What Makes a Good Artist: 4 Simple Truths

4 simple truths of what makes a good artist

Last Updated on June 23, 2023

What exactly makes a good artist, or even, what makes someone an artist in the first place? Is it their ability to create something beautiful or does it stem from their unique perspective on the world? In this article, we will explore what it means to be artistic, the 4 truths of what makes a good artist, the key traits of successful artists, and how to distinguish good art from bad art.

What is an Artistic Person?

Before we dive into the four truths, we must first understand what it means to be an artistic person. Artistic individuals are people who have a natural inclination toward creativity and expression. They often possess an innate ability to see things from a different perspective and have a unique way of interpreting the world around them.

what makes an artist

Artistic people are often curious, observant, and introspective. They are always looking for new ways to express themselves and find inspiration in everything around them. They have a deep appreciation for beauty, and their art often reflects their passion for the things they love.

But just exactly where this artistic talent comes from is up for discussion. To read more about talent as it relates to the nature vs. nurture debate, check out our article: are artists born or made?

However, the question of being artistic is not equivalent to the question of how to be a great artist.

What Makes a Good Artist?

Now that we understand what it means to be an artistic person, let’s explore what makes a good artist. There are many different qualities of a good artist, but we will focus on four key truths.

1. They Think Outside the Box

One of the most important traits of a good artist is the ability to think outside the box. Creativity is all about pushing boundaries and exploring new ideas. A good artist is not afraid to take risks and try something new. They are always looking for ways to innovate and break the mold.

Thinking outside the box is not just about coming up with new ideas. It’s also about challenging existing norms and conventions. A good artist is not content with the status quo. They want to create something that is truly unique and original.

For more insight into the qualities and inner workings of creativity in the brain, check out our article: Inside the Creative Mind.

2. They can Materialize Vision into Reality

Another important truth of what makes a good artist is their ability to materialize their vision into reality. It’s one thing to have an idea or a concept, but it’s another thing entirely to bring it to life. A good artist has the technical skills and expertise to turn their vision into a tangible form.

Simple Truths of What Makes a Good Artist

Materializing a vision into reality requires a lot of hard work and dedication. It’s not enough to simply have an idea. A good artist must be willing to put in the time and effort to bring their vision to life. They must have a strong work ethic and a commitment to excellence.

For some guidelines for transforming creative ideas into reality, check out this article from Inc.com. The article has a more entroprenual slant, but the essence is still relevant.

3. They Share their Art with the World

Art is not created in a vacuum. It’s meant to be shared with the world. A good artist understands the importance of sharing their art with others. They want to connect with people on a deeper level and evoke emotion through their work.

Sharing your art with the world requires a certain level of vulnerability. It’s not always easy to put your work out there for others to see and critique. But a good artist understands that this is an essential part of the creative process. They are willing to take risks and put themselves out there in order to connect with their audience.

The best place to start when it comes to sharing your art with the world is by setting up your website and letting it serve as your portfolio. Creating a website or an online portfolio is a great way for artists to showcase their work and provide potential buyers or art enthusiasts with an easy way to view and purchase their art.

Of course, in today’s world, social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook can also be used to reach a wider audience and engage with followers through regular posts and updates. In fact, some would argue an online presence is a must more than a luxury.

But if you want to keep it old school, participating in art shows and exhibitions, both online and offline, is the most fundamental way for artists to gain exposure and connect with potential buyers and collaborators while compiling a compelling CV.

4. Their art shows a progression in Idea and Technique

Finally, a good artist must show progression in both their ideas and techniques. Art is not a static medium. It’s always evolving, and a good artist must be willing to evolve with it. Showing progression in ideas means that a good artist is always exploring new concepts and themes. They are not content with creating the same type of art over and over again. They want to push themselves and grow as artists.

Showing progression in technique means that a good artist is always improving their skills and abilities. They are not satisfied with their current level of expertise. They want to hone their craft and become the best artist they can be.

William Perehudoff is a Canadian painter who served as an example of an artist whose work evolved over time. He initially started with figurative paintings in the 1940s and 1950s, but later shifted to abstract art. In the 1960s, he began experimenting with color-field painting, which became his signature style. He was known for his large canvases, bold use of colors, and sophisticated compositions.

Perehudoff’s artistic evolution demonstrates that artists are not bound to a single style or medium, and that they have the freedom to explore different forms of expression. His willingness to take risks and challenge himself creatively allowed him to create a unique and distinctive body of work. Perehudoff’s artistic journey also shows that growth and evolution are essential for artists to develop their skills and reach their full potential.

4 Additional Key Traits of Successful Artists

Being a good artist and being a successful artist are two very different things. Being a good artist means you have a talent for creating art that speaks to people, moves them, and perhaps even changes their lives.

Being a successful artist means you can pay your bills and buy groceries with the money you make from your art. But don’t worry, just because you’re not a successful artist (yet) doesn’t mean you’re not a good artist.

There are many traits that can contribute to the success of artists, but here are some common ones:

  • Flexibility and adaptability: The art world is constantly changing, and successful artists need to be able to adapt to new trends and technologies.
  • Business and marketing savvy: In order to succeed in the art world, artists need to have some level of business and marketing acumen to promote their work and build their brand.
  • Collaboration and networking: Successful artists often collaborate with other artists and professionals in their field, and have a strong network of contacts to help them grow their careers.
  • Openness to feedback and criticism: Art is a subjective field, and successful artists need to be open to receiving feedback and criticism in order to continue growing and improving their work.

How to distinguish Good Art from Bad Art?

Creating good art is not an easy feat, and there are several factors that distinguish it from bad art. First and foremost is originality – a good artist often has a unique perspective or approach that sets their work apart from others. This willingness to break free from conventions can result in art that is fresh, exciting, and thought-provoking. Without originality, an artist’s work may be seen as unremarkable or even derivative.

And, while creativity and originality are crucial, they must of course be backed up by a certain level of technical proficiency. A good artist must have a strong grasp of the fundamentals of their chosen medium, whether it be painting, sculpture, or photography. Without technical skill, an artist’s work may be seen as amateurish or lacking in quality.

But perhaps the most important factor in distinguishing good art from bad art is emotional impact. Good art has the power to stir strong feelings in the viewer, whether that be joy, sadness, or awe. A good artist is able to connect with their audience on a deep level and to communicate something meaningful through their work. The ability to evoke emotion in others is what makes art truly powerful and memorable.

To explore the differences between good and bad art as it relates to Conceptual Art, check out the article, Conceptual Art: Why it works and How it Fails.

Once an Artist, always an Artist

At the heart of what makes a good artist lies a deep passion and commitment to the creative process. And while there may be many different traits and skills that contribute to the success of an artist, one thing remains true – once an artist, always an artist.

For those who are truly artistic at their core, the desire to create and express themselves is a fundamental part of their being. It’s not something that can be turned on and off like a switch. It’s a constant presence, a driving force that propels them forward in their journey as an artist.

And while the road of an artist may be fraught with challenges and obstacles, those who have a true passion for their craft will always find a way to persevere. They will continue to push themselves, to explore new ideas, and to grow both as individuals and as artists.

In the end, what makes a good artist is not just their technical skills or their ability to create something beautiful. It’s their unwavering commitment to the creative process, their willingness to take risks, and their passion for the art form. And for those who possess these qualities, the title of artist is not just a label – it’s a way of life.

Spread the Word

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts