In the wake of screen consumption among the masses being at its peak nowadays, it’s getting more difficult to understate the relevancy of digital media and art. Digital art has never been more in demand and being a digital artist is more accessible and attainable now than ever before.
But whether you’re just starting or have been in the industry for a while, you’ll find that there’s always room to learn how the industry develops so quickly. So let’s take a look at how the digital art industry is looking nowadays and how to navigate its waters as an artist. In this post, we’ve gathered some essential tips that should help both up-and-coming digital artists and grizzled veterans alike.
1. Figure Out Your Artistic Identity
With any creative endeavor, the work is defined by the tastes and style of the artist. If you’re looking to not only grow as a digital artist but to also hopefully make it a lucrative career, you must figure out what your artistic identity is.
There are two things you can do to get to a point where you’re happy and comfortable with your art style.
The first is to be flexible. Try out different styles, genres, and media. You’ll eventually find tools that you like using and naturally work towards using those tools more often.
The second is being honest, and true to your tastes. Don’t be swept up by what you think your style should be based on fads or what “sells”. Figure out what kind of art speaks to you and what sparks your interest and just keep those in mind as you figure out your style.
2. Keep Up to Date
Digital industries are fast-moving and always changing. As such, digital artists will find it necessary to always be up-to-date with the latest technologies available to them in the industry.
In terms of hardware, artists need to figure out what works best for their particular line of work. They need to grapple with some fairly technical questions such as: What kind of PC build will help them process renders faster? What kind of monitor captures the full range of colors that they want to work with? What kind of graphic tablet is best for their artistic needs?
With software, digital artists should figure out which program best serves the kind of art they want to output. One popular example, Adobe, has a full range of programs suitable for video production, music, illustration, 3D modeling, and photography. There are also a ton of great alternatives out there that might be more accessible or affordable to certain individuals such as Clip Studio Paint, Blender, and Autodesk. It just depends on the kind of digital art you see yourself doing.
Although the sheer volume of options can be intimidating, the important thing is to find a setup that works for you. Technology is important, yes, but they’re just tools at the end of the day. The more crucial elements are the skills of the artist behind the tools, which brings us to the next tip.
3. Always Keep Growing
Stagnation is the mortal enemy of any artist. Digital artists, no matter their skill or experience level, should always make sure they find ways of growing and bettering themselves.
It can be as simple as just working out their artistic muscles by producing art every day. Some artists, in the pursuit of out-of-the-box ideas, start to neglect fundamental artistic concepts. It’s important to learn and revisit the basics every once in a while. Nail the fundamentals, practice as often as you can, and you’re golden.
Some digital artists also try to find the time to practice using different mediums or experiment with artistic choices that are out of their comfort zone. This is especially useful for those who find themselves stuck in a rut with artist’s block. You might even find it useful to take the time to enroll in art schools or classes to further develop your skills.
In any case, as important as it is to keep our physical bodies in shape through exercise, the key to having polished and ever-developing artistic skills is everyday discipline and practice.
4. Keep Working and Curate Your Projects
Along with the constant study, it’s also important to put yourself out there as an artist if you ever want to make a sustainable career out of your work.
Curate and design your portfolio and fill it with works that show your depth, your style, and your experience.
In that vein, it’s also important to be careful about the types of projects you decide on accepting. Understandably, this is harder to do when you’re starting and you’re just trying to find work to pay the bills. But if you do have the luxury of being able to say no to certain projects, always take the opportunity to decline projects that don’t align with your artistic values or priorities.
An artist will always be known for the type of art they create, not the type of art they want to create. And time is an important resource for creatives, it would be wasteful to spend that on projects that you don’t align with. So with that in mind, it’s important to be mindful of the type of commissions you end up taking and the type of work you put out into the world.
5. Reach Out and Build a Community
No digital artist is an island. Digital art, by its very nature, is a career driven by the relationship between the artist and their audience. It’s important to be connected to the people that end up viewing and appreciating the work that you make.
This is where social media and the internet come in handy. In the olden days, artists get renowned through physical shows, galleries, and curated exhibits. But as art has moved into the digital space, so has its presence. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even YouTube are great venues to showcase your work and interact with your audience. The more engaged you are with your audience, the more willing they are to patronize or purchase your works.
Beyond that, social media websites also allow artists to connect with fellow artists, curators, and potential clients. Take the time to get to know how to use these platforms to your benefit. Conclusion
Digital art can be a little intimidating. Especially with the idea of putting the time and effort into creating a piece of work that will then be showcased and judged by potentially countless strangers on the internet. But hopefully, with the tips we’ve gone through, you’ll find it a little bit easier to figure out the next steps in your digital art journey. When done right, digital art can prove to be the most fulfilling career for a lot of creative minds out there.