5 Places to Find Free Art Education & Inspiration

1. Art Supply Manufacturers 

Many artist-grade product manufacturers offer loads of free information about how to use their products. Much of this information can be applied to your studio practice in general, even if you don’t end up purchasing their product. The highest quality artist materials manufacturers tend to have the most in-depth and thorough material; their commitment to artists is obvious.

Winsor & Newton
Winsor & Newton makes a large assortment of artist-quality paints and painting accessories. Visit their Resource Centre for instructional videos, Continue reading

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10 Weeks to Improve Your Artistic Career – Week 10

Week 10: Connect with your community.

One of the greatest assets we have as working artists is each other. Sharing experiences, asking questions, and learning from what we see and enjoy are all ways to greatly improve artistic practices and careers.

I hope that the 10 week project has sparked some ideas for you, or motivated you to do something that you love. While I was planning these 10 posts, I wondered, which would be most useful? Which made the most sense?

In the spirit of this week’s project, I reached out on Twitter and asked, “What is the single most important thing that has improved your artistic career?” The replies I received were inspiring and insightful, and I’m happy to say a lot of us agree on the best ways to improve as an artist. Many thanks to those who took the time to tweet a reply. A simple example of “ask and you will receive.”

Here is some wonderful advice from your peers: Continue reading

10 Weeks to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 9

Week 9: Exhibit your work

Exhibiting your artwork has endless benefits for your artistic career. You could say it is the most important things in building a solid practice! When you exhibit your artwork:

  • it is viewed by peers, clients, potential clients, fans of art, writers, curators, friends, etc
  • usually an exhibition involves working with other artists, and / or galleries, curators, or professionals in the artistic field and can give you excellent experience
  • you learn from your mistakes
  • you engage in dialogue about your work
  • it adds credibility to your CV. With exhibitions on your CV, you stand a better chance for receiving grants, scholarships, exhibition opportunities, residencies, and more.

Strangely enough, exhibiting their own artwork is one thing that a large number of artists do not do. There are many excuses why not to pursue exhibition opportunities for yourself, such as: Continue reading

10 Weeks to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 8

Week 8: Take a class

Whether you are a self-taught artist or have earned a degree in the field, there are countless benefits to enrolling yourself in an art class. There is obviously the distinct possibility that you will learn new skills or methods of working, but there are other benefits to being in a classroom setting, such as:

1. It forces you to work. Expectations and deadlines are great motivators, and taking a class is an excellent way to make your art practice a regular part of your day.

2. You meet other artists. Art can be a solitary endeavor. When you enroll in a class, you will have the opportunity to meet like-minded people and perhaps even collaborate with them. Taking a class also usually gives you an intimate view of how other artists work, which is invaluable information to you as a practicing artist.

3. You discuss your work. If you are lucky, Continue reading

10 Weeks to Improve your Artistic Career- Week 7

Week 7: Seek out and learn from critical feedback

“The crit.” Are there any more cringe-worthy words for an art student or artist? Though their aim is to help, critiques of artwork have gained a terrible reputation.

Art can be deeply personal, which is why having it critiqued can be very difficult. Many artists just want to hear that their work is good, that what they are doing is validated. But when you think about it, what helps you to grow, improve, and push yourself more: simple praise or thoughtful criticism? Continue reading

10 Weeks to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 6

Week 6: Get your paperwork in order.

If you have ever submitted your artwork to an exhibition, gallery or contest, you probably already know that beyond your artwork, you are also responsible for providing specific paperwork relating to your artistic practice. The most common paperwork requests are for an artist statement, an artist CV, and a short written biography.

If you have these three items prepared in advance, you can update them regularly and save yourself a lot of stress when trying to meet a submission deadline. In general, they are great things to have on hand even if you are not submitting your work, as collectors, curators, or writers could ask to see them at any time. Continue reading

10 Weeks to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 5

Week 5: Fine-tune an artistic target, do your research, and act based on your findings.

This week’s project is more open ended than previous ones, but I believe it is very useful method that can work for almost anyone.

It is not uncommon to meet an artist who loves to make art, spends countless hours in the studio, and dreams of one day having their art displayed in a big public gallery. Or maybe to see their work sell in a big commercial gallery. Or perhaps on a beautiful website that gets tons of hits. The only flaw in this plan is that there is no plan.

Unfortunately, artists are not likely to be “discovered” based solely on their private artistic talent. For example, Continue reading

10 Weeks to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 4

Week 4: Take Advantage of Resources

The amount of free resources available to working artists today is quite staggering. The essentials of what you need to become a professional artist in both the artistic and practical realms are available for free– you just need to take the time to find them! I’ve compiled a list of many different sources in the hopes that this will assist you in your development as an artist.

Artists’ Legal Outreach Website

The Artists’ Legal Outreach is an amazing organization made up of volunteer lawyers and law students who provide legal support for artists working in Canada. They offer Continue reading

10 Ways to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 3

Week 3: create a structured project

One of the best ways to get yourself thinking and working creatively is to do it regularly and frequently, and soon it becomes second-nature.

It can often be difficult to set aside time for creative endeavours, or to become motivated to work on things. A fantastic and simple way to overcome these deterrents is to create structured, time-based creative project for yourself.

In setting up a structured project, you have many different options. The key is to create a project where you’ve already set up specific parameters for what you are going to work on, and also one that it requires you to work regularly. Some examples of a time-based, structured creative project are: Continue reading

10 Ways to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 2

Visitors experience Olafur Eliasson’s “The Weather Project” at the Tate Modern

WEEK 2: View art in person

These days, much art viewing occurs online. This makes sense in one way– the internet offers potentially global reach to virtually every artist. You can Google “Gerhard Richter” and see almost his entire catalogue instantly.

Despite this wide accessibility and the fact that the internet is an incredible tool for artists, Continue reading