7 Ways You Can Develop Your Work

Human beings are learning beings.  We are able to learn new skills, learn from mistakes, make subtle changes in the way we do things and implement strategies over extended periods of time.

If you are a professional artist these traits should resonate with you since success depends on all of them.

It may well be that you honed your style and you have sold some work.  That is great news!  Don’t stop there, keep going.

As soon as some artists start selling they think that is the end of the learning curve, in fact, it is just the end of the beginning.  The real work begins now.

Imagine if other professionals stopped learning or developing because they had been paid for their work.  If it was a professional boxer, the career would be very short-lived.  The opponents would soon work out the striking blow and their ‘edge’ will have disappeared.  Let us visualise a troupe of dancers.  Do they stop practising, rehearsing or learning new steps?…..OF COURSE NOT.  That would be insane.

Of course, we are not suggesting you abandon what has worked for you in the past.  You need to think about how you can continue your journey of creation whilst carrying your Real Collectors with you.  The new work needs to ‘make sense’ to those who might think about buying it.  But that should not prevent you from experimenting with your style, materials or colours; in fact the model, if it is to be adhered to by you in your practice depends on your continuing to grow.

How to develop your work as a creator

There is a multitude of things you can do to develop your practice:

  • Socialise & Make Friends
  • Experiment With Different Materials
  • Attend Exhibitions & Shows
  • Read Books
  • Watch Videos
  • Attend Classes
  • Source information, advice and guidance on the internet

Socialise & Make Friends

Surrounding yourself with other creative people is a great way to develop your practice through conversation and collaboration.  Other creatives will share with you what the have done, what they are doing and what they hope to do next.  They will spur you on in your development, simply by asking you what you are doing and asking you questions about your intentions.

Explaining your work to other people who understand what you are doing help you think about and rationalise your approach to your work.

It will also open up lots of social opportunities, life will become more interesting since everyone wants to invite an artist to dinner.

Experiment With Different Materials

Whenever I go to an art shop or supply store, I always make myself buy something or some materials I have never used before.  I love that feeling of discovery, even when the result is less than par.  I want to master all the materials and really get to know the ‘feel’ of the new method.  It’s a bit like building a new relationship with a person.  Different characteristics mean a different approach from me.  Some materials suit different weather or different moods.  Try it!

Attend Exhibitions or Shows

Going along to exhibitions and shows allows you to see the cutting edge of work.  You will be able to see and judge for yourself what sells and what does not in any given market.  If you are attending galleries, you will be able to meet the owners and create relationships with potential outlets for your work too.

Read books

It seems so old fashioned, but there is no time lost in a book.  Books are a great resource for you to learn about techniques and other ideas.  Your skillset will forever grow and as soon as you become aware that you are incompetent in any given area, there is a book which can help you inform yourself.  There is also nothing quite like a growing collection of books which you know you have read from cover to cover.

Watch Videos

For some the idea of a book, simply does not fire the imagination or get the creative juices flowing as much as a video can.  YouTube is a great place to find creatives sharing their work with others and giving instructions on tricky parts of a process.  If you are not sure how to do something, search online and you will be able to watch someone else create which can in itself offer you inspiration.

Attend Classes

There is no need for you to go through the innovation stage of recreating the wheel when almost everything has been done before.  Attend classes to learn some of the foundation or basic skills and synthesise those skills with your ideas to create something new and exciting.  Some workshops or short classes are a great value or might even be free.  In any event, learning something new is always good.

Surf the Internet

Finally, you should never discount the power of the world wide web or the internet.

Why not do what you have always done?

One of the hardest things you can try to do in your practice is to try to produce the same or similar work to that you have done already again, and again, again…and again.  It would be soul-destroying to not develop your style.  Of course purposefully improving what you do, taking that next step into the unknown can be daunting.  You do need to be brave and rely on the merits of your work.

Enjoy the journey as you develop your work

Take solace in the knowledge that every successful creative throughout history has had different ‘periods’ as their work takes on new style characteristics and uses of colours or materials.  Liberate yourself, relax and enjoy the journey.



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With ArtMarketDirect.com artists are able to take control of their own careers, list their own pieces for sale to collectors and undertake their own fulfillment of orders.

The only stipulation on ArtMarketDirect.com is that the work you list is your own and is original. Where prints are for sale, we ask that all image copyrights belong to you and that you are legally disposed to sell the pieces you have on offer.

The site is FREE to use with only 10% sales commission OR for those willing to bet on themselves with only a nominal subscription (from less than £1/month) to upload unlimited artwork and very low 3% commission on sales. If you are a creative, ArtMarketDirect.com is the best option you have.

Header Image by tookapic from Pixabay

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