Maintaining Momentum

“An object in motion tends to stay in motion…”

Well, seeing as I just graduated, I’m not going to be getting an assignment from a teacher any time soon. Commissioned work comes in dribs and drabs… sometimes. So the question is what to do in the between time? Am I gonna get rusty?!

Heck no! I’m determined to keep my creative juices flowing. And you should be too. Whether you’ve graduated or not, just because you don’t have an immediate assignment doesn’t mean you should stop making art altogether.

Here are a few things to remember during your summer vacation (or indefinite “summer” vacation for those of us who have just graduated).

NO. 1 – Make lists! Make lots of lists every day and accomplish as much as you can. Of course you have your standard “to-do list” which has daily tasks you’ll need to accomplish but more important than that should be you project list. Make a list of projects that you want to start or finish. These should be personal works, pieces that will bolster your portfolio, or work that you know you can sell. If you’re trying to buff up your portfolio, try to make works that go together or are themed. Identify your target audience and go from there. If you know you want to do artwork for say, hunting magazines, then you should probably start creating more illustrations of wild game so that when you send out your portfolio to that potential client, they’ll know you belong.

REMEMBER! It’s good to be ambitious but do NOT overwhelm yourself. If you have like fifty solid ideas, you’re obviously not going to get them done in a day. Pace yourself. Take things little by little and do not start the next project until you’ve finished the last.

NO. 2 – You are an artist! You have (or will have) the degree that goes with it. But you can’t expect your career to start up immediately! Unless… you know people and have a job all lined up. But that’s another story. You have to do the legwork before you get the work. Promote yourself and network as much as possible. Little by little you’ll be acquiring commission work before you know it. Your career will grow from there.

REMEMBER! Don’t burn bridges and make lots of friends/acquaintances. You never know who might need your art or when.

NO. 3 – Aside from working on the big projects, make sure you’re not working yourself to the bone. Do little fun things to warm up or to blow off some steam. Doodles are great things to add to a Facebook, Tumblr, or blog of any kind. They can be churned out quickly and they’re lots of fun. You can learn a lot from doodling too. It might inspire you to do a big piece or improve the legit work you put out.

REMEMBER! There is nothing to lose with a doodle. If it comes out awful, just show no one. So doodle, doodle, doodle away!

The bottom line is really to just keep working! No matter what! REMEMBER you do art because you love it. Never forget that and you’ll always have the passion and drive to stick with it!

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