Advice from Other Artists

I recently got some wonderful tips from my favorite artists that I wanted to share. These people are so talented and a lot of them do art for fun.

TheGeneraless | Professional Character Design Artist

I asked them about what to post as content to a gallery like tumblr or a website and this is what they said:

*“As for when it comes to Tumblr and deviantART, choose whatever content makes /you/ happy. It's what I do, myself. Whether it be personal, fandom, photography, writing--anything you enjoy making and putting your heart into.

I tell this to a lot of people who ask me about how I got my own small following, and whether or not they should be worried about popularity when putting their original stuff out:

Nothing will be popular immediately.”*

I also asked about if consistency or passion is more important:

*“Consistency is important if you're looking for a /specific/ fanbase, or if you're looking to spotlight a specific art style or passion. Consistency in original projects is especially important when it comes to gathering a following for that. People are drawn to something with a lot of content naturally--and quite a few are willing to stick by the artists as they learn and grow on their own right, with styles, stories, characters, the like.

So consistency is important--but consistency and growth go hand in hand. Consistent styles can improve while remaining consistent. Same with characters, worlds, fandoms, the like. It's all about maintaining the core of it all and the passion you feel for it.”*

Mayshing / Christine Chong | Film & Animation Professional

I’ve been watching mayshing for a while on DeviantArt and have found her to be a wonderful artist and person in general. I asked her about how she got into the business of art.

*“For any business it's always exposure. I think in the earlier days I borrowed fanart power and took out early enough for some series like Naruto, Sonic, SAO, and so on. Now I am not borrowing as much anymore it's a bit harder? You can still do impressive work, not having as high of exposure but if you got the right niche/genre for your originals you can do well enough when you open for commission.

Because for the business of art you first need exposure, second you need good portfolio on what you can do, thirdly is advertising your work ethic by constantly updating work to your gallery, paid or unpaid. And you will get returning customers/new ones.”*

KaiserFlames / Alyssa McCarthy | Professional Fantasy Illustrator

I literally adore her dragon art unconditionally and is one of the few artists I never have pet peeves about anatomy. I asked her about how she got into the business of art and what tips she’d give about promoting art.

*“I've honestly just been doing art for a loooonnnngggg time and never stopped. I did go to school for it, which helped teach some things, but the majority of my techniques and things are self taught just by constantly practicing and learning from other artists I admire. And also drawing from life. Everyone harps on it, but it is one of the most important thing you can do for your skills. It's the best way to learn about color and anatomy and all that stuff. If you can't get out to a zoo or get live models, the next best thing is to work from photographs, even if you never post them online (and if you use copyrighted images, it's fine to practice on them, but generally not fine to post them unless they are changed significantly).

As for promoting your art... that can be tough. I started out on DeviantArt and that was a big help. Artstation, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and social media places like that are excellent tools to use. Getting yourself ALL OVER the internet is the best way to really get attention. Surround yourself with the art you want to create so that you can learn from it, and if you can learn directly from artists you admire, do that too. Be active, be friendly, be professional, always be busy with your art.”*

Time Managment for Artists

Time management has never been my strength, but I have learned ways around it.

I’m the kind of person that thinks in blocks of time instead of by a schedule. I also have a nasty problem with only being able to draw when I’m in the right mood. It’s the product of my OCD but is still a hurdle for everyday life, when everyone else expects you to work with precise timimg.

Still I’ve learned a few things over the years:

If you work in blocks of time, then commit to it. I’ve had struggles with sitting down for my work at a good time but then getting distracted or not having anything in my head. For art, it means major creative block.

I learned from an episode of Writing Excuses that if the blank page “mocks you” then you sit and force yourself to write, even if it’s crap. I’ve harnessed that mentality in art by letting myself just sketch whatever, even just shapes.

Treat your time jealously. If you were working a regular job, your boss would expect you to be at work on time. Treat your work space like your office and be at your desk or studio when you told yourself you would be. Then block out other distractions (especially if you are easily distracted).

Beware of burnout. Remarkably, time management isn’t always about being a workaholic. With my sensitive mental disposition, I’m more aware that I need breaks from work. The mentality of getting things done is draining so letting myself slack off at time is helpful. Sometimes when your daydreaming or distracted is when creative problems find solutions.

You don’t want to let yourself burnout by being mindful 24/7, so take time to sharpen the ax with relaxation. Read books, play games, watch tv, or go out with friends. Use whatever will recharge your batteries so you can be back at it with renewed vigor.

Take health seriously. Time management means nothing if you are sick or depressed. Even if funds are a main concern, you can talk to someone about how you feel. Physical issues like colds, broken bones, or viruses are best looked at by a doctor, but I know not everyone can afford a psychiatrist.

Apart from scheduling doctor’s appointments, make sure you’re in regular contact with people you trust to talk about your feelings. The catharsis of venting properly or just airing problems out is immeasurably valuable until you can see a professional.