It can be challenging to break into any new field, especially creative ones. Here we’ll go over some tips and lessons we’ve learned over the years that really helped us establish ourselves as artists.
These are especially good for international artists! With technology being such an amazing tool, we want to share how you can get to creating opportunities over the internet in no time flat.
Your Claim to Artistic Fame
Many artists think about this. How are people going to know you? How are they going to know you are legitimate, especially when you are first starting off? You don’t have any big projects lined up just yet. It’s also probably fair to say that you don’t already have a claim to fame.
To legitimize yourself as an artist you can do a few things. Try teaching in order to get yourself out there. Teachers are respected, right? Give instructions in person or through online videos. Just start creating and sharing that creativity with others.
Come Up With Great Art and See What Sticks
Character designs, IPs, webcomics, whatever. Just throw it out there and see what sticks. After you put it out there, see what people are interested in. You can tell by the number of likes or shares on various forums how folks are reacting to your stuff.
It’s a great tool that you can use to consistently gauge what’s popular and will likely be well received by new potential clients. And do yourself a huge favor; listen! Folks in your community and followers are going to give you quality constructive criticism.
Also, know that it will take time to hone your art to be vastly popular. Be patient. If it takes time, that’s ok. You will learn as you go, tweaking things and adjusting according to feedback.
Don’t give up too early, keep plugging along through challenges. Some things take a little time to pick up momentum. Don’t let that fearful voice in the back of your head deter you from creating. Just do it and put it out there unabashedly. If it’s a project you believe in and enjoy, keep at it!
On the other hand, if you have been hammering away at a project for an extended period of time and it’s just not getting you anywhere. It’s ok to shift directions a little.
Our best advice is that if you are calling it quits because of fear, to not give up. The creative process and sharing that work with the world are always scary. However, if you are having hesitations about your work because logically it’s just not going in the right direction, that is probably a good point to call it. Shift your perspective or try a new approach.
Try BETA Testing Groups As an Online Tactic to get Feedback On Your Art
This is a nice tactic if you have a good community or group of folks on FaceBook or other platforms. Test your ideas out on them, ask for feedback. There are tons of artistic groups out there on social media or independent forums that you can join.
For instance, Schoolism has a private FaceBook group that you have exclusive access to through their online courses that would be a fantastic way to get your project ideas out there in a safe space. Sharing with other artists is a great way to get interesting new perspectives. Their opinions really matter.
Also, shoot to get your work in front of your target audience. Getting honest outside opinions on your work is important. Sometimes it’s hard to step out of your artist shoes and look at your work objectively. But if you share some of your ideas with the type of folks you want to be enjoying your work long term it can give you a lot of great insight.
Give them a few options as well. Share with them a couple of ideas about a new graphic novel idea you are coming up with, or a few versions of a sketch you want to further develop.
As the creator of that work, sometimes we think that one version is the absolute best way to go. Then, when you present that work, your target audience actually feels the exact opposite. Which can come as a surprise. Though don’t let their difference of opinion discourage you. It’s better to get constructive input early on in the process.
Once you have that useful feedback, you can start investing more time, energy, and money into the project ideas that yield the best results. Now that you have an idea that your target audience will like the things you make, try making some prints or T-shirts even. Also, digital is the way to go for large scale distribution.
Having a tangible version of your project will certainly make you feel like more of a professional. Because you are! You’ve taken the time and put in the work to develop a great piece of work and distribute it. It’s always better to be the artist with the booth at the art festival, not the one trying to peddle their work on the sidewalk.
Slow Play – Create Amazing, High Quality Art
It’s not about trying to accelerate as fast as you can. That tactic isn’t very stable, or reliable. It’s all about the slow play. Think about it. Any time you try to rush any project or task, it usually doesn’t turn out super great.
Yes, we admit that there is a very complex art to expanding quickly but keeping things stable. Try to think about things long term. It’s sort of like how weeds grow. A lot of them will grow a ton in no time, but it’s never going to become a forest. You have to have the patience to plant trees that will one day grow into a forest.
So invest in building the forest of your ideas. It will need to be nurtured, given time, and constant effort before you see the grand result.
Artist Skills Can Be Learned Online
We’re going to touch on building a portfolio here shortly, however, we can’t really go there without discussing skills. No matter how strategic you are about putting together a portfolio, it won’t do much good unless you have the skills to produce great work for it.
Our suggestion is to get a mentor or coach. Someone that is a professional who can go over your art with a keen eye. And make sure this person is themself beyond the goal that you are trying to achieve. How do you become the best at anything? By learning from a master of that craft. Online art classes give you the opportunity to improve your skills from home.
It can take years and years to hone master techniques, and even longer still to be able to break that process down to share with others to hone their skills. Programs like Schoolism Critiqued Sessions give you more than lessons.
You watch the lesson, do the assignment, and then you receive a personalized video with feedback and individually catered instructions from your master instructor. They even draw or paint over your assignment and explain exactly why something was a little off, or where an aspect of it was done very well.
In other words, Schoolism Critiqued Sessions cater the instructions to your specific skill level, strengths, and weaknesses. Seeing the art teacher’s changes on top of your own work is extremely valuable for accelerating your skill level quickly.
Your Art Portfolio Should Be Online
Now, on to building a bang-up portfolio that will get you noticed. This is something that you want to present as a professional. Too many artists put their work online and highlight that they are still current students, or are recently out of school and new to the world of art. Leaning on that explanation as an excuse as to why their work isn’t quite as good.
Alternatively, perhaps you think your work is super awesome, and announcing that you are a student will show how far ahead of the game you are. Either way, no one really wants to hire a student. They already have an occupation, being in school. That alone is a full-time job.
So always label yourself as an artist, illustrator, character designer, whatever it might be. It’s not necessary to label yourself a student. Allow the folks who want to hire you to evaluate that. And hey, if you’re truly committed, you will be a lifelong student of art.
Put Your Ultimate Artistic Intentions Out There on the Internet
Keep your ultimate goal in mind. What is it that you love to do and you want to do for the rest of your life? Make that very clear and say it loud in your profile. For example, label the art you want to do. Fantasy art, sci-fi art, narrow down exactly what it is that you are passionate about and highlight that in your profile.
That way, people know what it is you do for a living, what kind of jobs you want, and whether or not they have those kinds of jobs to offer. And most importantly, if they are looking for those kinds of artists. Try to be as specific as possible, to help people looking to hire you make the right decision, for them and for you.
Narrowing the focus of what you want to do, honing that specific skill set, and being more specialized will gain you a lot of attention and opportunities. That of course, means more jobs!
Once you have detailed these specifications in your profile, that’s when you can start to implement that in your portfolio. What is your target goal, who are the target companies that you’d love to work for or collaborate with? Make that abundantly clear and cater your work to get you there.
If you don’t happen to have the opportunity to work on any projects that align exactly with what it is you want to do, well, just start doing it! You don’t actually need to wait for these opportunities to start coming your way. You can start doing them now by yourself. Pretend you are on a film, or take a book and try to illustrate key moments in the storyline.
Treat it as seriously as possible. Create the project you would want to work on and do it just like you would if you were getting paid. If you want to be working on a film, include notes on the project you would send to the director. Show thumbnail ideas and so on.
Put your imagination to work and think of every step you would actually do if you were working on your dream project. And then do it!
Personal Art Projects Create Online Opportunities
The above mentioned self-driven projects work extremely well to attract attention, jobs, and more opportunities over the internet. People can tell when you put real passion into a project and it makes that work better.
We know that it can be time-consuming and sometimes challenging to make the time and effort to create things that aren’t paying gigs. But we promise, your hard work will pay off.
The Online Opportunities Are Out There!
Opportunities are everywhere. You just have to go and do them. Remember the more honest and genuine effort you put into honing your skills and directing the focus of your work, the more you will get noticed.
We hope this has been helpful for you trying to get yourself and your artwork out into the world. Hopefully, we also inspired you to go out there and start creating your own opportunities over the internet.