Category: art history blog

How can i become an artist?

How can i become an artist?

By creating!

There’s actually a few paths you can take to become an artist, depending on what kind of artist you want to be, and also what time/money you can afford to put into it.

Some artists out there haven’t gone to art school, but this path requires a lot of self-discipline. You will need to build up your skills as much as you can, build a portfolio, and market yourself. Depending on what kind of art you produce and for what reason, like if you want to become a commercial artist taking commissions, advertising yourself is extremely important. Social media really helps with this, in order to gain customers and spread your art.

If you’re more interested in having your work placed in art galleries, the rule of building up skills and a portfolio is still very important! (It always will be). There’s kind of a hierarchy of art galleries. There’s those that aim to take in new artists, and then others that expect your work to have shown in a lot of other places before. After building up a portfolio, find some nearby art galleries that take in new artists, they’ll have people that will help you greatly. Galleries usually work by pricing up your work, and then taking a percentage of that price. If I remember correctly it’s usually about 40% going to the gallery (in my area at least). A good gallery will be worth it, as it covers the cost of not only installing the work and safekeeping, but they will market your work to others, get your name more known, etc. With every exhibition you’re involved in, you can add that to your CV and experience.

That’s more stuff you can do on your own. If you can afford the time and money to go to art school, I’d recommend it. If you’re like me and have skills to build on – not just the creating of your work, but learning more in depth about the different career pathways of art, working on time management, how to properly research/create rationales, wanting the opportunity to explore different mediums and technology with tutors, making connections, etc – it’s really helpful. There’s actually a heck of a lot to learn. You could learn a lot by yourself, but you have to be very disciplined!

The main important parts are:

  • Build your skills, constantly practice, experiment, and refine your technique. Try everything you might be interested in.
  • Build up your portfolio. Build up your social media platforms.
  • Advertise! Marketing your work! The more people that know of your work, the better!

It really depends what path you’re more interested in taking. If you’re not concerned with a career at all, becoming an artist will simply involve comfortably titling yourself as an artist. Are you a creator? You’re an artist!

Portrait of Marie-Clotilde-Inès Moitessier, an…

Portrait of Marie-Clotilde-Inès Moitessier, and details, 1856, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867)

Plum Park in Kameido, 1857, by Hiroshige (1797…

Plum Park in Kameido, 1857, by Hiroshige (1797-1858).

Japanese woodblock print in the ukiyo-e genre.

Do you think applying paint on a canvas has a …

Do you think applying paint on a canvas has a future? We're historically invested in it, but computer based techniques (3d rendering, digital painting) are taking off. And pictures on screens have all sorts of wonderful qualities that are difficult to get in paint.

The argument for traditional art can be made with the same point as that last sentence. There is many qualities with traditional art that are unique to itself. The appeal of traditional art is in many areas. You could argue that digital art is the same, but each have their virtues and limitations. Some people want to know they have artwork that couldn’t be easily reproduced, and the process behind it. Hell, some people even love the smell of paints and mediums, so it’s different for everyone. Seeing a painting in person, is always so much different than seeing a photograph or print of that painting. It’s so much more rich and emotional. I think while that feeling still exists, the desire to paint on canvas will too.

When photography was invented, humans didn’t stop painting. In fact, art was pushed to evolve even more. Artists will never stop creating, and I don’t think the mastery of putting paint on canvas will ever die. If it became rarer, it would most likely just spark another interest to find that lost art.

Both digital and traditional inspire audiences. Art is to inspire, digital tools and traditional tools are still just tools. I don’t think paint on a canvas will ever die out.

For you, which painters work best with color?

For you, which painters work best with color?

This is very subjective, but the artists below all appeal to me because of their striking use of colour, or complex colour palette. There would be so many missing from this list, especially a lot of 19th century artists, but I think you get the idea! 

For me, Contemporary wise, I like a lot of contrast. The contrast between colours used, like Emilio Villalba’s ‘I Don’t See’ series. I either like really dark images with splashes of colour, or admire how the artist has put together certain colours. 


But I also love the altering of colours, like Glen Brown.


Contemporary artists that focus on the use of colour rather than contrast or elements of realism, I love Inka Essenhigh’s use of colour to create more rhythm in her work.


For older works, it is sooo tough. There’s French artist Louis Anquetin, who really knew how to create an atmosphere with colour. Another obvious artist would be Van Gogh’s use of colour as well! And Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who would really pick a colour and create an atmosphere with it. Because these artists were inspired by a more “block” kind of colouring and less shading, the colour choices really matter!



J. M. W. Turner’s use of colour was exceptional, as he managed to convey certain scenes (like sea scapes) and some are almost non-representation, but just a certain smidgen of colour reveals them. Such as ‘Snow Storm: Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth,’ painted in 1842:


There’s the obvious choice of Claude Monet and his contemporaries.


For more dark and natural colour palettes that I really admire, Rembrandt would certainly be high on the list. His colour mixing was known to be highly complex, as he built them up.


Eugène Delacroix, for the same reason.


Oh! And I almost forgot about the Pre-Raphaelites. Their use of colour was exquisite, especially since they appreciated creating more ornate and elaborate artworks, so the selection of colour had to be carefully chosen.


Hello!! I’m somewhat of a new follower a…

Hello!! I’m somewhat of a new follower and was wondering if you could help me with a project; who would you say has the best flowers, whether they’re the main focus or a small detail, which artist/art creates your favourite image? Thanks in advance!

Oh this is so hard! I like all kinds of flowers in art, so I’ll give you a few of my favourite examples. It all depends on placement or amount, I’d say. Sometimes I like them for the large amount of them, the variety, the ability (or lack thereof) to see the brush work.

Probably my most favourite painting would be ‘The Roses of Heliogabalus,’ 1888, by Lawrence Alma-Tadem, where they’re all just surrounded in petals. Here’s some detail.


And the flower detail in Sandro Botticelli’s’ Primavera’ (15th century). That placement of the flower details are gorgeous.


And as a focal point, I love Mary Moser’s still life flowers (18th to 19th century).


Plum Park in Kameido, 1857, by Hiroshige (17…

Plum Park in Kameido, 1857, by Hiroshige (1797-1858), and Flowering Plum Tree, 1887, by Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890).

Van Gogh was heavily influenced by Japanese artists, particularly ukiyo-e woodblock prints, even using the term “Japonaiserie.”

Muslim Lady Reclining, 1789, by Francesco Rena…

Muslim Lady Reclining, 1789, by Francesco Renaldi (1755-1799)

Portrait of Comtesse d’Haussonville, 1845, b…

Portrait of Comtesse d’Haussonville, 1845, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867)

Detail of Portrait of Comtesse d’Haussonville,…

Detail of Portrait of Comtesse d’Haussonville, 1845, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867)