Top 10 Essential Skills for Aspiring Artists in 2024 | ArtDayJob

The state of the art field for beginners trying to break into the field and make a living of it is both challenging and exciting! Below, I’ll cover some of the challenges and opportunities that exist for all of us who are trying to become a paid artist.

Challenges for New Artists in 2024

  • Competition. The art world is flooded with talent, making it hard to stand out. Artists with the skills to pay the bills are going to excel this year and into the foreseeable future. As always.
  • Shifting Market. Online platforms and changing consumer habits require artists to adapt their business strategies. New ways to market are popping up daily. Stay in the game!
  • Saturation. The sheer volume of art, even good art, can make it difficult to get noticed. Show the art you produce often.

Opportunities for Beginning Artists in the Present Day

  • Accessibility. Your technical acumen makes creating and sharing art easier than ever.
  • Diverse Markets. New platforms for selling art like Etsy and online galleries offer more options. Do some research and see which platforms you have the skills to join today. Which are worth learning new skills for?
  • Niche Markets. Artists can find success by catering to specific audiences with unique styles.

Is Artificial Intelligence Going to Ruin Art as a Career for Us?

AI-created art is on the rise in a very big way. Is it likely to replace human-made art entirely? Are people likely to buy AI-produced art over human-made art? It remains to be seen, but I believe we as artists still have time to make it as artists and create art that appeals to buyers. Here’s why.

An AI generated image of a palm tree, snake, fish, tripod, and old camera.
I prompted Gemini to give me a large wall mural with real parts from a truck, a dead fish, a snake, and a tripod. This is what I got. It looks like art as a career is safe for us at least this year!
  • Uniqueness: Human artists bring their own experiences, emotions, and perspectives to their work, creating something irreplaceable. One area that is going to be hard for AI art to do better than humans is art where the materials vary a lot.

    Here’s a dumb example, but imagine if you create a painting with oil paints, charcoal, metal washers that come from a 1955 Ford Truck, and with blow dried watercolors over the top of it. AI is probably NEVER going to be in a place where it can use those diverse items all in one piece of art.

    Similarly, artists who weld aluminum, steel, copper, silver, tin, or whatever they use – will not be competed with by AI art. AI art is going to be primarily art that can be made on a canvas or paper with one kind of paint, pen, pencil, charcoal, crayon, or other.

    It is not going to be able to source and add very unique materials into its creations. These sorts of niches will remain dominated by humans.
  • Value of Originality: While AI art can be beautiful, collectors often value the originality and story behind a human-created piece. Our human stories are real. An AI’s stories are made up. Fake. Will human beings begin to love this and buy AI art over human art? I don’t think so.
  • Collaboration: AI might even become a tool for artists to create new and innovative forms of art. It may sound like collaborating with the enemy, but you could start to use AI in your art to to draw

Who Should Pursue Art?

Everyone who wants to! Nobody ever got anything done by quitting or never starting.

Get started now and use the following Top 10 Essential Skills for Artists in 2024 as a guide.

Top Skills for Artists in 2024

  1. Knowledge of Core Techniques – Mastering or at least being very familiar with drawing, lines, three dimensional drawing, color theory, composition, and other fundamentals remains crucial for strong artistic expression.
  2. Drawing Basic Shapes Fluently – One quality that separates artists is their ability to draw very accurate straight and curved lines and shapes.
  3. Steady Hand (or iPad) – One thing that I think deserves special mention is that you need to have steady hands to draw or paint. In producing most art, regardless of the media you use, steady hands is a skill that will take you far. That may mean stopping caffeine or other drug intake before and during your creative process.
  4. Adept with Paper/pencil and iPad (Traditional and Digital) – More and more the ability for an artist to understand both the traditional physical side of making their art and displaying and selling their art in the digital realm is becoming more and more important. If you can do both as an aspiring artist, you’re ensuring that you will have more opportunities to make money from your art career. We know plenty of artists right now who have ignored the digital side of things and are struggling to keep up in this quickly changing digital world.
  5. Building or Finding an Audience – For some artists, finding an audience comes naturally. These are the type of people who love to interact with other people and attend all kinds of shows and exhibitions in person to share their art with the world. For most of us, it’s difficult as we may even despise being out in public! Being social with strangers is a special skill that you may need to work on a bit. The more social you are, and the more you engage with others on a one to one or even group level, the more you are going to get the word out there about your art. The better chance you’ll have for success then.
  6. Art that Resonates – Your art needs to resonate with someone. It needs to make some group of people, hopefully with some money and inclination to buy art, say “Whoa! I must have that!” Give some real thought to finding a match between what you like to create, what others like to buy, and what others want to see in the art they buy that you may not enjoy doing, but you do it to sell more art. Selling out is a skill that takes some mental adjustment, but many (most?) successful artists have done it to some degree. If you don’t give people what they want, someone else will. Or even AI will!
  7. Your Own Style – The way I found my own style was to copy other people’s works that I loved. I did this for over a year. I love a really simple line drawing. I love surf scenes because I’ve surfed and been in the water all my life. I love camping. I love exercise outdoors to climb mountain trails and just seeing different places. Initially, I began trying to draw like Jonas Draws. If you don’t know him, look it up. It’s simple, clean, and sort of timeless I think. At least until VW campers go away and are replaced by personal flying saucers in our garage.
  8. Sharing Your Art – Distributing your art and getting it out there for more people to see is crucial for most artitsts. Your own website, social media like Tik Tok, Instagram, youtube videos, galleries, exhibitions, art shows, street sales, and whatever you do every day can all contribute to how well known you become as an artist. Remember, part of sharing your art is responding to comments and making people feel like they are heard. If they take the time to comment or ask you about some part of your art, take the time to answer. People love interacting with people they admire and you’ll likely get more sales over time as you make more friends.
  9. Create Your Art in Multiple Formats – Ideally, you’ll be able to create original art on paper or canvas and then make copies of that art using a high resolution scanner and high-definition printer. This way you can sell multiple copies of your art at a lesser price for people who prefer that. You also have an original that you can sell for a lot of money later if the series is successful.
  10. Resilience and Passion: Building a successful art career takes time and perseverance. Passion for your art and the ability to bounce back from setbacks and harsh critics are essential. Not everybody is going to love or even like your art. Some may hate it. Some may be competitors that are hoping to sell art in the same space as you. Some just hate life. You’ll have to have a thick skin and ignore comments that are meant to hurt you and dissuade you from producing your art. Roll with the punches and keep making art! There is really nothing like spending your time creating something for others and having them love it and even purchase it! It makes the haters fade away in the distance.