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10 things I wish I knew when I first became an artist.

I know how daunting it can be starting something new.

Especially putting your own work out there, having to self advertise, trying to make a name for yourself.

I looked up to a few artists when I first started out but I wish I had this list to help me, here are some things I've learned in the last 2 years!

1. Don't be so hard on yourself. Learning anything takes time! The beauty of art is the more you do, the better you will get. You will slowly start to develop your own style as an artist and find things that work for you. No artist's style is the same & thats the beauty of it!

2. You don't need 'top of the range,' art supplies to start off with. When I first started I bought a pack of Derwent Pencils, but I was using them alongside some lower priced art pencils I already had. These are things you can collect over time. Artist materials can be expensive, get the important things first and invest in other things over time.

3. Get on social media! This was the best tool that has helped me find work time & time again. Whether its Instagram, Tiktok, Facebook, (or all of them!) these are fantastic tools that will get you & your name out there!

4. Get to know your audience. You don't have to have 1 niche, you can have a style and be a little flexible with it but know what your customers want and tailor your product to them. For example- my focus is my pet illustrations but I also do a little bit of abstract art. The drawings are my focus though because thats what my audience wants & follows me for.

5. Use reference photos to help you. Whether you paint, draw or sketch it can be very useful if you're just starting out to use reference photos to help you with your art. This will help you develop your "artist brain." This is where you have to learn to block out what you think is correct, and draw exactly what you see.

I promise this gets easier over time, sometimes I'm drawing something using a reference photo for guidance and I feel like it will look ridiculous. But stepping back when it's done, I can see how accurate it actually is.

6. Do a little each day, or as often as possible. I love looking back at my old artwork I was proud of, because I can see how far I've come now! A few months can do a lot for an artist's development if you are working continuously at it.

7. Invest in a good camera, or a good scanner. The most frustrating thing when I first started out it I would draw an illustration I was really proud of but was unable to get a good quality photo of it. I ended up investing in a good quality art scanner last year, which has been worth every cent.

Keep in mind, good photos = a good looking page on social media = more sales!

8. Use youtube tutorials to help you learn. I love watching 2 hour videos some artists put up on Youtube, I draw while I listen to them talk about what they're doing. It makes me feel like I'm in an art class and I pick up some great tips along the way!

9. Offer different sized art to your customers. This means they can purchase a size which will work best for their space, as well as enabling them to have the choice to buy art at different price points.

10. Have fun! If you make art your business, there will be times where you want to rip up the piece of art you're working on (don't do it!)

Like any job, you'll have good days & bad days, but if you are truely passionate about art & being in a creative job, then most days it won't feel like you're at work at all.

If you need any more help or have any questions, I'd love to hear from you!

- Cait x

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