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    HOW TO WIN AT ART

    Now, before all of you leap on me going, "HOW DO I WIN AT ART!?!?!?!?!!1111" and think it's a Ponzi scheme. No such thing. This is from my own experiences of all the mental highs and lows, anguish to ecstacy and everything in between. This has helped me be badass in my craft both in drawing and doing what I do no matter what. Art is not for the faint of heart for the creator. We can be lauded and totally exterminated (so much more so on the internet) for any little predetermined 'slip-up' (drawing Rose Quartz 'slimmer' and having an artist almost killing herself) that can potentially destroy us. So, in the age of the internet and daily interaction, here's what has helped me.

    Follow Advice.

    Some people have more experience and talent and you. Some less. That's how the world is, but it doesn't mean it has to be the end for you. There is a place for you and asking others for advice and to even asking for help is good. Why go the long way around, when there's someone to point the right way? Constructive criticism is always a good thing, but...

    Don't Follow "Advice".

    So, you probably think I'm someone on crack that told you not to follow the first one I said. Here's the difference.: Usually when critiques have hit me home is when I knew or was shaky about a piece I was working on. I KNEW. Sometimes in your gut (NOT ego) that you know what you're doing is the right thing. Also, we live in a world where people love giving their feedback to what you should do the fuck ever in your life because they're on the outside and it counts. Only it doesn't. You'll know when you're bullshitting yourself to knowing that you need to adjust stuff about your work and when not to. Just know that it's perfectly fine to shut off all the outside noise and just go forth in your silence.

    Your Gut is the Best

    Thibault

    A lot of us in this crazy world know that a lot of folks love to give you their opinon of how you should act, breathe, think, and walk. Now, here's a piece of "advice" for you. Only YOU know what is best for you. I notice that people who constantly fuck up and get belittled for their own choices in life inherently don't trust themselves anyway. Sure, it's real hard when you've made big to horrible mistakes, but the learning has happened and the practice has to happen sometime. That sometime is now. You're not perfect? So? No one is. And everyone has the potential to learn. Don't worry it gets better over time.

    There Will Always Be Assholes to Nonbelievers to Nonentities.

    The world is full of different people. Also, the world is full of the up above. Learn how to identify with them by how they act. Assholes will rip on you even though you're Jesus Christ (even then when He lived, people hated him anyway and if you want to argue theology we can go somewhere else. I'm using a commonly used figure to illustrate that no matter how perfect or good you fucking are, there is ALWAYS going to be someone that tells you that you're terrible as a person and artist.) There will be others that tell you that you'll never make it. You'll always have people that should but never support you and remain indifferent to your life work. Sad thing is that it can be friends, family, lovers, people off the street, etc. Good thing is that you will always have fans.

    You Will Always Have Fans.

    Hey, I've had fans that LOVED my work. I've had fans that loved me but weren't into my work, but supported me. I've also had fans that didn't like my work beforehand, but then they got to meet me and talk to me, they loved me. There were those that didn't even know I existed until I said, "Hi". You can't go and dismiss the fans and their support. Now, I'm not saying kowtow to every person that you meet - but appreciate them for who they are. They're there for you in that capacity. Be appreciative from having one fan to ten million billion. The thing is that we hate to admit, on some level we feel validated about our work when we have fans. Art is meant to have an audience.

    Know Your Worth

    This is so, so, so, so VERY important. I have heard from other artists and from my own life the abuse we get and potentially get from our clients and fans. Even in our personal lives we may experience some type of fuckery that isn't warranted. However, know your boundaries and worth. Your work is worth something. You are worth something. You were something enough and more than enough for a person to approach you as much as when you advertise yourself to go out there. Know what works best for you and negotiate the best terms for YOU. If you are worried that this will make you a selfish dick, chances are it won't. Usually people with the biggest flaws have the biggest hang-ups about the very thing they're being an asshole about. The other wrong end of the spectrum is being a doormat. You can swing from doormat to asshole and back again. Be grounded.

    You're NOT Perfect.

    Before you roll your eyes, take that in so very much. People tend to think that their work is great, only to swing down low when they've had a bad day. This doesn't go for us artists. It's for EVERYONE. Do acknowledge yourself that you make mistakes - only learn from them. No, it isn't to learn a "lesson". (Which by far has been one of the more innocent-sounding, fucking shitty phrase used by people so they can justify by overly punitive treatment to you, along with "paying your dues" for exploitation and abuse.) It's to understand that's part of the journey. Sure there are shitty people, but chances are you're not one of them most likely. Also, one doesn't need to crucify yourself repeatedly, there is no reward for martydom. You do need to take care of yourself.

    TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. I AM SO SERIOUS ABOUT THIS.

    Before I go on some stupid ass thing about taking salt baths and reiki healing, I am not. Those things are great, but self-care has been bandying about lately that people tend to not understand what it means. I've heard it the best explained that it is about creating a life that you don't need to run away from. Sure you'll have problems, you'll have crises, you'll have anxieties. However, does it mean you need to slam shut the door in the face of every person because you feel bad? No, that makes you an asshole too. You'll be that same person that assholes are when they treat someone disrespectfully and mean. You're merely running away. Stop this. It is insane. Take a break. Enjoy your friends and family. Enjoy YOU for Christ's sake, we only have one of you. Be the best you can be in this particular time.

    KNOW HOW TO APOLOGIZE AND WHEN.

    Don't fucking say sorry for little every thing you do. For some reason or another, good and/or bad, you're here. So, if you came from a horrible shit show of circumstances, claw the fuck up out of the hole with a resolution to have a better life and a happy one. If you came from a great set of circumstances, awesome, you have a level ground in which to relate people with. Notice all these and every circumstance in between. There isn't any brownie points when you apologize excessively or knowingly do a dumb assed thing that hurts people. Apologies are like art. People know it when you're not sincere. So be sincere in your apology when you genuinely hurt people. At least, your conscience is clear and it's amazingly easy to move on from there.

    KNOW YOUR PATTERN

    I have read countless art articles and advice columns until I'm stuffed to the gills. Even though that these resources are great, you don't need to follow one person to become the most successful in the world. Sure, you can take some loveable traits and have inspired ideas of how to live your life - but you aren't them and they aren't you. Whenever I have a block, I gasp, allow myself to be present in that block and allow it to be. You'd think that it would have me not write for days, weeks, months, and years. Actually, the reality is that I write in about a few days to a week's time and it's actually inspired work than faked, forced, insipid shit. I hate the latter so much.

    You WILL Suck at First With ANYTHING.

    You will. If you've been an artist for some time, you probably sucked as a kid when you first started at art, but in reality who gave a shit? You were a kid. It's the same as if you started as an adult. Very rarely are you really amazing fucking good at things when you give them the first try. So stop being hard on yourself expecting that you're the Picasso of the world. Plus, that title was already taken. Make your own.

    LEARN SHIT. LOTS OF IT.

    Learning is fun. I know that might be new for some people, but it is really fun. Unfortunately, a lot of our school systems and society in general has made learning either a dangerous avenue to being made absolutely boring. The first, because we're dogged on any mistake that we do by our peers to the rest of the world (not all but it's out there) to just being told "do it without meaning". Learn for the sake of learning. It makes your art better. Have fun with it. Life's too short.

    FUCKING DO IT.

    Don't talk yourself out of it. Don't overthink it. Just do it. You can talk yourself out of anything new. Of course you're going to be anxious and awkward despite careful analysis. If it's debilitating, then seek help, because I would think that it would be all the worse NOT doing the thing, only to kick yourself in the ass repeatedly and viciously about that decision, only to do the exact same thing at another one and another one until you build up so much stupid ass horrible weighing crappy shit you end up doing nothing at all - and that sucks so much more. You were given a gift by whomsoever that you want to debate about or don't. Either way you have it. USE IT DAMMIT.

    Say "Thank You"

    Lastly, appreciate those who appreciate you and take the time out to be with you on your journey. Nothing has turned me off more when a person could not begrudge a simple, "thank you" and made some bullshit excuse not to even acknowledge and appreciate what I did. That way I knew how little they viewed me and my interest of investment into them. They simply were, ungrateful. No one likes a person who doesn't say, "thank you" to them. Those two fucking words can build a lifetime of friendship, networks, and lasting commitments. Seriously. SAY THOSE TWO WORDS.

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