10 Tips for Learning to Make Art Even If You "Suck" at It

Lifestyle

If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. -Vincent Van Gogh

Most of us love looking at art, but often don't create any art of our own because we believe that we would be terrible artists without ever giving it a fair try. This often leads us to believe that we aren't creative, leaving any artistic potential untapped.

Here are ten ways to start enjoying making art.

What Is Art?

When most people think of art, they think of painting or drawing, but the concept of art is human creativity: the ability to take something and make it beautiful.

Art has fueled cultures, revolutions, and even wars. In short, art is a very powerful thread in the fabric of our world that anyone can add to.

Visit An Art Gallery

One of the best ways to learn how to become an artist is to see the work of others.

Spend some time at your local art gallery. Take your time looking around. Notice how each artist put together their piece. Pay attention to the colors and techniques they used. Think about how you can incorporate those into your own work.

Don't Talk Down To Yourself

Don't ever say to yourself “I suck at art,” or “nothing I make looks right.” The more you say things like this, the more likely you are to believe them. Instead, say “I haven't learned how to do this yet”, and “I'm still learning, it's okay not to be perfect.”

Turning negative thoughts into positive ones allows you to grow as an artist, instead of hindering your creativity.

Learn One Technique At A Time

Instead of trying to learn everything at once, try learning one thing at a time. This will help you feel less overwhelmed as you branch out. Once you've mastered a technique, start learning the next one.

Many recreation departments, galleries, and art stores offer classes for beginning artists. Do some research to find classes in your area. You can also find tutorials on YouTube if you prefer to learn at your own pace.

Try Different Mediums

Try out different types of art until you find one you enjoy. That could be painting, drawing, mixed media, graphic design, and pottery to name a few.

Don't be discouraged if you haven't discovered where your artistic talent lies. Not everyone is meant to be the same kind of artist. Some people make better sculptors or fashion designers than they would sketch artists or photographers. It's all a matter of finding where you fit into the art world.

Listen To Music While You Work

Music helps stimulate the brain, which in turn, helps you be more creative.

Next time you decide to work on a project, put on your favorite music, and work to the rhythm. Don't worry about messing up or looking silly. This is about getting into the zone, not how you look while doing it.

Practice Often

It's impossible to become an expert artist overnight. Often, it takes years of learning to master any form of art.

Practice as much as possible with the medium you have chosen. You don't have to practice every day, but you should make an effort to practice a couple of times a week for at least 20-30 minutes.

After each art session, congratulate yourself. You just made art.

When you're more comfortable with your artistic abilities, you could even start sharing your work with family and friends and asking for feedback.

Look For Inspiration

When talking about their creative process, often the artist has an influence that drives them to create.

As you begin your art journey, you have to find what inspires you to be creative. You can draw inspiration from almost anywhere, be it a person, a place, a song, a memory, or something else.

Your inspiration won't always be the same. Sometimes you will have multiple sources all at once.

If you're not sure what inspires you, think about what you love or what you hate. Use that to fuel your creativity.

Don't Worry About Being Perfect

It's easy to see someone else's work, and think that they are perfect artists. This couldn't be further from the truth.

No one is perfect. In fact, finding perfection in ourselves or others is impossible. Every artist, beginner, or professional makes mistakes.

For every work of art that's shown online or in a gallery, there are usually a dozen more the artist didn't show because they thought they were terrible.

When you set out to create art, simply focus on enjoying it, rather than if it is good enough. When you're done, if you hate it, start over or try something else. Don't be afraid of making mistakes, because it is a part of the learning process.

Find Your Creative Tribe

No man is an island, and neither should artists take their journey alone. Find people in your area who are also starting their creative adventure. Make it a point to meet together and share your work as well as your triumphs and struggles.

Don't Compare Yourself To Others

It's so easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself and your work to someone else. But your artistic journey will never be the same as anyone else's. Your uniqueness is your most valuable asset as a creative. By comparing yourself to other artists, you're only hurting yourself.

Remember, you are just as much an artist as they are.

Art is the foundation of every culture. Without it, the world as we know it wouldn't exist. Everyone has something they can contribute to art and culture. It's just a matter of realizing your potential.

Cassandra Stinger
5,000+ pageviews

Cassandra Stinger is a journalist and aspiring author from central Kansas. When she's not writing, she can be found reading, cooking, or pursuing photography.