Want to be an artist, do you?!

How badly do you want to be an artist?

I hear people say,I want to learn how to paint. Please will you teach me!”

  • Before you become an artist, understand what is required of an artist and what their lifestyle is like.
  • And if you’re not an artist, have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an artist?
Want colour?

A5 watercolour: Autumn time.

What must you do to become an artist?

First of all, do you enjoy doodling? What is your imagination like? Do you have a pronounced eye for spectacular colour combinations? Are you fascinated by the beauty and buzz of Nature all around you?

How great is your desire to become an artist? Is your desire strong enough to face disappoint and challenges? For not every painting is a successful masterpiece. We learn a lot from our mistakes!

  • To become a good artist, it doesn’t happen miraculously overnight. It’s like learning to read and write, you have to spend a lot of time practicing different skills and techniques to acquire a talent for it. Are you willing to make time to draw and paint often and on a regular basis?
  • How much do you pay attention to the things around you? Are you aware of the basic shapes of things?
  • Are you able to go with the flow of what’s happening on your watercolour paper? Or do you fuss about perfection and the finest details? And stress out when you make mistakes?
  • Do you think art classes are a social event, with tea and cake, or are you willing to take your lessons and homework seriously? How ambitious are you?

Wanting isn’t enough:

A good artist continues to draw and paint, no matter the opposition. And doesn’t freak out or stress out when accidents or mistakes happen. Art is their whole world!

The best way to learn how to draw and paint, is to act the part of an artist, until you become the part. Continuing against all odds, in the belief you’ll be successful in whatever you are doing! And remembering: nothing happens, unless you are doing something, even if it means changing gear to achieve it.

What type of lifestyle do artists live?

Aaah, now that’s a question! Not all artists behave or paint the same, because of their personalities.

  • Professional artists know they have to paint often, to keep up with expectations and commissions. To them it’s a career and they need a fair amount of time be creative in. So that’s why their homes are usually in a mess! Unless of cause, they have a willing spouse to fill in for them!
  • Generally the way you dress is who and what you are. Some artists wear weird clothes. Others look and behave like any other ‘normal’ 9-5 `Johnny’.
  • I must say, dressing as you like, personally; gives one a feeling of confidence and independence. This is important. It’s a sign of maturity and acceptance of one’s self! Been proud of your uniqueness, leaves behind the feeling of insecurity. With this open attitude, your personal artistic style starts to blossom from strength to strength.

What do the general public think of artists?

  1. Because some artists dress weird people tend to think all artists are weird. (With tongue in cheek) if that is the case, I say to myself… “then, ‘normal’ people have no excuse for their own bizarre behaviour!” He-he!
  2. The other thing, sadly the public generally expect to pay very little for original paintings. Yet pay a lot of money to a plumber! Possibly they think artists live on the smell of an oil rag. If artists are paid so poorly, why do people judge artists’ skill by the abode they live in?! There should be more respect for exceptional talent.

Having read that artists don’t get paid much, do you still want to be an artist?

So why do artists then still continue, in spite of that?

You have to understand the inner spirit of an artist.

  • As an artist, you can’t help yourself. You live and breathe art. Art runs in your blood so much so, that you have to paint no matter what. And if you can’t paint, for whatever reason, you feel controlled by circumstances and somewhat depressed.
  • Everything you look at, you are inclined to assess for possible compositions. Sizing up tones and colour contrasts becomes a game. And forever looking out for special light effects, etc to paint.
  • Been more observant of beauty in every day mundane situations, artists are deeply privileged. Why? Because ‘normal’ people miss so much, their lives are bland and boring!

Further more:

Because of artists’ intense observance, they also notice facial expressions and body language. This leads to acquiring a spiritual awareness of everything, even, the energy of Nature and the atmospheric condition of space. This deep sensitive consciousness is maybe what ‘normal’ people think is weird, because these inspired artists see what others don’t see or quite understand!

  • Having read all that… do you still want to be an artist?
  • And if you are an artist, do you agree with what has been said?
  • Please leave a comment….
Want colour?

Want to be an artist, do you?!

How badly do you want to be an artist? I hear people say, "I want ...
Read More
Finding new concepts

Want new ideas of what to paint next?

Addressing artists’ creativity blocks: Finding new ideas of what to paint  next, isn't easy. But ...
Read More
painting with watercolor

Think again: Watercolor painting isn’t difficult!

Contrary to what people think… Painting with Watercolors isn’t difficult to paint! Why do people ...
Read More
Draw with simplicity

Drawing: It’s easy to DRAW things!

Here’s a SIMPLE drawing lesson strategy, That will turn you into a profound artist overnight! ...
Read More
How-to make bown

ART: Want to know HOW-TO make GREEN?

I often get the questions how-to: “How do I make Black?” “How do I make ...
Read More
Spiritual light

Master artists intuitively create by LIGHT!

How does artistic intuition work? First of all lets discuss: Perceiving spiritual light is different ...
Read More

Colour: Famous artists’ best kept secret

Selecting Colour Combinations: Want to know the best and easy way to select colours for ...
Read More
Took photo of beach first

Photos & Painting of Dolphin Beach Dunes

Christmas holiday trip: Ada took photos while in Cape Town over Christmas 2016 We spent ...
Read More
Created illusion

Fact or Fallacy: Illusion works faster than reality!

Fact or fallacy: I came across this saying: Illusion can never go faster than the ...
Read More
Gallery acceptance

Art: How to Get Gallery Acceptance

Want to sell your art in galleries? "The gallery is sure to like this painting...." ...
Read More
Azaleas at Cheerio Gardens, Soutpansberb

Wildlife & Flowers of the Soutpansberg

Adventure through the Soutpansberg: The Soutpansberg this and the Soutpansberg that... How many times I ...
Read More
Wild natural reserve

Wild Natural Reserve Painting

Wild open space behind our cottage: Ever wanted to have a wild open space behind ...
Read More
Alongside the road to Drakensburg Gardens

Road to Drakensburg Gardens

Location adventures: The road to Drakensburg Gardens was the start of my I love for ...
Read More
Paarl Rock reserve view

Paarl Rock: Painting of Stone Tree!

Plein-air painting of tree in Paarl: This plein-air watercolour painting of an umbrella stone tree ...
Read More
Cosmos flowers in Delta Park

How to paint Cosmos Flowers

Cosmos flowers on a rainy misty day: Want to paint cosmos flowers? With each blog ...
Read More
Make yourself a great artist

15 Things That Make Great Artists

MAKE YOURSELF A GREAT ARTIST There are so many good artists out there that are ...
Read More

15 Things That Make Great Artists


There are so many good artists out there that are struggling to make themselves known, so…

  • Who doesn’t want to know… how to become a famous artist!?
  • It’s a shame that no matter how good an artist is, they never seem to get acknowledged for their talent.


Things that will turn any artist’s world around and validate their talent. You may think the following things very obvious, but sadly very few people take the time to consider or use possibly them.

Make yourself a great artist

A5 watercolour: The end of a beautiful day

Here are the fifteen points that make people great artists:

First of all: How do prosperous people attain fame and success? What do they have that others don’t have?


A powerful inner drive to achieve success:  No matter what their opposition maybe. Make no mistake, there is opposition in all things. The people who succeed are those who don’t allow things to put them off achieving their ambitions. So how strong is your ambition?

How does anything happen?


An adventurist spirit:  A willingness to taken on challenges. In art, this comes with a strong need to express oneself and then allowing yourself to be carried along by the adventure of activity within the moment creativity. So don’t allow mistakes to put you off.

How strong is the will of the person in their desire to paint?


A strong belief and confidence in one’s ability to paint.  It requires gutsy-ness and a willingness to take an emotional trip through any problems and mistakes that may occur while painting.

How much is your desire to learn new things?


A requiring mind:  A great inner excitement when doing research and a willingness to go beyond the norm to acquire new concepts.

Do colours turn you on?


A deep fascination and a love of colour: Whether it’s the inter-relationships of colour, blending and merging of colour, or the boldness or contrast of colour.

How many people really take note of their surroundings and observe things with a deep meaning?


The ability to see beauty in all things, no matter how mundane. This happens when a person uses all their senses and allows their emotions and feelings to inspire them.

And have you seen the light?


A deep awareness of light and how it plays on things. How it creates atmospheric conditions, halos and rim-lights, the sparkle and contrast of highlights, the shimmer of light on water. Even the colours of light in shadows!

For years experts have said that a drawing ability is important. And some people don’t think so.


But the ability to see and draw the basics is important:  Why? Because, for example: you will be surprised how many people draw a straight line at the base of a glass bottle or vase, etc. They can’t see the eclipse curve resting on the flat surface of the table.  On the other hand, a good artist is one who knows how to see, select and draw basic shapes and isn’t bogged down with unnecessary trivial detail, especially when starting a painting.

Many people say, “I wish I could paint,” but never make the time to do it!


How great is your desire? If you really desire something, you will do anything to achieve your goal. Make up your mind what you want out of life.  You will never become a good artist, if you never get around to painting. Expertise comes with practicing often.

People often give up before they begin. Especially when they are criticized…


Knowing your worth helps to deflect unkind remarks and unqualified criticism. And the other hand been prepared to learn something new. Am I willing to look beyond the criticism; does their opinion have a valid point?

Fame comes with doing things differently! How exciting and dramatic is your artwork?


Unique talent: The ability to translate a mundane scene or subject into a unique format, using distinctive styles of workmanship. Artwork that really grips peoples’ attention has emotional impact that goes beyond factual photogenic reality. What can you do differently? How are people decorating their homes these days? Can you start a new trend? And be known for that trend?

What is your personality like?


Extrovert personality: A captivating individual with a distinctive temperament that draws people attention and is highly acceptable socially. Someone who can hold their own when interviewed on television. What do people think of you? Are you exciting to be with?

And that is not all!


Filling the gap between been ordinary and extraordinary: Not been only the` talk of the town’ but of the universe! Has your art made a hit for a day, for a week or out there in peoples’ faces regularly? So much so that it becomes a popular hallmark brand? How often do you paint? How often do you put your artwork out there for people to see your talent?

Is it all about you? What of the people you expect to buy your art?


Are you painting stuff that people will want to buy? Is the quality of your good enough? What do people want? Have you considered their feelings and preferences in art? Have you done your research? To start with, what do you think turns people on? What do people need? What are they looking for? What niche are you able to fulfill? What is happening to the world? What can you offer the world that will make an impact on the minds and hearts of the people?

Is it luck that some people have the good fortune to become great artists?


  • You can’t rely on luck! No one knows you’re a great artist, unless you do something that makes people sit up and take notice. Does anyone see your artworks? Where do you display your art?
  • Sometimes it’s having the right connections! If you don’t have a relation who owns an art gallery or runs an art magazine or is a presenter on TV, you will have to make the right connections yourself. Get out there on the internet and find your niche.
  • Do you have big enough capital to finance your goals and ambitions? Advertising takes money! Isn’t it said: nobody does anything for you, without money some how been involved! What are you prepared to do?
  • If you look back in history, most of the great artists were poor! Everyone has to start somewhere. If you have a strong enough will and personality you will find a way to overcome problems, no matter the opposition.
  • Plan and research your project. Make a to-do list and think things through. Out of that, what will be your greatest move, that will turn your life around? Now, be brave enough to do something about it.
  • And it doesn’t stop there. When a snag turns up, don’t give up, just adjust your plan of action again and again, until you get results.


PR agent’s assistance?

Need PR agent to assist?

Your art is only as good as your publicity presence. As an artist, do you intent to stagnate ‘in a small pond’ forever, or `swim out to sea’ and become a renowned international artist?

How committed are you? Can you do it on your own? Besides time to paint, have you spare time to do your own promotions, advertising, etc. If your art is considered fantastic and you haven’t a patron, perhaps you could find yourself a professional PR to handle media, exhibit promotions, etc?

There is a difference between agents. Singers and actors are also considered artists. We are talking about agents that specialize in promoting fine visual art artists. There are very few. Some countries don’t even have any. Most PR agents in the telephone book (yellow pages) do business seminars and design project T-shirts! So it may be hard to find one that exclusively promotes artists.

Some galleries do have in-house public relation officers. It’s usually the more prominent galleries that do this. If only more galleries understood the need for agents. Should an artist become a renowned artist, not only are they promoting the artist but also the prestige of their gallery.

When searching for an art agent consider their track record. How effective are they? Which of their artists are renowned artists now? Where are they based, is it conveniently within your district and what of their international influence? What is their website prospectus like? What style of the art do they promote? Who are they promoting presently and how are they doing it? Are there links to their artists’ websites?

 Watercolour landscape for PR blogWhat genuine art PR agents do:

Generally public relations officers promote you in the media, such as newspapers, magazines, catalog, and organize TV appearances, etc. On the other hand, art agents should have extensive knowledge of art. Not only give you media coverage, but are able to organize exhibits, workshop seminar tours and act as art book publication agents.

The best art PRs know how to advise artists. That is, how artist should project themselves and how to magnify their talent. That means having:

  • An awareness of the soul of the artist and their creativity abilities, ie how much pressure impacts on the artist’s emotional stability and creative powers.
  • Understanding of the emotional side of art, ie knowledge of the sensational side of art and how it impacts on the senses of the viewing public.
  • The agent must have sensitive intuition when suggesting new creative projects. And be able to describe and convey concepts to the artist, so that the artist can catch and translate the vision and beauty of the concept the agent has in mind.

 To acquire a PR agent you need to produce a good CV record:

  • An extraordinary portfolio of your artwork: As a presentation have catalog computer images of your art on CD or memory stick.
  • Personal details: Your name, birth date and contact address, email, website and phone numbers.
  • You will need a history of your art activities and rewards.
  • List of galleries who exhibited and sold your work.
  • If your circumstances are humble, it shouldn’t matter if your art is fantastic and your personality is fascinating.
  • You should be able to describe your art and summarize what you intend to achieve.
  • Anecdotes: Add interesting background facts, dramatic and funny incidents that happened to you or about your art that can be used in TV interviews or presented in newspapers and magazines.
  • Have your record and presentations proof read before submission.


You and your PR need to get on well together and work as a team. You need to be able to take and handle criticism and rejection laudably. Be willing to work your butt off to keep up with what’s happening.

Once you have started on the road to success, you can’t crawl back into your comfort zone . If you think you can’t take the pressure, reconsider your goals and situation. Whatever you do, the bottom line is: you are the master of your future!

What Makes a Famous artist?

What makes an artist famous?

Is it because you have natural talent, brilliant artistic flair? Have an impressive portfolio for gallery acceptance. Have the right composition format. Your paintings have impact and your style is unique.


What do you think makes an artist famous?

  • Do you think having the right connections helps?  Friends or family who owns a gallery? You have a `bishop’ (sponsor) that believes in your talent or you have a great PR agent?
  • Do you think it is okay to be self-taught or have attended university, had the opportunity to go to prestige art colleges in Europe, or trained by a famous artist in Paris?
  • Had a talented background: Won art prizes while at school and internationally. Have a list of noteworthy galleries on your CV where you exhibited at.
  • Having plenty of capital to back your talent, like owning your own gallery and paying for regular advertising?
  • Lucky to have a fascinating out-going character. Be able to tell great stories and experiences to divulge on TV?
  • Being in the right place at the right time?
  • Belong to a renowned prestige art group or painted a famous celebrity’s portrait commission?
  • Media platform: Published art books and magazines or seen doing impressive demos on YouTube.

Artistic flair:

Over and above knowledge of composition rules, the artist must have free aesthetic expression and unique style. Fussy detail and neat sharp contours is a sign of an amateur.

Social networking:

Observe edict policies before joining art groups. But that doesn’t stop you building your own social group with other like-minded artists. And as to your personality –you must be an interesting person to interview, know what you are talking about, without coming across as pushy and aggressive.


Your background and connections do count to some degree. But if you are self-taught (done a lot of research) paint often and your talent is really good, it’s likely that someday someone, somewhere, will believe in your art too. If you persist and market your art frequently. Believe in yourself. Life is what you make of it.

Seen doing your thing:

No one knows you are a good artist unless they see your talent! It’s great to have your own gallery but you need time to produce your artwork. People like to watch artists doing demos or painting out on location, like painting along the sea-shore, doing stage production props or restaurant murals, etc. This gives you the opportunity to be a `big fish in a small pond’ before been accepted as a `great big whale out at sea’.

Celebrity commissions:

It’s not easy getting celebrity portraits unless the standard of your work is well-known. And you have examples of your work to show agents. When meeting with the celebrity and actually doing their portrait, don’t waste their time, be fully prepared with the right equipment, colour swathes, etc before you or they arrive.at the appointed venue.

Prosperity beliefs:

Most people believe an artist isn’t a good artist unless he or she dresses weird! Some people like ethnic art and think the in-thing is for an artist to live in a hut. On the other hand some believe success is seen as having a posh car and house. Art is an expensive career, so shouldn’t matter where you live. The superiority of your talent should count!

Do you agree with any of these statements?

What do you think? Have you something to add? Looking forward to your comments, whether you are an artist or not. Maybe you have a success story of your own to share with us, what you did to put yourself out there?

Born with talent?


People are always saying that so-and-so was born with talent. Just because someone is a good artist now, doesn’t mean they were actually born with talent?

Free expression

You have to walk along the path of adventure to succeed.

Who WAS born with talent?

Even the old masters started out as novices. They were once babies like you and I, they just fall in love with drawing and painting. The more they practiced their skills the more they improved their talent.

What attracts little children to art?

You will notice, most children are attracted to colour-in colouring books while young. Maybe because of the brilliance and fascination of colour, and then the desire to express yourself. One thing leads to another, and then you are hooked for life!

Are you born with talent?

Yes we all have the germ of talent in us, it just takes an interest in what you like doing. The more you put time and effort into what you like doing, the more your skills improve.

Can you become a good artist?

Often you hear people say, ‘Could they make it as an artist?’ Yes, if you are enthusiastic about your ambition and willing to make time to learn.  Perfecting your skill comes with persistent practice. It’s not the fact that someone is more talented than you. It’s because you love what you do. Success comes with believing in yourself, and living in the moment of creating.

Once `bitten with the art bug’, you see the world differently than the average person. The world around you looks more beautiful, the colours seem more alive. You want to paint that beauty. The urge to paint, to experiment is always there.  I sometimes wonder why I kept at it.  I guess it’s deeply etched upon my soul now. I love sharing what I have discovered and the joy art gives me.

What makes an artist?

The average man in the street doesn’t see the beauty around them. I remember once travelling with some people. They were so busy arguing among themselves that they didn’t see the beautiful haze over the surrounding mountains. When I pointed it out to them they looked at me as if I had gone mad. They didn’t have the right emotional reaction to their surroundings. They were harping on negative emotions. They didn’t see the ‘big picture’!

Artists are born with beautiful souls. Artists arouse their inner souls to perceive beauty, even in the dreariest of situations and environments. They seek beauty, open their hearts to beauty, create a vision from that concept  and pursue every chance they have to paint that vision of beauty.

What really compels us as artists?

I think it’s the emotional impact, the interplay of warm and cool colours, and the contrast of tone and colour. For example, when you observe how the sunlight filters through the trees at sunset and the halos it creates around grass seeds, it swells your heart to overflowing.

born with talent?

What drives you to be creative?

What grips and compels you personally? What colour combinations do you prefer? If you want to find out for yourself, take an illustrated art book or perhaps a calendar, anything with colourful pictures. Turn it upside down, so you are not distracted by the actual shapes of objects in the images, and select the colour combinations you like most. Whatever colour combination turns you on, that is your colour style, the colours you are most likely to use in your paintings.

Even if you are not an artist that paints, but do flower arranging, interior or dress designing, you will be attracted to certain colours and use them in your creations. When you go shopping what colours draws your attention to things in the shop windows? Is it only the cut and style? What else?

What about your talent?

When did you start painting? How did you start out as an artist? What or who inspired you to start painting? What are you going to do about your  talent?  Please leave a comment, it will encourage and inspire others to do something about their own artistic talent.