never give up on artI have been looking back over some of the great advice from the artists featured in our spotlights. Our spotlight has the question “Do you have any good advice for aspiring and emerging artists?” The most popular counsel, mentioned from 67 of our artists, is to keep creating art no matter what. Have patience and persistence, and stick with it through thick and thin. Work hard and build up a body of art.

I have compiled some of the best and most encouraging advice from our spotlighted artists for this article.


Never Give up Creating Art!

  1. Heidi Keyes

    Heidi KeyesDenver, Colorado

    ”Making art is hard. It’s really, really hard. You make lots of crap work before anyone ever compliments what you do, and you make lots more crap work before anyone takes you seriously.

    I am thankful every day for the professors and people in my life that encouraged me to keep pushing forward even when it probably looked like I was going nowhere. I also thank them for their honest opinions and for forcing me to grow and keep improving myself.

    If you can accept that kind of constructive criticism and turn it into something positive for yourself and for your work, you will be successful.

    You just need to keep at it. This isn't just a job or a career, you need to live artfully.”

  2. Cathy McClelland

    Cathy McClellandQueensland, Australia

    ”If you are going to be an artist then be an artist and paint, paint, paint.

    Nothing compares with kilometres of brush work. No lessons, no advice nothing. Only practice, determination and not giving up on your dream will enable you to succeed.”

  3. Neleisha Weerasinghe

    Neleisha WeerasingheColombo, Sri Lanka

    “Don't let anyone tell you that what you create is not art. Some may like your work, others may not.

    Don’t worry too much, just keep at it.”

  4. Tahirih Goffic

    Tahirih Goffic Canada

    “Keep painting. Quantity equals quality. You won't get better unless you keep painting. Never stop learning. Watch videos, read books, study the masters.

    Share yourself and be honest. People are interested in the person behind the art.

    Don't give up and whatever you do, ignore your inner critic! They're full of crap :)

    Paint what you want to paint because life is too short to worry about what other people will like, and if you paint what you love, your passion and personality will show through and people will be attracted to it.”

  5. Christine Dana

    Christine DanaSouthern California, USA

    ”Don't ever give up, please. Don't let your friends, family, not even your spouse or parents deter you.

    Being an artist is difficult, but keep at it, don't give up, and you will find it to be far more rewarding than money, a high paying job, wealth, etc.

    Don't give up and don't let anyone stop you or drag you down. You are an artist, the greatest asset to our world.”

  6. Lauren Curtis

    Lauren CurtisNJ, USA


    And do not fear or snub the importance of promotion and networking.

    Also, be true to your own style but do not view doing commissioned freelance work as "selling out"...if you can make money from your art, then go for it and you can always create works for yourself as well!”

  7. Bruce Black

    Bruce BlackPhoenix, AZ, USA

    ”I think that young artists need to know that having a career in art isn’t like flying in a rocket. You are not going to get there fast.

    It’s a lifelong journey, one step at a time. Think of yourself as climbing Mt. Everest.

    You just have to keep at it no matter what. Don’t quit ever. In the process, you may just discover yourself.”

  8. Benjamin Mitchley

    Benjamin MitchleyCenturion, Gauteng, South Africa

    ”Not all galleries are willing to take on new artists, unless the artists have made a name for themselves.

    My motto is if you don’t try, you will never know. Don’t take rejection negatively.

    A gallery owner once told me that I will never stand a chance to exhibiting in his gallery. His reason was that he was in the business for more than 20 years. He did not even take a look at my work. Five years later I was invited by the new owner to exhibit with the gallery.

    Get as much work as possible out there. Do whatever it takes.”

  9. Tina Marie

    United States

    ”Breathe in faith, walk with confidence, trust your self, trust your abilities, even if you don't believe in yourself, do it, don't critique/judge/suppress yourself, just keep doing it.... it is all stepping stones pointing you in an unknown direction... it's all good.”

  10. Iris Scott


    Iris ScottSeattle, USA

    “Spend at least a year or two painting every day. In order to do this you need to save up and move to a country with a very low cost of living. You will find yourself less distracted by life and also more apt at making enough money in art to cover your living expenses.

    Ooh! And one more thing.... let go of your art to people that want to buy your pieces. Immediately turn around and buy better supplies.

    The goal is to improve and astonish yourself. You should be more focused on what you're capable of creating rather than what you've already made. . . The best is yet to come...."


Do you have any advice to share for emerging artists? Please leave a comment below.


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  1. Great blogpost that all of us needs to hear, repeatedly. Thanks for posting it.

  2. I've been painting for 11 years now. I love it. I love the idea of filling in that blank canvas with whatever I want. The freedom is exciting, no one can tell you what you do is right or wrong. It is what it is. I've been lucky to find an audience for my work and I keep painting because in it's ultimate simplicity it's just love for me. When I don't have the chance to paint for a few days and I sit down to paint and I feel the brush in my hand and the feeling of the paint covering the canvas, I think to myself "why did I go away from this? I miss it so much and when I go back to it, it's like falling in love with painting all over again. Don't let anyone tell you how or what to paint. Do what's in your heart. We are all unique and individual and that's what will show in your work, the true spirit of your heart and soul. Never stop because someone tells you something negative, keep going because it makes you feel positive.

  3. @Mike Filippello Thanks Mike! That is some very good advice. I especially like the part "We are all unique and individual and that's what will show in your work, the true spirit of your heart and soul."

  4. Brilliant, Always come back to this post and have another read through it, its very inspiring and great to focus my mind on my goals. Thanks Graham (h)

  5. I couldn't agree more. I made that mistake, because I didn't have good guidance to pursue Art in college. Ended up going for jobs I could make money at, having fun and put my art aside for about 20 yrs. I couldn't be happier being back to my art. Just wonder how I'd be doing had I never stopped.


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