Saturday, January 19, 2008

Become a Professional Artist for Not Much Money

There are several beliefs surrounding the art world, the first of which is that artists are born talented. There may have been a few artists in history who had such perfect hand/eye coordination that art came easily, but most professional artists have studied their craft over a number of years. Most of the great painters of Renaissance fame participated in apprenticeships that lasted for years. In fact, the Greek term for artist is techne , directly translating to master of a craft . The Greeks did not hold artists in the high regard we do today because they saw artists as technicians, masters of a set of techniques, not divinely inspired beings. To a degree, the Greek perspective is valid, there is a set of techniques that anybody can learn which will produce decent art. As far as inspiration goes, is freely available to any human who looks for it. Techniques can be learned either by investing in an expensive education, or by the much cheaper alternative of reading a lot of books. Once you find all of the books and art supplies you need, practice, practice, and practice some more. No one learns to draw, paint, or sculpt overnight. No one is born knowing how to draw, paint or sculpt. Keep trying new things until you learn how to get the effects you want. If you are determined you will see your art skills growing exponentially. Once you have the skills necessary, then there is the ever present problem of marketing. Someone may be able to draw or paint beautifully, but what if no one knows about it? Marketing venues can include galleries, community art centers, coffee shops, restaurants, and of course, online venues. There are many of each option. Use your local directory to find the galleries and show venues near to home. The Internet offers many different formats of online shop or showcase, so feel free to look around as much as you need to find the right format for you. Online resources often offer the most cost-efficient alternatives to other art necessities as well. For example, the Internet is a good place to find good quality art supplies that are less expensive than in a brick and mortar store. If money is really limited, choose an art form that doesn t require as much outlay. Such art forms include Conte crayons, pastels, colored pencils, and charcoal. All you really need is a reputable online supplier of art supplies and artist grade custom sized papers . Other art forms get more costly, but even the most expensive is no more than a few hundred dollars outlay to get started with. There are many places on the web to show your works for free or relatively cheaply, but you must also show family, friends, and anyone who will sit still long enough. Get involved in your local art community and show them too. One of the best methods that artist friends of mine use is placing a suitable work of art on personalized backpacks or other usable items for their own use and for sale. Remember, you re a visual artist. Show, don t tell. Let your work speak for itself, and you will find those who must have it. Good luck, and may your art career skyrocket! Loni L. Ice is a freelance writer/editor, who lives in Lawrence, KS, caught in a happy cyclone of rampant creativity. Visit her website, Ice and Ink for a look at what solutions she can offer for any writing need. All rights reserved.

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