This is a formula on how one might become an artist today. But of course, it does not take into consideration your drive, talent, and opportunities life brings your way. By the way, do not teach nor create commissioned art if this is something in which you are not interested. In fact, do not promote your art if you are only interested in creating art for your own enjoyment or other purposes. Following are steps that one might pursue to better their chances at becoming a visual artist:
1. Learn your craft. Enroll in art courses and workshops. Include live and online courses. Most importantly, learn to draw. Include studies in perspective, portraiture, landscapes, still life, and lighting (value/tone). Learn color properties. Learn good composition. Learn to how to use materials so you can concentrate on the creative aspects of art. Practice from life and photos.
2. Practice creativity. Try out new approaches to art: abstraction, new materials, etc. Creativity can be enhanced by seeing lots of art, but it can also intimidate or take over your own style. This is the most critical area because your creativity will be unique to you…your signature…your art style.
3. Visit art galleries and museums. This is how to study the masters and learn. Do this again and again to support your studies to understand art materials and techniques. And to gain a deeper appreciation for art.
4. Respect your art. Let those around you know that you respect your art, and that it is something you take seriously. Many will ask you for free work and free images. Do not give away your art except for an occasional fundraiser. This is bad for your image as a serious artist.
5. Enter art contests. Do this to get exposure, experience, and enjoy the world of art as soon as possible. Be careful though. There are scammers in this area.
6. Join an art group. This hopefully will be fun for you. It really depends on who is in the art group. It is an opportunity to get your art seen by more people. At least by the families of the other artists.
7. Exhibit your art. As you improve try to work out opportunities for solo art exhibits. Be careful that you are exhibiting in a place that will respect your art and return your art.
8. Create a website for your art. Do this only when you are ready. If you want to sell your art online, create an art shop online and/or post your art on print on demand online sites.
9. Offer some art workshops. One learns and gets exposure when they teach. There are many famous artist teachers. But do this only when you have mastered the areas you plan to teach…considering the level of student.