I have written a tutorial like this before here
. But recently I have had more thoughts about it that I decided to share. As you may have noticed, I am not a professional artist, I am a hobbyist and self-taught, and what I will expose here is what I've learnt from my own experience. Even so, I hope this tutorial will be helpful to you!
Another note: English is not my first language, so I apologize if I commit any mistakes.
Feel free to correct my grammar any time, as well as make suggestions or asking questions!
This tutorial is for every kind of artist, but sometimes I will focus more on visual artists (since it's my speciality).
I believe that everyone can be an artist, and this tutorial has not only the purpose of providing advices and tips, but also motivation for all.
1. Your Image as an Artist on dA
2. Your Image as an Artist outside dA
3. Your Popularity
4. Your Art Process
5. Your Artistic Style
6. Your Inspiraton
7. Your Improvement
8. Your Art
1. Your Image as an Artist on dA
Each artist is unique - and you, as an artist, must make that clear, starting by your image here on deviant ART.
If you want to draw attention to your gallery, you must build an interesting image on the website. Here a few tips:Your Icon
It is small, but it counts very much - if your avatar is good looking and interesting, people will be most likely to click on it. Your avatar should reflect what kind of art you do, so that people interested in that kind of art will feel like clicking on it; per example, if your avatar is a face of an anime girl, anime fans will click the most on your avatar. Still, that is not a must!
It is proved that people are more interested in animated avatars, so if you can animate yours, it would really help!
Not changing your avatar so frequently (like I do, unfortunately...) will make everyone memorize your avatar, in order to recognize you everywhere on deviant ART - as if it was your trademark!Your Username
Specially if you are thinking of becoming a professional artist, you need a decent username. Having a unique username, easy to memorize and to type is better, so people will remember you and will be able to find your page easily. Also, if you use this same username for all your other pages (website, tumblr, twitter, facebook artistic page, etc...) this will make it possible for others to find you anywhere else and follow you!
A decent username also imposes respect over you. Who are you most likely to trust in a commission: deviant ErinJones or deviant 1iluv34heart?
Well, of course it would also depend of another factors, but we can't deny that the username represents an important role.Your Profile
The more your page is good looking, organized, the better! Having the option to personalize your page is great, so you can make it unique and give your special touch. Try not to flood it with thousands of widgets, animated images, or anything that makes the page load slower. Using too much colorful backgrounds in your widgets is not also a very good idea. All those factors can make people avoid visiting your page: they might get tired of waiting your page to load, or tired of looking at so much information at the same time. Think: would you stay for so long in deviant art if its background was a vivid, bright red?
In your profile, you should:
* Present only your best artworks. Feature your best deviations!
* Have a deviantID, with a little information about yourself, your art, the tools you use, what is your graduation, profession, and past notable works - in case you seek to be/are a professional artist, presenting your experiences might be very relevant for who is visiting your page, and may be a future client!
* If you have pages elsewhere, post the links, so everyone can check it out!
* If you take commissions, also include this information!A Subscription
I don't think getting a subscription in deviantART is required, but I have read in many places that deviants with a "*" before their names impose more respect and provoke more interest in others to visit their pages. There are no deep researches about this that I know of.
Anyway, a subscription gives you more options, since it allows you to personalize more your page and add more kinds of widgets, and also to make personal forums, pools, journals and more. Your Behavior
* No one likes rude, arrogant people! So don't act this way. Be friendly and gentle! You will see how many friends you will make!
* Do not spam others, even if it is with comments like "visit my gallery", "view my new work"... This annoys others and they are most likely to avoid you!
* Answer comments. It shows that you care for your visitors / your fans / viewers of your art. Thank them for their time to see your art and for their comments.
* You can also thank others for favoriting your deviations and for watching you, but I know how it can take time, so if you want, you can write somewhere in your profile a previous "thank you" for everyone who takes time to watch and favorite your artworks.
* Take your time to see others' galleries, artworks, profiles... Comment on them, but not "one word" comments - try to really express what you think of the artwork / gallery of the artist, if possible give constructive criticism. You will not only be helping another artist, but also yourself to get more attention! Also favorite and watch artists that you like and that inspire you.
* DO NOT post "oh this artwork I made is bad, oh I suck etc etc...". I really despise this attitude - and I am not alone! It shows lack of confidence and insecurity. Specially if you want to be / are a professional artist, you shouldn't act like this. If you hate an artwork of yours, don't post it anywhere! Hide it, or remake it! Or you can actually post it, and politely ask for constructive criticism. Something along those lines: "I am not completely confident about this artwork of mine, I would really appreciate some feedback." Doesn't it sound better?
* Be humble. We always have plenty to learn, no one knows everything about a subject! You can even learn with someone with less experience than you, so always stay open-minded.
* Share your knowledge. Serve the community, help others! Think how many tutorials have taught you something. Imagine if all those people who wrote them thought: "oh, I have to hide my secrets, no one can know as much as me!". Well, it would be really bad, wouldn't it?
We all know something other people might not know. And it's because of sharing information that we learn so much. Sometimes, others don't see something we do, and the opposite is also true. We should all help each other, so that the society can improve. I went very deep here, but that's the truth. You will see how rewarding it is to hear that someone has learnt something that you
* Be active on the community. If you disappear, most people will forget about you. Join groups, submit your artwork to them, participate in the forum, in the chat rooms, write journals, make features of other artists' artworks, make interesting pools, even make contests... By those ways, you will get more popular, and therefore will draw more attention to you and your gallery!
2. Your Image as an Artist outside dAYour own page
I really advise you to have your own website / portfolio, and a very well built one. It doesn't need to be complex, with flash animation and more - just keep it organized and with a clean look, easy to browse and functioning! It should have your gallery, of course, featuring your best artworks. It also should contain information about you and your art, information on how to contact you, what kind of services you offer, where and how people can buy your art. Showcasing places that your art has been featured (such as magazines, articles, galleries...) and providing information about your graduation and notable works also help a lot building your reputation. Also provide links to your other pages on the internet!
Making the option to share your art through social networks from your website will also widen your audience!
If you cannot pay for your own domain and space on the internet, there are many websites that offer such space for free - just look for them! Also, deviantART provides a portfolio for subscription users. Remember to keep your website's name easy to remember and to type and as much as professional as you can.Social Networks
Having a page in social networks is also very helpful to promote your art! Websites like Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook among many others have a great space for you to share your art. Today, many people use those networks, so your friends and family - your first audience - will be the first ones to help you promote your art!Videos
Many artists use websites such as YouTube and LiveStream to promote videos of process of their artworks. By doing this, they are not only helping others artists to learn more, they're also promoting their art and abilities! Blogs
Since you will use your website / portfolio as a more professional presentation of yourself, blogs can be a more spontaneous way to showcase your artwork. Through blogs you can post process of your art, sketches, ideas, and interact more with your public. It's fun, but also requires dedication and time, since bloggers should be active. Stores
Many artists have online stores in websites like Deviant Art, Artflakes, Society 6... Well, if you research, you will find many websites that allows you to build easily your own store like those I mentioned. (They work like this: you submit your artwork, and the website produces the products and make them available to be bought. You earn a percentage of the earning when something is sold). Be careful! Choose one or two websites to build your store on - otherwise, your art won't be so unique and you will compete with yourself in the market. Also only choose trusting websites.
3. Your Popularity
You will gain popularity with hard work, a bit of luck, and also by methods that I have already mentioned before.
I just would like to say something: we all know there are certain subjects and kinds of art that gains popularity easier. Doing fan art and "artistic nude" (which sometimes is porn, in my opinion) as we frequently see in dA front page are some of those methods. Before doing those kinds of art just for the sake of being popular, ask yourself: do you want to get to the top by using famous characters that others
have created? Do you want to get to the top by being someone you are not? Or you want to get there by being yourself and with your own, original, unique art?
*Please note that I have nothing against any kind of art. I just don't agree when someone uses something else or a determined kind of art just for the sake of gaining attention, and not really making art and expressing something. I don't want to start any kind of discussion here, nor offend anyone, nor criticize any artist or artwork.
4. Your Art Process
To create art, you must be in a great, inspirational and comfortable environment. Create art in a place where there is light, that is clean, organized, and that has a good space for your material. Of course, this place must please you and make you feel at ease. If you don't like sounds when creating, then choose somewhere silent, or if you like, you can turn on some music of your taste and that inspires you.
From time to time, take a break to rest a little bit, to drink some water, to give a little walk... Specially if you create art digitally, it is good to take a little break from the computer to rest your eyes every hour or two.
Sometimes, visualize your artwork from different angles and distances. It helps me really much sometimes to see what I need to do next on my work.
Before creating your art, it is nice to have a concept in mind. Try closing your eyes and seeing what you want to do. Or you can do just like I do: be totally spontaneous. Well, see what works better for you!
If you are impatient, not in really a good mood to create art, feeling bad about something or in a hurry, it's better not to even start. Try to calm down first. Creating art in such moods may lead you to do something you won't like the result and frustrate you even more. Unless you have no choice, it's better to choose only times you are feeling in an artistic mood to create art.
Make sure that during your artistic process you won't get interrupted or disturbed.
5. Your Artistic Style
Having your unique style differs you from other artists - your art can be recognized by anyone, anywhere.
What makes a style so unique are the palette (the colors and tones) used, the traces, the details, and even the themes approached.
There are many strong styles over there, such as cartoon, anime, surreal, abstract... It is really a challenge to create a totally original style, but don't give up! You can create something new over something that already exists (your own anime style, per example - that is a recognized anime, but it has unique traces that only you do).
Creating your own style is not something you learn from someone else, but from yourself - by practice, experience and experiments. It takes time, and be sure: you will be improving and changing (even if it's just a little bit) your style over time, for the rest of your life. It is unavoidable! Just be patient and obstinate.
Not only visual artists develop a style, all other kinds of artists also do! Such as writers, composers, singers, photographers, sculptors, even cooks!
* How would you like to be remembered of?
* What would you like to make people feel when appreciating your art?
* How do you want your style to be described by others, and how you want it to be?
Try writing a list pointing it out. If you already have a defined style, are the answers positive to those questions? Do them match with what you aim?
Here is a small example (my answers!):
"I want to be remembered of my strong, rich choices of colors, of my remarkable characters, with very emotional expressions and eyes, and of the fantasy environment that they're in. I want people to feel dreamy when looking at my art, and that my art touches their feelings somehow. I want people to wonder what my art means for me and for themselves. I want my style to be described as unique, strong, colorful, emotional, surreal, and of course, beautiful. It must be spontaneous, original, detailed. I wish that my style is easily recognized anywhere and that it makes people go out of reality for a moment when looking at it."
After you know what you want, work hard for it! And we will all work hard for the rest of our lives in order to keep achieving our wishes.
Don't ever give up, even if it takes time for you to get your expected results. In the end, everything will go ok!
6. Your Inspiration
Inspiration is not something that when you call for it, it comes. It is absolutely normal to get uninspired sometimes.
We all have problems, and sometimes, personal problems interfere in our artistic process. Many other factors can interfere. Sometimes, we can stay uninspired for months! Don't desperate! Keep calm and try to follow those tips:SEARCH FOR ART
Go to galleries, art exhibitions, read artbooks or illustrated books, look at photographies, browse deviantART and the internet...
Sometimes, other artworks can be a great source of inspiration, as seeing them will enrich your mind as you will find out different styles (completely different from yours!), new color combinations, different themes and feelings, different art tools and techniques.LISTEN TO MUSIC
Music is always helpful, while listening to it, we always feel something, remember something, someone, somewhere... Sometimes we even imagine things while listening to it. Try to pay attention to the melody, instruments used, the lyrics, the harmony... Relax and let the images come freely to your head, with your eyes closed... Then try to transpose what you felt to a piece of art!READ SOMETHING
Books of any kind (poems, chronicles, fiction, non fiction, even methodological!), newspaper, magazines of any kind, anything, even a single word (just as in 100 themes challenge!) can be a rich source of inspiration!LIVE
Life is the greatest source of inspiration there is. Pay attention to your life, your daily routine, your feelings, your wishes and fears, your dreams and nightmares, your friends, your family, the place where you live, the seasons, things and people around you, things that happen to you...
Anything can inspire you: a hug a friend gave you, the way your pet acts with you, an weird insect you just saw, something someone told you, the lights of your bathroom (true story, that one inspired me!)...
By paying attention to the smallest things, as well as the greatest ones in your life, you can find something interesting to add to your art! Be open minded and sensitive to everything around you and inside you!
7. Your Improvement
Everyone wants to be good. At least, we should all have this ambition! And to accomplish it, we must fight for it!
There is an only way to improve your art: PRACTICE. Yes, there is nothing else but practice! I know you're all tired of hearing that. Everyone wants to know the magic trick that once learnt, will make you the best artist ever. Well, unfortunately there is not such thing! There isn't another way than practicing.
Everyone has their own time to improve their art. Some learn quickly, others don't. Some find it easier, some don't. But if you practice, you will all get to the same way: success. Talent is important and it helps a lot, but it is not required and it isn't what will define the better artist. The better artist is that one that practices more. In the end, only the hard work counts. So don't worry if you were not born talented, that doesn't mean at all that you can't BECOME talented! With dedication, practice and determination, EVERYONE can become a GREAT ARTIST. It doesn't matter when you start creating art - you can start at any age, with any tools (a true artist creates with any tool!). Do your best ALWAYS. That's what really matters!
Take your time, read books, tutorials, ask for critiques, be observing, and practice a lot. Remember that there is always something new to learn and something to be improved.
8. Your Art
What makes a good artist? Well, I will try to answer this question a little.Attributes an Artist should have
I truly believe that ANYONE can be an artist. It doesn't matter their age, where they're from, what they do.
For me, an artist is the human being that creates something new in order to express an idea, a feeling, a thought, a dream - art, that is.
For this process, I believe all artists should have at least a bit of those attributes:PATIENCE
It takes time to improve. It takes time to create a wonderful piece of art. It takes time to get inspired!
A masterpiece is never made within 5 minutes, neither an artist becomes talented in one day!PERSISTENCE
Not always your artwork will be perfect as you wanted. Not always you will be able to create something you imagined. You must be persistent to keep practicing until you are able to create what you wished! Never give up of your aims! Always give it one more change! Always!HARD WORKING
As I have said, no one becomes an artist all of a sudden! It requires a lot of hard work! If you seek to become professional, or already are one, carry a sketchbook with you, so you can draw whenever it's possible. Draw your ideas, draw things that are around you to practice. Work hard and you will see your progress! Take your first artwork of this year and then compare to your last one... See how much you are growing? You will grow much more yet!AMBITION
Be ambitious in a good way: always try to be better than you already are. Always look for perfection! Aim high and go for it, giving all you got!OPEN MINDED
Be always opened to new ideas, and to try new things. If you are a portrait artist, why don't you try landscape for a change? If you are a colorful artist, why don't you try working with just one color? (Both those examples fit for me! haha) Don't always be the same.
Listen to constructive criticism, listen to what others think about your art! As I've said, sometimes others see things we don't. Maybe you think your art is great, but maybe someone saw and told you that there is this detail that doesn't seem right. Instead of feeling bad about yourself or denying the fact, think whether it is really true and what you still need to improve. Don't get discouraged! Instead, look forward and try to correct your mistakes and make your art better!CREATIVITY
Try to have new ideas, to create new things! It is really difficult sometimes to come up with something totally original, but it's not impossible!
Our dreams can be a great source of inspiration!SENSITIVENESS
Try to express your real feelings into your art, in order to touch others' feelings with your artworks. Be sensitive to catch ideas from the simplest things in life. Everything can be a source of inspiration!HUMBLE
Always be humble. Remember that there will ALWAYS be worst artists than you are, but there will ALWAYS be better artists than you are. You will always have something to learn, but you will always have something to teach too. COMPLEXITY
Make your art to be more than what eyes can see. Give it deep meaning, story, feelings, ideas! So others will pay more attention to it and wonder: "What does this artist want to say? What were their feelings?". DEMANDING
Without being too harsh, be demanding with yourself: you can always do better!DETERMINATION AND DEDICATION
Being dedicated and determinated to improve will be important factors to your success as an artist. Remember that every artist has their own time to progress. PASSION
Why all this effort if you are not enjoying it at all? Art should be a form of having fun, of having pleasure. Even if you are a professional - we should all work with something we love. Have fun!CONFIDENCE
You are ABLE to create wonderful art! Believe in yourself! YOU CAN DO IT!
And that's it... It's a very big tutorial, but anyway, I hope you have enjoyed reading it and that it will be useful for you.
Well, have fun! After all, art is a pleasure!
I hope I have helped you, or at least, motivated you.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to do so.
Thank you for reading and good luck!