Hobby Artist to Professional Artist
What is the difference between an artist that paints for leisure and one that is considered a professional? Is it education? Sales? Reputation? Skill level? Perhaps it's a mixture of all or maybe none. The truth is if you consider yourself a hobby artist its because art does not consume your life. Professional artists, in my humble opinion, eat, drink, and sleep art all day everyday. Does this mean one is more skilled than the other? No. Is it a point of importance? To some it is. Especially to those that wish to become professionals at what they love. Many would argue that professional artist live off their art or at least sell it. Wrong! Being a professional artist can describe an artist in business to sell art or to simply exhibit. You don't need to be a hot seller to be a professional, although it does make creating a little easier.
If you're ready to graduate to a more serious form of your art then you must seriously examine your tools and time - perhaps the two things that distinguish you from hobby to professional. The tools you are currently using as a hobby artist will tell you where you are as an artist. In all sincerity I began this way - using three brushes and only 6 jars of cheap paint. Sure it got the job done but it didn't elevate me in anyway in fact it limited me. My creative potential was restricted by the tools I became comfortable using. Take a look at your brushes. Are they frayed? Do you only own a few small ones? What about your paints. Are they watery and lack a certain vibrancy and thickness? There is your sign. The time I dedicated to not just creating but taking on tasks related to being a professional was adequate but not in any way enough to move forward. If you truly want to transcend your current status you must evaluate the time you spend on artistic activities. If there is any place to begin it must be here. Regardless of how demanding your home life is or your busy work schedule art will demand more from you as you progress but it will also desert you if you do not feed it. How many times have you heard someone say "I use to draw but I haven't in years. Now I'm not sure I can anymore"? I can't tell you how much I've heard this. I understand. I really do. But when is the right time? There isn't so don't bother with that excuse. You must literally create time. Funny, right? Its true take a look at where you're wasting time on watching favorite shows or binge watching. Perhaps even over stretching yourself in other areas. Time management begins with giving time to your creative endeavors.
Self esteem plays a crucial role in whether or not you will decide to move on this. I certainly fought that at the beginning. I decided I wasn't good enough to become an artist. I was right. I wasn't good enough but I decided I wasn't so it was true. Once I decided that I could be good enough everything changed. Every painting was better than the last (okay not every painting) and I hungered for knowledge. I cancelled my cable subscription and opted for Youtube videos showing tutorials instead. Your decision will be based on your self esteem. It can work with you or against you. "Whether you think can or you can't. You're right" - Henry Ford.
Disbelief belongs to others but eventually infects you. What other people believe often is absorbed into our system of beliefs. Every where we look whether it be political, spiritual, moral, or even popular opinion. We let what others believe influence what we perceive as true. Whether or not you can become a professional artist is without a doubt no one else's belief but your own. Yet we often let others make that decision for us; friends, family, co-workers. This one thing is true, no one can walk your path but you. No one can ever know what it is truly like to be you so why let them dictate the path you take?
So where to actually begin? It's important to find a network of hungry artists (hungry for knowledge not literally hungry) to feed your artistic soul and help elevate you. Nothing stifles creativity more than loneliness. When you become part of a network of supportive individuals you will see an amazing thing happen. Your art becomes better! Starting next month my team and I at the Vino Dipinte Art Gallery will begin offering art academy classes for those who wish to become more than hobby artists. Classes on drawing, figure studies, form, portraits, charcoal, watercolors, oils, acrylics, color mixing, color theory, and even art marketing and more!
If you have any inclination of pursuing art more than what you have then please join us. Email me for more info firstname.lastname@example.org