Desire – First and foremost, you need to have the desire to learn and grow. Without the desire to learn and grow, your interest will fade over time. You will definitely make mistakes and progress may not happen as quickly as you originally anticipated. If you lack the desire to continue and learn from those mistakes, you will not see much in the way of progress. I can attest to this. When I first began oil painting I recall how terrible my first paintings were. I had no experience mixing or matching colors. I did not understand that mixing colors is a science all in itself. I would either mix too many colors, or mix the wrong colors, and my mixtures came out terrible. I did become quite frustrated, and eventually discouraged, until I finally stopped for a while. It wasn’t until I took a trip to The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, that I realized just how badly I wanted to paint. I became inspired and my desire to paint was ignited once again. So make certain that you always stay inspired to create. Surround yourself with creativity. Talk to other artists. Look at other artwork, etc.
Learn & practice – Once you have found the desire to embark on your artistic journey, you will obviously need to learn and practice. You will need the right resources and teachers to guide you in the right direction. Everyone is different and your way of learning anything new can differ from another persons learning methods.
Some people learn better by watching others. If this is the case, purchase some quality videos or DVD’s. Watch them once or twice first before you participate. This will make the experience much more enjoyable and easier to follow once you are ready to join in. There are a number of well made and resourceful videos and DVD’s on the market today.
Perhaps you prefer to learn in a group or classroom setting with an instructor. Do a search for beginner workshops in your area and join a few. The benefit of the classroom setting is the instant feedback you receive on your work. You also have other students and an instructor there to answer any questions that you may have. There are workshops available on virtually everything from painting to crafts, so you should be able to find something in your area or online.
Maybe you prefer to read books and learn on your own, at your own pace. This is the way I started learning. I have a nice little library now of great books that I am constantly re-visiting. There is definitely no shortage of reading material out there. I usually go online first and do research at the popular online booksellers. Many of the books are rated by other customers. This will give you a good idea of what’s popular and worth buying. You can either get the book online, or go to your local book store with a few titles that you researched, and skim through the books before you buy.
If you are lucky enough to have a local public television station in your area, you should definitely check into it. Here in New York, there is a great public television station dedicated to the arts. It airs many educational arts and crafts shows, and I watch it every day.
Find a method of learning that you are comfortable with or try them all! At the end of this article you will see a great resource with free art and craft lessons and other great resources for beginners. Make sure you check it out when you are finished reading this article.
Buying your supplies – Before you go out to your local store or shop online for your supplies, make sure you do a little research first. Visit online forums and chat rooms to find out what materials & supplies other artists in your particular area of interest are using.
You will be surprised by the number of responses you receive. Many experienced artists are more than happy to give advice and answer questions. Make sure you make it known that you are a beginner and that you are looking for descent quality supplies for beginners.
Once you learn more about the types of supplies you will need, don’t settle for one brand or manufacturer. My advice would be to purchase supplies from a number of different manufacturers. Everyone is different and you will find that over time you will develop a preference toward specific products. Do not purchase the most expensive or highest quality supplies at first. In the beginning you are learning and experimenting. It is best to do this with cheaper supplies. You can then upgrade to a more expensive or higher quality products later on.
Share your work with others – Once you create your first work of art go out and share it with family, friends and other artists. There are a number of discussion forums online where you can submit your artwork for others to view and comment on. Don’t be afraid of the criticism and by all means, never let anything anyone says about your work discourage you. Everyone has been where you are now at one point in his or her artistic journey. The majority of people you show your work to will be patient and helpful. This is a great way to learn and grow as an artist, so get out there and show yourself.
I do hope these tips have helped and have given you some confidence and direction. Remember to never get discouraged. If you really want to become an accomplished artist, just keep at it. You will create your first work of art in no time.