How to become a self-taught artist

Want to be an artist but can't afford an art degree? That's okay, you can always become a self-taught artist. If you learn better outside of a classroom, here are some tips to help you get started in the world the art, by Rosa Fairfield. 

How to become a self-taught artist

Know what area of art you're interested in

Art is such a broad subject area, there are many different art types, and artists tend to have their own individual style. So, first work out what you're interested in. Do you like: realistic sketches, cartoons or multimedia? That's just a few examples, but there's lots out there.

Being self-taught lends itself to this, as you can specialise in one area straight away. 

Unicorn selfie digital art drawing
Unicorn selfie digital art drawing by Rosa Fairfield

Define your goals

Once you know what you want to create, you need to work out what to do with your art. Is it a hobby or do you want to make money from it?

The internet has opened up a whole new way to view art so the traditional route of galleries isn't the only option. You could sell your art online or even design your own products using Redbubble

You could also think of broader related areas, like interior design, video editing or even become a make-up artist. Art doesn't have to mean drawing sketches or painting pictures. 

Graduate digital art drawing
Graduate digital art drawing by Rosa Fairfield

Lots and lots of practice

Once you know what road you're going to take, you need to actually start your engine and drive. In other words, now is the time to start to practice. Doing a little everyday will help to improve your skills.

If you're interested in drawing, just literally, grab a pencil and paper and start. It can take time to train your hand to make steady lines and to be able to draw shapes and outlines accurately. When you first start out you might be disheartened with how it looks. You just have to keep going. Even if you have a few years of experience behind you, there are still ways your technique can improve. If you look at your old work, you can normally see how far you've come.

Be curious

Being an artist is like being an inventor. Each time, you create something new. Be unique so people want to view your work and always look for new ways of working. Who knows, you might start a new artistic movement or you might end creating complete rubbish. But, that's just part of the fun.

Slay beauty standards digital art drawing
Slay beauty standards digital art drawing by Rosa Fairfield

View art

You know what they say? If you want to be a writer; read lots of books. The same can be applied to art or most subjects really. You can learn by looking at work by other artists. It gives you ideas and an understanding of the subject. Plus, if you really immerse yourself into the world of art, it keeps you interested in the subject so you become passionate about creating. 

Read books

Books are a great way to learn the basics. You can visit the library in your lunch break and spend time trying out some of the techniques for yourself. Just remember to bring a sketch pad (you don't want to get kicked out for drawing over the books).