Becoming a master artist is not enough

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Becoming a master artist is not enough

Postby vansty » Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:04 am

I originally posted this in my blog at but i think its important that every artist understands this so i decided to post it here.


Okay, Okay, This topic is very important.
We artists are famously obsessed with our craft, like really really obsessed, and we all want to be the next Sargent or Zorn or Jason Chan, and we believe that to get there we have to lock ourselves up in a dark dank cave where the only thing we do is draw, paint, eat and sleep for years.

Okay, i’ll admit that there’s something very sexy about becoming a hermit, locking yourself up in a tower like the great wizards of yore and obsessively read books and practice our arcane craft while ignoring any form of distraction such as family, friends or love. (I did it, i spent 377 days in a row without leaving my house, in 2014…i should tell you guys about it someday)
But the truth is, becoming a great artist is simply not enough.

Have you ever felt like there are artist below your skill level getting jobs and attention while you, the better painter, writer, photographer, can’t seem to do as well? It has crossed everybody’s mind at some point or another.
The truth is that while its easy to blame luck or education, there is something much more subtle going on.

That artist who isn’t as skilled as you artistically but keeps getting great jobs, might be a great communicator and goes out of their way to contact Art Director and maintain relationships with other artists.
Those that get more press might have a huge following, and wile you might think that they just got lucky, they are probably just more likable with great personalities and takes the time to respond to very single fan.

I know what your are thinking, “Styles, should’t i spend my time doing studies or practicing?” Yes you should. “THE CRAFT IS VERY IMPORTANT BUT NEVER TO THE EXCLUSION OF OTHER SKILLS.”

A good rule of thumb is spending 70% of your time on your craft and the remaining 30% on other skills like Communicating with other artists, posting on social media, learning about business, writing, marketing and so on.

I once offed an ice cream salesman a sketch as payment for his most expensive ice cream and he politely refused (which was odd, i always got free ice cream with a sketch) but i had read a few good books on business and offered to show him a way to get more costumers, I got two magnum gold in return.

In the end, your other skills will help you in many areas of life where a sketch can’t fix your problem.
I will live forever or die trying.
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Re: Becoming a master artist is not enough

Postby caiowcxs » Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:36 pm

In my opinion it's not (always) about communication, postiong on social media, etc. I personally think people neglect the other aspects of art. While technique and craft are VERY important, art is not only about that. Art is also about experiencing life and living it to it's fullest, enjoying stuff and balancing that with your practice. Everything you go through will be reflected on your art, so we might as well have some cool experiences and realize that, in order to be the new Zorn, Sargent or whoever it is you admire, technical skill by itself is not enough; their art has much more then just that!
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