7 Tips for Becoming a Digital Artist

The advancement of technology has made digital art a significant part of daily life and is creating more jobs and other opportunities. In fact, a study showed that from January to April of 2021, over 22,500 digital artist jobs were available. Moreover, well over 2,400 jobs were high-paying, with salaries over $100,000, and this trend is expected to continue.

If you’re looking to become a digital artist, now is the time. However, it can be challenging to know where to begin if you don’t have much experience in this industry. The good news is learning a few essential tips will help you form a solid foundation to grow from.

Keep reading this informative guide to learn seven tips for becoming a digital artist so you can start creating!

1. Choose the Right Software

Your first step to becoming an artist is getting the right tools in place. If you don’t already have software, you’ll need to make some decisions. First, you might want to try free software to see what works best. There are plenty of free or inexpensive options like:

  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • Autodesk
  • Blender
  • Cinema 4D
  • Design Doll

If you’re having trouble deciding, think about the types of art you’re interested in creating. If you want to create pixel art, GameMaker Studio Pro might be best for you. On the other hand, if you want to make digital paintings, you should check out Photoshop.

2. Find a Laptop or Drawing Tablet

If you want to take your digital art to the next level, you’ll need to look at hardware and tools. Even if you already have a PC, there are laptops and drawing tablets that make creating art much more straightforward.

Drawing tablets feel natural and give you power and design capabilities. You can look at several drawing tablets, depending on your budget. Many drawing tablets come with a stylus, but you’ll need to do your research.

You should find a device with at least 8GB of memory so all your programs run well.

Higher-end tablets like the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 will cost well over $900, while you can find less expensive tablets like the XP-Pen Deco MW for under $90.

Getting an inexpensive tablet may be best if you’re just starting. Once you figure out what you want to focus on, you can invest in a higher-end drawing tablet that meets your needs.

3. Get a Formal Education

If you want to find work in digital art, you’ll need to consider getting formal education and training. You can look at bachelor’s degrees in digital illustration or animation. There are also many artistic media degrees you can consider.

Having the proper training allows you to learn various types of software and create a portfolio for potential employers. You’ll learn the basics of Photoshop and Illustrator and take basic and advanced drawing classes.

You can also look at online programs that allow you to learn at your own pace and earn a certificate. 

However you decide to do this, just be sure you get some type of training to form a basic skill set.

4. Find a Niche

It’s essential to figure out the type of digital art you enjoy creating the most. You’ll need to think about your passions and strengths to do this. You can begin by asking yourself what form of art you enjoy creating and what you’re most talented at.

You should then analyze the market to determine if your niche is profitable. The good news is you don’t have to do an in-depth market study. Simply look around and see what art impacts people enough to make a purchase. Your niche can be anything from animals and nature to the people around you. 

Don’t forget to look online and see what type of art people are investing in. Marketplaces like SuperRare will give you a good idea of what people want to buy.

5. Practice Key Skills

Once you learn the basics of digital drawing, you’ll need to begin mastering specific skills necessary for creating art on many platforms.

Layering is a skill that most digital platforms utilize. It allows you to build various designs and products using multiple layers that you can build from or take away.

You should also practice with different brush types. Most digital art applications give you many pencils, pens, and brushes to choose from. Additionally, there are pastels, markers, and oil paints. Be sure to get familiar with as many brush types as you can.

Getting used to pen pressure is also essential. Much like traditional tools, you can modify your drawings greatly based on the pressure you use.

Finally, blending is a standard feature in most applications. It allows you to create smooth transitions in your art, and mastering these techniques will set you apart.

6. Set Goals

When you’re learning different skills, it can be easy to feel a bit lost. There are so many tools and skills to learn that it can make it seem like you’re falling behind.

For this reason, it’s helpful to create some goals. For example, if you want to start creating art as a hobby, pursue art that inspires and interests you. When you do this, you can focus on 3 to 4 key skills.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a career in the near future, look at what employers require. Make a list and start mastering these programs.

You may also want to start working on your digital portfolio by creating a website to display your artwork.

7. Gain Some Experience

Finally, gaining as much experience as possible will help you understand the ins and outs of creating art for others.

First, if you’re in school, you should have access to work placement or internships in companies with marketing and design departments.

If you’re just starting an online course, you may not have access to any internships at first. But don’t let this stop you. You can look for entry-level jobs or freelance work in various types of industries:

  • Book publishers
  • Game developers
  • Software and tech brands
  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Product manufacturers

If you’re looking to start your own digital art brand, begin on social media by creating channels dedicated to your art. You can create Facebook groups or display your art on Instagram. By showcasing your talent, you’ll attract people to you.

Becoming a Digital Artist

Following these steps will help move you in the right direction, but this is only the beginning of your artistic journey.

Becoming a digital artist takes time, and you must continue improving your skills. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and create innovative and unique pieces. Before you know it, you’ll be creating art like a pro. 

Make sure to read the rest of our blog articles for more tips and tricks that will inspire you!



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