yeah like three main things
1) do what you WANT not what you might think you should want. this is REALLY IMPORTANT. i spent such a long time doing what i thought was impressive rather than what i actually felt like i wanted to do. it took me like three years to make ~personal~ art because i’d somehow convinced myself to believe the only “worthwhile” art was both conventional and political. you can do what you want. thats the most important thing about being an artist. do what the fuck you want and don’t be sorry about it. some of my pieces are literally just a mixture of glue and pipe cleaners and its just because i wanted to do it. don’t push yourself to answer all the questions. you can’t. don’t let anybody tell you that “real art” is x y and z. newsflash: there is no such thing as real art. you’re an artist? you say somethings art? it’s art. damn right it is. remember this even when you’re stuck (which is actually very hard, but so important) because it will make you both a better person and a better artist.
2) don’t be afraid to make a mess. one of the things that holds me back the most is my inability to make an actual mess. i always make it into an “arty” mess and it’s always aesthetically appealing, which isn’t helpful to me and what i do because it means im withholding actual expression. i’m trying to fit into boxes all the time and its not good for me. i’m learning at the moment to make an UGLY mess by mixing paints together to make brown and using bits of torn up paper and lollipop sticks and other stuff to remind myself not to take myself too seriously. i do this as well by drawing children’s drawings and covering them in glitter and felt tip. scribble a lot. don’t worry about filling the pages of your sketchbooks, just do what you need to do in them and then leave them alone. i spent too long re-touching each page to look artistic and aesthetically pleasing and now when i look through it i just feel sad because there is so much FORCE about it. don’t force your art. fuck it all up and learn how to deal with it. the fact is that as an artist you will make messes and you will fuck up your own projects and so learning to deal with it, and take from it, will be the most valuable thing you ever do. don’t make your messes pretty. keep them ugly and love them for it.
3) love and compliment and visit other artists and people in your life. don’t exist in a void, there is no input there. get other people to remind you of ideas and thoughts and feelings and make sure your work is as collaborative as it can be without giving it away. you, as an artist, can’t detach from your work and so you need it to exist with you like your little buddy on your shoulder every day of your life. bring it with you to parties. take it with you on dates. whatever. make sure it’s alive in whatever you do because that way your work will be genuine. don’t be afraid to mention names in your art, don’t be afraid to do portraits of people you broke up with, don’t be afraid to tell the truth you don’t want to say out loud in front of people. put everyone and everything you know into your work and it will be 100% yours. ask other artists to talk about their work and learn from them, maybe not their technique (don’t copy!) but you will learn how and why they work and you will be both reminded of why you do it, and you will learn new reasons as to why you should. make your art for you, but make sure it’s got everything else in it too xxx