The shortest and cheapest way to become an artist

(Warning, I’m being ridiculously sarcastic in this post! Don’t believe a single word I’m saying!!)

So you would like to become an artist, but you don’t wanna spend a lot of money or time on it, because, well, you got stuff to do of course! What you need is a fast lane access to being an artist, preferably something you can accomplish within a couple of days. I’m here to show you your options used by hundreds of thousands of professional artists around the world.

But why should you want to become and artist in the first place. Well that’s a no brainer! Once you can call yourself an artists, everything will fall into place. You’ll make a ton of money from it, you’ll appear more attractive and confident to everyone, your conversations will become much more interesting, because finally you can talk about yourself exclusively without coming off as a ego maniac. Sounds awesome, right?

Here’s what you’ll have to do. First. Pick an artistic field – it doesn’t matter which one, except the digital painter. Then get the absolute minimal amount of supplies, equipment and/or software to take the leap forward.

  • Photographer: a good camera phone and an instagram account. You could also get an entry-level DSLR, but they might have too many buttons and stuff. External flash? Why would you? There is a flash in your mobile phone for god’s sake!
  • Photo Compositor aka “Photoshop Artist”: Photoshop, duh. Pirate it for now. Buy it later when the money comes piling in or some time after that. Oh and also get the cheapest China-brand pen tablet you can find. You’ll probably never use it, but you could be posing with it for a nice new profile picture.
  • 3D artist: You could get SketchUp or Blender, but using free software will make you look like an amateur. Download a copy of Cinema 4D or 3Ds max instead. Apply the same logic as above, because it’s much too expensive (for now).
  • Digital painter: Don’t even bother! Seriously, becoming a digital painter is too much work, choose one of the other fields. You’ll thank me later.

Now mess around with it for a bit just to get a feeling of what it will feel like, to be an artist working on something – maybe take a profile picture of you doing it and post that. This will let your friends know that you are finally releasing your potential and are becoming an artist. Of course your first attempts will suck so bad, that you don’t even show them to your dog.

Next up, watch a couple of Youtube videos. You don’t have to practise the stuff in the videos, nobody does. Just watch them with a bag of chips and feel yourself being slowly charged with a sense of “I think I know how it’s done”. Then do your first real project. But hold on… What project…?

Here is where it gets tricky, because believe it or not, but your artistic field dictates exactly what project you have to work on. But that’s a good thing, right? Otherwise you’d have to sit down and think up something. Boooooring!! Here are the subjects you’ll have to choose to get this first artistic project over with:

  • Photographer: If you were fooled into buying a “real camera”, never ever use it, except for posing with it on your profile. Instead grab your mobile phone, get a TfP model and go make some pictures of her in front of a shed, garage door, brick wall or in the woods. If it’s for instagram, just slap a filter and your logo on it, upload it and call it “my artwork”.
  • Photoshop Artist: Simply get some pictures you like off the internet – it really doesn’t matter from whom or where from. All stuff on the internet is free for everyone else to use, everyone knows that. Crop out the watermarks if need be. You don’t really have to worry about anything other than the individual images looking cool. If lighting and perspective don’t match up, there are excellent ways of masking that: adding a shit ton of grunge textures, extremely sharpening everything, HDR filtering, etc. And if people still complain, screw them, this is YOUR artwork and freedom of expression!
  • 3D artist: What do you like more, cars or architecture? Doesn’t matter. The process is the same in both cases. Download a finished model from (or somewhere less, erm, “payed”) and if necessary, put some textures on it (you can use Shutterstock demo images, nobody will see the watermarks). Light it with an HDRI and boom, you’re done. Just slap your logo on it and call it “my artwork”.

Okay, congrats. You’re done. You are now an artist – well, not yet actually. Unless the world knows you as an artist, you aren’t an artist. Social logic! The more people perceive something as true, the truer it gets. Now, there will be some haters. But they are either a) jealous b) bitter c) unattractive or d) know-it-alls and can therefor be ignored.

When you post your artwork, make sure and always link back to your facebook, instagram, website, behance profile, flickr, 500px, 1x, youtube, snapchat, etc. Because even though it’s your first piece of art, you want to give people a chance and come back to marvel at it anytime they choose, months from now, years from now.

A word of advice! The last thing you want to do is to be perceived as A HOBBYIST! No matter how many hours you spend on an artwork, if you’re a hobbyist, your work is utter crap and everyone knows it. By the way, just in case you’re having a hard time distinguishing professionals from hobbyists, hobbyists don’t add watermarks to their work, because they know their work is so bad that nobody would want to steal it anyway. So always keep an air of superiority about you. Demand respect and you’ll get it.

Once the likes come piling in, you’re basically done. Sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. If somebody says anything other than “amazing”, go watch their own profile and laugh at their hobbyist work.

You weren’t contacted by an art gallery or advertising agency? Hmm. That’s weird. You did everything right so far and you definitely are an artist, so… Maybe you’ll need to repost your image again a couple of days later. So tweak it a little, maybe make it black or white. Then post it again.

Still nothing? That’s highly irregular. Maybe you didn’t come off as confident enough and your logo was too subtle. Instead of “Mike Pesci”, try “Mike Pesci Pro Vision Art Style #1”. Maybe you should have done a time-lapse of you doing your work. Remember it’s not actually your work that’s important, it’s the perception that people have of you as an artist! You inspire them with your artistic life. You give them hope that maybe humanity is capable of great things after all. The world should thank you!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and your brain’s sarcasm receptors haven’t completely overheated in doing so. I must admit writing the very opposite of what I believe in gave me a weird sense of Schadenfreude… But at least to end on a serious note, let’s finish it with this:

Always think of art as an ongoing journey of exploration and improvement. Or in the words of Elizabeth Gilbert “just show up and do the work”.

John Flury




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