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How do great artists become great


The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai



A business executive recently asked me how I could level up the creative skills of his department. It made me think about the question, “How do great artists become great?”


Here are my thoughts:


* Talent and Creativity: Many great artists possess an innate talent for their chosen medium. This could be an exceptional ability to visualize, compose, create, or convey emotions in a unique and impactful way. Creativity is the foundation of artistic greatness, allowing artists to bring fresh perspectives and ideas to their work.


* Skill Development: Talent alone isn't enough; artists need to hone their skills through dedicated practice and learning. This involves mastering the techniques, tools, and methods relevant to their chosen medium, whether it's painting, music, writing, or any other form of art.


* Hard Work and Practice: The famous adage "practice makes perfect" holds true for artists. Great artists put in countless hours of practice and experimentation to refine their craft. This involves pushing their boundaries, trying new techniques, and consistently working on their skills.


* Dedication and Passion: Great artists are often deeply passionate about their art. Their dedication drives them to overcome challenges, setbacks, and self-doubt. This passion fuels their motivation to keep creating, even in the face of adversity.


* Study of Art History and Theory: Great artists are usually well-versed in the history and theory of their chosen art form. They study the works of past masters, analyze artistic movements, and understand the context in which their art fits. This knowledge helps them build upon the foundation laid by those who came before them.


* Innovation and Originality: To stand out as a great artist, one must bring something new and original to the table. Great artists often challenge conventions, break molds, and create art that resonates with contemporary audiences while pushing the boundaries of their medium.


* Critique and Feedback: Constructive criticism and feedback are essential for growth. Great artists are open to receiving feedback from mentors, peers, and even their audience. They use feedback to identify areas for improvement and refine their work.


* Persistence: The road to artistic greatness is rarely smooth. Artists face rejection, failure, and self-doubt. Great artists persist despite these challenges, learning from failures and using setbacks as stepping stones toward improvement.


* Emotional Depth and Expression: The ability to convey deep emotions and connect with an audience sets great artists apart. They often draw from personal experiences, channeling their emotions into their work, creating art that resonates on a profound level.


* Networking and Exposure: Building a network within the artistic community and gaining exposure are crucial for growth. Great artists engage with other artists, attend events, exhibit their work, and leverage various platforms to share their art with a wider audience.


* Adaptability: The art world is constantly evolving. Great artists are adaptable and willing to embrace new technologies, styles, and mediums as they emerge. This adaptability allows them to stay relevant and continue pushing their creative boundaries.


The journey to becoming a great artist involves a combination of innate talent, skill development, hard work, dedication, innovation, and a deep connection to one's craft. While there is no guaranteed formula for greatness, these factors can significantly contribute to an artist's growth and success.

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