First steps to success.

First: Where do I begin?

  • Nothing happens unless you draw and paint on a regular basis.
  • You have to believe in yourself and your talent in spite of the fact there are so many artists out there.
  • Ignore possible competitors, do your own thing and build your own style.
  • Following trends will make you a carbon-copy artist, you’ll be judged against the artist’s work you are copying. You get noticed when you paint something different and unique.
  • Copy what you see in the scenery before you, from magazine images, etc makes you a copy artist. But it’s far more fascinating using your imagination and go beyond the expected.
  • To bring out the dynamics of what you see, you have to be sensitive to the emotional possibilities within reality.
  • You don’t achieve anything unless you are willing to take up challenges. To take up a challenge you must know what you are capable of doing and how far you can push yourself.
  • If you stick to doing the same things, you fall into a rut. Development and progress growth comes from doing research and testing new concepts.
  • On the road to fortune or poverty? You can’t become famous if you are happily going down the road of failure. Make time to be creative in. Don’t waste time or money on unnecessary stuff and distractions.
  • Plan your route, check your transport, do you have the right ticket? Be flexible: read the signposts along the way and change course if necessary to obtain your goal destination.
First fieldwork

A4 Location watercolour: Sheep across the valley to where Ada used to live in the country.

Four basic work ethics:

  1. First: Be selective in what you paint. That is don’t crowd your work with unnecessary fussy detail. Think bold concepts.
  2. It takes courage to start on a new painting on blank paper or canvas. But once begun, enjoy living and creating within the moment of creativity, within that world of fantasy it’s creating.
  3. Loosen up, let your pencil or brush flow. Go with the flow as it takes on its own personality.
  4. Don’t be scared to use your imagination. When people look at your work they like to use their imagination and fabricate on what they see.

Buying art is like buying real estate:

An unknown artist has very little chance of getting his work into established galleries.You have to start small: A good investment is to `buy a humble home in a plush neighbourhood and then do it up’.

Your art must have sensational quality to catch the eye and be of high standard, to be a good investment. People want to see how you handle yourself and project your business before they will think of investing. And how you got where you are and your prospects for the future.

What size fish are you?

Beginners are like small fish in a big pond. Aspiring must first learn how to swim in bigger ponds (ie local market place). The once the pond gets too small for you, you have to swim out to sea (ie internal market place). Do you want to stay a small fish or do you want to grow into a bigger fish?

First learn your craft well. Don’t exhibit shoddy work. Visit the best galleries to check what’s really happening in the art world. Compare that with what you are presently producing. Edit your paintings ruthlessly.

The old masters were beginners once too. They also produced bad work, but they threw it out or burnt it. That’s why we think they only produced good stuff.

Start with charitable campaigns:

Draw and paint for your friends. Paint what they like. If they esteem your work they will recommend you to others by word of mouth. Paint freezes for dances, backdrops for stage productions, whatever. Often as not they supply the materials, so you only have to enjoy the spreading of good news.

When you do start selling, keep your prices low at first, it’s like paying for advertising. But make sure the price covers the replacement of your material costs.

Leadership qualities:

People who choose to `sit in the back row’ want to be inconspicuous. No one will see your talent there in the dark. Don’t just `sit around `in the back row’ hoping you will be famous and wishing your art would sell.

Don’t be scared of success. `Sit in the front row’ and be seen. Participate in events. Submit stories and pictures to your local newspaper and included people who took part in the events. This invites them to sit with you in the front row! In this world we need each other. A team is better than a lonely road to success.

If you want to learn more about becoming a successful artist, check out the page Art & Fame