It's Back To School!

L is for Learning! Art by Lee White.

L is for Learning! Art by Lee White.

It’s time to sharpen those pencils and hit the books! School is back in session 🤓

If you want to improve your illustration skills, here’s some tips for beginners on how to get started. With a few helpful strategies, you’ll soon be on your way to becoming an awesome artist!

  1. Keep it simple! Getting better at art takes time and energy, and it’s easy to get derailed if you take on too much. Instead of aiming for big goals like perfecting your portfolio, sometimes it helps to break them down into more manageable chunks. Try setting mini goals, like improving line weight or tone.

  2. Carve out time for art. We get it! Life is busy 😅 But the only way to improve your skills is by deliberate practice, and that takes time! Be sure to schedule enough time every week for practice, and then be sure to show up. How much time? Well, that all depends on what you are trying to accomplish and how flexible your schedule is! But the key is to practice on a consistent basis over time.

  3. Only work through one of our online illustration classes at a time. Sure, it can feel productive to binge watch a bunch of videos all at once, but that is really only skimming the surface. Try slowing down and focusing on just one video. Watch it all the way through, do all the assignments, then practice all the skills. Repeat.

  4. Focus on your weaknesses. We know, it’s more fun to draw something you’re good at! But if you want to improve, pick the thing you’re terrible at and do that. If a class or assignment is too easy, then move on to something that’s more challenging. Take pride in your strengths, but train your weaknesses!

  5. Get feedback on your artwork. Put it out there, see how people respond. You can try family and friends, social media or critique groups. Another option is our community Forum, where fellow artists share their work. Ask for an honest critique! And don’t take it too personally 😜 Try to keep an open mind and really think about whether your work achieves what you intended.

  6. Consider entering our monthly art contest and watching the live critiques. Each month we give a different prompt, which challenges you to get out of your comfort zone. You get to see how different artists interpret the same prompt, and how a pro illustrator would approach the work. Your entry might even be picked for a critique!

  7. But most importantly, have fun! Learning illustration can be challenging, but that is all part of the creative process. Don’t dwell on the struggles, celebrate the victories!

Are you ready to get back into art? What strategies do you use to learn a new skill?