How to Become a Professional Artist | Drawing Tips

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So, a lot of people want to know how to go about becoming a professional artist. And the one thing that I’ve learned overall is that there’s not necessarily a clear career path to doing it. And the most important thing is to draw and draw and draw constantly and get really good. And no matter what field of the arts that you’re hoping to get into, making yourself really good is really the number one. And hopefully, everything else kind of flows from that.

My time in the comic book business, I was a professional artist and I was also an editor, so I was the person hiring artists. One of the most important things that you can do as an aspiring professional is learn to listen to criticism of your own work. No matter what field you hope to get into, you know, even if what you want to do is design robots for video games, still, draw from life, draw everything you see around you. Fill up a sketchbook, start a blog and just do whatever it takes to develop that discipline of constantly learning, constantly developing, constantly seek out professional advice and listen to it.

And keep your mouth shut while that professional is talking and follow their advice and keep an open mind and know that they’re critiquing your work and they’re not personally attacking you. And that your work can always get better and it will always get better the more you develop an ability to view it dispassionately and listen to other people’s input.

Whatever field you want to get into, it’s good to just be in that field in whatever capacity you can, even if it’s just an entry-level job doing something meaningless. As I said, I got into the comic book industry as an intern. Later on, I got into the advertising industry by temping. And when I had downtime from my temp duties, I would be sitting there doodling. And eventually, somebody started noticing. And one day, the storyboard artist didn’t show up and they were desperate and they needed somebody and they let me have a chance. And that was my first job as a storyboard artist and I’ve been doing it for ten years.

It’s hard to say the nuts and bolts of how to get into different fields, particularly because things are changing all the time. But the best thing is to just be around the industry you want to get into as much as possible. Get to know as many people as you can. Get to learn everything about the industry you possibly can. Impress people with your good attitude and your good work ethic. And just constantly be learning and constantly be improving your abilities. And hopefully, somebody will take notice and it will lead somewhere.


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