7 Tips for Aspiring Artists

Artwork by Dao Le Trong

So, you’ve decided you want to pursue a career in art but aren’t sure how to start?

We’ve put together a list of top 7 tips from artists in the community that you can start applying right away, no matter what industry or art style you’re aiming for.

1) Start with the basics.

“Don’t jump into shortcuts and tricks right away. Be patient and learn to paint/sculpt something from scratch before using photo/kitbashing techniques.”

Per Haagensen, Senior Concept Artist, EA DICE

2) Be curious.

“There are so many different types of art and skills, and you don’t know you will like or not until you actually try it. If something looks fun and interesting, don’t hesitate to try it.”

Seokin Chung, Senior Concept Artist, Certain Affinity

3) Be passionate.

“Live and pursue your passion. Try your best to achieve your dream because doing the job you truly love is the best thing that can ever happen to you.”

Dao Le Trong, Freelance Concept Artist & Illustrator


4) Set short-term, achievable goals.

“I believe I was able to find the path to my dream job through constant practice and time management towards short-range goals. All through my 20’s and 30’s everyone in my life knew that Sundays until dinner time was my art time.”

George Hull, Conceptual Designer

5) Don’t be discouraged by comparing yourself to others.

“There’s no perfect and only way to achieve your dreams. In the end, all the decisions you make in your life will be made only by you. So think twice about the offers you are receiving. Never force yourself to follow a technique or painting style If you don’t want to. I mean that yes, you should learn about them, but don’t give yourself the pressure that it’s a must.”

Magdalena Radziej, Art Director, Share Creators

6) Find focus.

“The truth is, most artists (including myself) can’t do everything. We all have strengths and that usually is the area of focus that we love. For me it’s characters. So I’ll make my portfolio clearly a character design portfolio. It needs to show a focus because companies almost never look for an artist that can do everything. They look for an artist that can do a specific thing that they need at that time. The good news is that you can spend your time getting better at one (or two) thing rather than feeling overwhelmed in having to be good at everything.”

Andy Park, Director of Visual Development, Marvel Studios

7) Never stop learning.

“Working on your artistic ability is only part of the challenge. Improving your desire to learn, to maintain your skill and to keep pushing yourself is what will truly make you great no matter what path you wish to take.”

Baj Singh, Art Director, The Creative Assembly

These tips come from a collection of previously published Featured Pro Portfolio interviews.

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About the author

Sierra is the Editor of ArtStation Magazine.