a break from only doing commissioned pieces so you can create something just for you. Or even just participating in Inktober to bring something new into your art and work life.
If you find yourself in a slump where your work is just not exciting to you, you may also benefit from taking an art class. There is always something new to learn and waking up your brain and getting excited about art again is just a bonus. Even artists who have been working steadily for years can benefit from learning something new and getting new ideas in an art class!
5. Don’t Tag Artists On Your Work So They’ll Look At It
It has become common to tag many artists on a piece you post on social media in the hopes they will look at your work and be impressed. DON’T DO THIS! Imagine how you would feel if people keep tagging you in their artwork to get your advice or opinion? You would probably get annoyed. So don’t engage in this behavior yourself!
So how do you get engagement and important people to look at your work? You need to endear yourself to that artist before you ask for recognition from them. This can be done in many ways like being an advocate and vocal fan of their work or trying to build a relationship with them.
If you jump straight into seeking praise for your work it is likely to put them off as they will think you only want something from them. (And clearly, that’s true.) Unless they have agreed to be your mentor don’t bombard them with questions.
If you are asking a very famous artist for advice try to keep it quick. They are likely very busy and get many questions every day. Try to keep your questions quick and to the point so they can answer them quickly and continue on their day.
6. Don’t Stop Learning, Online Art Programs Can Help
Constantly learning keeps your work evolving and growing. It keeps you from getting stuck only learning from one place or getting stuck in a rut. The practice of constantly learning will keep your art growing along with you. Online art classes can help immensely, as you don’t have to leave your house to start learning.
Taking online art classes regularly will keep you moving forward in the art world and help you grow your artistic vision. Artists who are constantly learning are the artists that are able to form relationships in the art world and get noticed. Learning will keep your work fresh and give you chance to further your relationships with other artists as well.
The act of learning is an incredible thing that keeps your brain in action. This will help you build new ideas even as your technique evolves and becomes more detailed. The more you learn, more well rounded your artwork will become.
It is easy to become jaded in an industry as difficult to succeed in as the art industry is. But falling into these bad habits can make your career more complicated than it needs to be. It is important that you remember to keep learning and growing as an artist throughout your career to avoid getting stuck in this rut.
Forming relationships with both your fans and inspirations will also help you move forward as an artist. All of these bad habits should be avoided by any artist who wants to have a long and happy career. Remember to never stop learning and growing both as an artist and person.