Are you a new artist, trying to improve your art, but not seeing any significant progress yet? Being a beginner artist can be confusing and even puzzling at times. The world of art can be daunting. There is no set guideline for what works and what doesn’t. As a new artist, you’ll be prone to making many mistakes. Some of these mistakes, you want to steer clear of.
Starting up on something new is always fun. The best part about being a newbie is that you can break several rules without knowing them. But knowing what not to do can give you an edge.
Let us take you through the 5 most common mistakes that all new artists make and how you can avoid making them.
Common Mistakes new Artists make
1. Unrealistic Expectations
Having high expectations right from the get-go is on top of the list of mistakes new artists make. When we start doing something new, many of us expect to be wonderful at it almost immediately. And this applies to art as well. It makes sense to want to achieve amazing quality right from the start. But it is also important to acknowledge that it is completely okay to not do so. Your first few paintings or sketches may not end up being as perfect as you want them to be.
But, that’s okay. Making mistakes can actually help you improve your techniques. “Bad” artworks help you experiment and understand your own style better than before. It is a common byproduct of any art form and it contributes to your story as an artist.
Frustration is common when you don’t meet your ideal expectations for your artwork. But, don’t beat yourself up and give in to the disappointment you feel.
One of the most harmful mistakes new artists make is being over critical. They keep forgetting that everyone has a different learning pace. Accept your own pace and improve it as you go. Give yourself time to improve your skills. The comparison should be between the new you and the earlier version of you. Allow yourself the chance to fail, and learn to find your uniqueness.
2. Inconsistency in Practice
This is high on the list of common mistakes by artists, and it’s time to break it down and understand its importance. There may be two reasons why your practice isn’t regular.
One of them is a lack of motivation. Some days, you may not find the drive and enthusiasm to practice your art. This happens to everyone. Even the most seasoned artists find it difficult to stay motivated.
Another reason could be the lack of practice time. You may have more pressing responsibilities that take up the majority of your time.
In both these cases, what you eventually do is to schedule all your practice for one free day that you get. This leads to a practice session that is several hours long. You will continue doing this for a couple of times and then get bored with the routine. One fine day, you’ll realize that practice is what you need, and the process will repeat itself.
One of the most common mistakes new artists make is not creating a schedule. The assumption that these long practice sessions are enough is like the slow poison. It is a well-known fact that to remember a skill, you must keep brushing it up.
So, it doesn’t matter if you put in 10 hours only on one day learning everything you can. If you don’t practice often, you could lose your progress and be right back where you started.
You can fix this by spending a few minutes every day to practice your art. Start with 15 to 30 minutes a day. This will help you much more than practicing for several hours and forgetting about it later. A great way to get rid of the common mistakes that new artists make is to take up art challenges. Challenges are a great way to reward yourself. You can find such challenges on the web with much ease. Another way to go about this is with the help of apps. One such app is GoSocial. It hosts a range of interesting challenges that will help you stay consistent and inspired to create your art.
3. Not Learning new Skills
This is another common mistake that most beginner artists make. Once you have found your interest, you tend to restrict your skills to that particular field. This leads to a stagnation in the way you portray your work.
Setting the right style for your persona is great, but settling for only that is not. Keep upskilling yourself whenever you can. Step out of your comfort zone to explore and learn new styles and techniques. It could improve your current style in unexpected and exciting ways.
A great way to do this is by interacting with other artists. Such conversations will help in discovering a wide horizon of unexplored areas. By sharing experiences and learning, you unlock a new level of your skills that you never knew you had.
4. Keeping Your Work to Yourself
There may be several reasons for you to not put your work out in the world. It’s plausible to get nervous about people judging your art. Most new artists wait for their art to get polished or refined. But, keep in mind that you don’t have to strive for unrealistic levels of perfection. Don’t repeat the same mistakes that all new artists make.
The first step to overcoming these insecurities is to believe in your art. Trust the process, and believe in the journey that you are on. Understand that getting your work out does not always invite criticism. It also opens the doors to appreciation and puts you in front of people who support you for what you are doing. You will get to know some cool new perspectives and receive suggestions on how to improve. Posting on platforms like Instagram and GoSocial will help you build a community. This will help you in promoting your art and motivate you to become a better artist.
5. Not Building a Personal Brand
Artists are loved all around the globe for their creativity and enthusiasm. For the same reasons, people want to know about your personal and professional life. To build a personal brand, you must share your learnings and experiences with others. While doing this, you build a personal brand that speaks for itself rewarding you with more recognition and opportunity.
The easiest way to build a brand is on Social Media Platforms like Instagram and Twitter. If your target audience is present on any of these platforms, start sharing work insights along with the human side of yours. You should always keep a balance of personal and professional insights so that people connect with you and recognize you as a person with expertise.
You will lose on potential clients and a community if you do not work on the personal brand. A personal brand gets you going even when you do not reach out for any work.
6. Being a People Pleaser
This is not a mistake that only new artists make. We are all guilty of this one. As an artist, constructive criticism is a part of your growth. It makes you understand what your shortcomings are, so that you work on them. It is important to take criticism and work on them to improve your work.
But there is another side to this as well. You should know when to stop paying attention to the heaps of criticism. Pay attention to opinions and see what you can take from them. Understand what that could benefit your performance. But, remember that just because your art does not meet social standards, it is bad. Lack of popularity does not reduce your worth or that of your art either.
In case you feel overwhelmed, remember that:
- Neither critics nor the public was fond of Claude Monet’s paintings. They claimed that his paintings were formless and ugly. But, it was Monet’s art that we owe the brilliant 19th-century art movement Impressionism to.
- Van Gogh sold only one painting in his entire lifetime.
Monet and Van Gogh are just two names on a very long list of artists who were underappreciated. It wasn’t until much later that their work started receiving the credit that it deserved.
So, the next time you feel like your art is useless because people aren’t too fond of it, remember that criticism does not always define the quality of your work.
There you go. The top 5 mistakes new artists make that you now understand better and can avoid. This article in no way discourages you from making your own mistakes. Making mistakes is a natural, human thing. But, what you can do is identify the common ones, and learn from the experience of your predecessors. Every artist makes mistakes. That’s a part of the journey towards becoming better. But what makes them excellent is how open they are to acknowledging and fixing them.