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An Artist’s Guide to Arting

Maureen Chokola, Staff Writer

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Thinking of going to art school? Think again. Of course, it’s your choice, but I’m telling you now, being an artist doesn’t make you “romantic” or “sensitive.” Artists work as much as everyone else, and they certainly don’t get praised for it. Plenty of decent art students go through life thinking they’re committed to life as an artist, but after their first art critique, they realize how insecure they are about their art skills. And if they’re not insecure, they’re pretentious.

If you plan on attending an art school, you need to learn to soak in criticism like a sponge. Criticism is your best friend, but most people take it too personally. If someone tells you the anatomy of the dog in your painting could use some work, pick up an anatomy book. If someone mentions the color scheme of your drawing looks off, study color theory. There are plenty of canvases on this earth, and you have infinite chances to try again.

You need to think of a critique as a new perspective on your piece, because God knows what people think of your art until someone speaks up. You should also critique in return. This will help you gain experience from other people’s mistakes as well.

Realize that art materials will eat up your budget. You need to shop smart so you still have enough money for things that aren’t art things. Like things you need to live. A lot of people hear the term “starving artist” but don’t realize that, well, artists starve because oil paint and canvases make up most of their budgets. So make sure you have a steady job (and because you’re an artist, you’ll probably be a barista) and make a fair amount of money. Selling your art will help a ton as well.

So keep in mind that art isn’t easy. Just because your fundamentals of art class was easy as pie doesn’t mean you’ll be successful in art. Just sayin’.

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An Artist’s Guide to Arting