If you are interested in becoming an artist, but all your friends and family laugh when you state your intention, do not despair. There are many ways even in today’s economy that you can make a successful living as an artist. Like everything else in life, you will need to get the right training, but here are some tips and some features typical of artists to take into consideration before you enroll in an art school or program. To start, most artists have a pretty good memory. They are able to recall very small details about even mundane things like backpack vacuum cleaners, as well as more complex things like people and places. The better their memory often the better the painting. Having a good memory of details also means that you are generally paying attention to small details that many people miss to begin with. Fortunately, if you do not think you have a great memory, often it is something that can be improved upon and the skill of paying attention to details can be learned by many. The truth is that if you are interested in making a living as an artist, you will need to learn this skills. Artists love to observe the environment around them usually, such as the most minute details of an object that most would find very mundane, like a stair chair lift. They will tend to pick up an elements in the setting that most people will look over or miss, and one of the best ways to become a better artists is to become a good observer.Take in all the elements you can in a scene. The more you notice, the better your art work generally will be. You also need to decide whether you are going to treat your art career as a hobby or as a profession. If you choose the latter, then you should formally consider yourself a business. Start your career off right by drawing up a business plan where you will have specific goals to meet. Often when people think of becoming an artist, they think of the traditional fields of painting, drawing, sculpture and so forth. But there are many well paying artistic fields using digital and electronic skills that are in high demand and that you may want to explore training in as well. These multimedia artists can work in a wide variety of applications and their jobs can often be quite exciting. They can help create the graphics for computer games, game books such as PS3 repair or PS3 overheating guidebooks, feature length or independent films, and even work with music videos. The titles they may have in these different venues can range from things like “animator” to graphic or digital artist, but they all work from similar artistic principles. One of the biggest reasons people fail becoming an artist is because they believe or they are told that are relatively few professional jobs available for artists today. This, however, is not really the truth. There are many well paying jobs an aspiring artist can find in many different commercial and business industries. If you are already good at writing, drawing or sculpting, there are well paying fields in the media, computers and business environment for you. What you need to do is research these fields and decide which is best for you before pursuing training. Even traditional artists, like painters, can make quite a bit of money creating pieces commissioned by private investors and so forth. The stereotype that artists are people who struggle to make a living is often quite wrong for skilled artists with the training and the ability to find jobs suitable for them in high demand industries. Do your homework and hone your skills, and you should be able to live your dream of being a professional artist and put your critics to shame. Here are some additional tips that will help you succeed in becoming a professional artist. First, you need to be passionate about your work. This will help get you through the tough stages or your career and it will also show through your art, making it easier for you to succeed in this industry. Second, practice very, very often. This simple tip will help you improve your skills over time to become the best artist you can be. Third, decide early on what it is you love to paint – your preferred topics – and then learn as much about them as well. This can include even scientific elements or geographical lessons. The more you know about what you pain, the better. Fourth, do not settle on having small dreams. Dream big instead. Your enthusiasm will help you in ways you never dreamed of. Fifth, study and model the masters in whatever art media you are focusing on. Sixth, learn visualization. This is a valuable skill for most artists. Focus on the great painters and try to visualize what their artistic life would be like, and then try to emulate them if possible. Eight, take on opportunities to broaden your horizons. This may include traveling to artistic meccas like Florence or Paris. Eight, face challenges with strength and determination, and then learn from them. You will face challenges. Every one does, and these challenges will make you become a stronger person and a stronger artist. They will also help you appreciate what you have once you succeed. Do not only expect challenges, embrace them and use them to your advantage. Tip nine, build a strong client base and focus on developing rapport with your clients. Your work will be much better if you can connect with your clients in some way. Remember that the work you are creating for them is likely to be emotional on many levels, and if you are able to capture some of that emotion, you will truly be able to succeed in your project. Finally, try to enjoy what you do. Remember that you became an artist because you love art. That you went into this business despite the discouragement you may have encountered from other and many other significant challenges (possibly involving financial strain, rejection and many other things). Once you are able to claim that you are truly earning a living from your art, do not forget that you are being paid to do what you love, something that many people of the world are unable to do. Congratulations. You have accomplished much more than most aspiring artists. Once you have decided to treat your art as a business or career path, and created a solid business plan and identified what field you want to work in, you next step is to get the proper training. This can be daunting since most art education programs are not cheap. Fortunately there are many scholarships available for promising artists and even some federal funding available. You will need to fill out a lot of financial paperwork for a federal financial aid application, but private scholarships and grants may have even more to fill out. Some are very specific about who they will fund, often even by gender, age and ethnicity or even about some random things like cheap diabetic supplies. Still, with some hunting you may be able to find a private scholarship, grant or donor open to funding your art career. If you are interested in teaching art, you will want to get even more training than a four year degree, getting a M.A. or even a Ph.D. may be desirable. Art education is not cheap, however, so you should think seriously about how you will fund yourself and take any debt you occur seriously as well. It is best to go the scholarship route, but not everybody will. Still you will not want to owe tens of thousands of dollars upon graduation, if you can help it. You will also want to think about how this training works with other elements of your life, such as having children (and purchasing a baby heart monitor), or other jobs you might have to help fund yourself through art school. If you have artistic talent and a strong work ethic, however, you are likely to succeed as an artist. If you are looking into more specialized art training, such as training to become a graphic artist, you may find the courses you take go beyond simple training in art fields but also include business components as well. This is because it is important that you take your business as such, and get business as well as art training. You will learn such skills as how to effectively communicate with your clients, designating an appropriate budget and then really sticking to it, and how to find your clients through cold calling, referrals and more. Before you know it, you may be drawing up a design of something odd like swimming pool heat pumps or even electric garage heaters, but you will be earning a living as an artist! Of course, you will also learn the important skills of being a graphic designer, such as website creation, how to create computer graphics and animation, and how to upload files and save them in the proper formats. One advantage to these specific programs is that they can often be shorter in duration, sometimes as little as two years, although you will often get better paying jobs if you do a full four years of training and get a bachelor’s degree. When applying to the programs, you will need a portfolio of your artwork to submit with the application, and some programs will require that you have already completed some basic form of art training, either at the high school or college level. The classes you take will sometimes also include broader social science and humanities type courses in psychology and history. Believe it or not, these classes often help you know your subject better and be a better artist! Finally, good programs will also provide some help with finding a job after you finish the program, be it a job board, help with applying for jobs, developing your portfolio or more. But if you are able to complete your graphic training course in good manner, you will likely soon be able to be designing book covers for topics as diverse as natural fertility treatments or raw food books. In summary, if you are looking to be an artist and only are discouraged, don’t give up. You can make a living if you follow these tips, work hard, have the proper motivation and dedication. Being an artist is not for everyone, however, so reflect carefully before deciding if this is the career path for you!