These are amazing. Love to see more of these.
Australian Digital Marketer looking to make the change to fulltime illustrator and independent artist. Currently working on my art foundations :)
Posts made by Nathan
How to rank your art store & SEO Q&A
I know a number of you sell your art as either originals or prints. A question I get asked a lot as a digital marketer is "how can I rank my art store in Google?".
You have probably searched "SEO for artists" or something similar, but the results you have gotten have likely been mediocre. However, you need to think of your art store as an e-commerce store (because, really, it is).
If you were to search "E-Commerce SEO" the results would be far more valuable.
What prompted this new thread, was a recent blog post by a prominent digital marketer I follow. The blog post is on E-Commerce SEO, and it goes into a TON of detail.
You can find it here: https://backlinko.com/ecommerce-seo
Now this article is targeting people like me with an SEO background. But there is a ton of really interesting tips and information that I think could really help artists who have their own store.
I am aware that there will be A LOT of stuff you might not understand, and might not be applicable to you. I thought I would use this opportunity to answer any questions either regarding SEO, or something mentioned in this article.
RE: Roadblocks to Success
Aw man, this was a great episode. Straight away, you hit the nail on the head with me. I am trying to do everything. Get good at everything. Totally true. I don't have a set goal/direction.
I'm moving this month, but I'm happy to tackle this next month.
I do have one question though, I still feel like I'm in the learning stage when it comes to foundations. Should I continue learning the foundations (currently focussed on colour, perspective and anatomy), or should I start picking a goal? (Or both?) Love to know what people think.
I think the next step after that would be to create a project as a vehicle that takes me closer to my goal.
RE: Follow up on What it means to Improve
@Ben-Migliore Hey mate, did you read my reply on the other post you are refering too?
The other thing I can hear, is there is a lot of "shoulds", "have-to's", "need-to's" in what you have written. It tells me something about your state of mind, like you have no choice in the matter in improving.
You don't have to do anything. A good idea is to find what works for you.
Try something and assess if it works. If a new habit, or way of doing something, works for you, then keep it and keep going. If it doesn't, then that is ok, let it go, and maybe come back to it another time.
My immediate feedback I have for you is to breath and don't be so hard on yourself (We are not machines).
Assess where you are right now (which you are doing), but don't forget to focus on what is working for you, and just not what isn't working for you.
Continue to do what is working for you, and refine it as you go.
Then change what isn't working for you, and move it in the right direction. Start with baby steps. Again, you don't be tempted to go from 0 to 100. Take it one step at a time. Re-read what I wrote. Create and improving your art is a marathon (not a mad-crazy dash). Pace yourself and have some compassion for where you are right now. And don't forget to have fun!
RE: Self-Discipline a discussion on What Improvement really is
@SketchyArtish That automatic drawing exercise is awesome. I love it, and have discovered some really cool stuff that I would never have created if I didn't do that exercise
RE: Self-Discipline a discussion on What Improvement really is
There are two things to I want to address when it comes to discipline: Will power & Habits
Many people think, if I need to become more self-disciplined, I need to have more will power. This is true, however, it is unsustainable. Will power is a finite resource and should be treated as such.
Most people have a full tank of Will power when they first wake up. But throughout the day things will drain your will power reserves. Cold day, but still need to get up to go to work? That takes will power. Choosing to pack a healthy breakfast, instead of that piece of cake left over from the day before? That takes willpower. By the end of the day, your will power reserves are depleted, so those good choices are harder to make, and you give in to temptation or what is easy.
So use your will power wisely, and where possible, use willpower to create good habits. (More on that in a second). Notice when you use will power, and ask yourself how can I avoid this moment so I don’t have to exert willpower?
So for example, the night before, I set up my sketchbook and computer, so all I have to do is pick up a pencil and draw. Picking up a pencil takes less willpower than setting up my sketchbook, finding and opening up reference images on my computer. I get that all done the night before.
Another example of this is healthy eating. I would prefer to exert 1 bit of willpower at the supermarket and buy only healthy food, than having to battle myself throughout the day, every day, to not eat those biscuits. If I don’t by the biscuits in the first place, then I don’t have to exert the willpower to not eat them (I love choc-chip biscuits!)
Creating good habits, and eliminating bad habits are key to success. Once you have developed a good habit, over time self-discipline becomes less and less involved, and it actually becomes uncomfortable to NOT do it. (Ever gone to bed and not brushed your teeth and not being able to sleep till you do - that's an example of a good habit in action)
A book I recommend for developing strong habits is Switch by Dan and Chip Health. In it, they talk about the Elephant and the Rider and the Path they take.
Here is a good video on it. Watch this first before continuing on.
Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to do. I find it easy to just follow through a course, or preplan how I’m going to tackle a new piece. Even if it is dot points of basics things to do, just the process of thinking how you are going to do something helps.
You need to be emotionally invested in what you are doing and reward yourself for doing something good. Know what your big audacious goal is - it should be personal and an emotional investment for you. Connect those little actions to getting yourself closer to your big audacious goal. Even if you don’t like doing something, connect how it fits into getting you closer to your goal. If it is really tough, do it first thing in the morning (when willpower is at its highest)
This is your environment. Like the examples I gave for will power, these are shaping your environment for you to actually do what you want to do. Have your environment push you to achieve your goals. Eg, if you have kids, get up at 5am when everyone is asleep, so you don’t get interrupted when drawing? Set your drawing environment up before bed so its easy to just draw. I use to have a coffee machine with a timer, it would start brewing at 4:55am, so as soon as I wake up, BAM! Coffee. I do personal work in the morning before my 9-5, because I know I won’t have the energy/willpower to do stuff in the evening. I can sit around, relax and do nothing if I want and not feel guilty.
Your environment also includes the people around you. Surround yourself with people that encourage you. Get your S.O. on board. Get an accountability buddy to lift you up when you fall down. Get a mentor to help guild you (or at least a course that helps you grow). I have an art mate who mentors me and keeps me accountable. We talk monthly. I also have other mates who I talk to weekly who are always encouraging me and holding me accountable and making sure that I’m enjoying the process (which is something I often forget). Everything around me is driving me forward and keeping it FUN.
If your path is smooth, it makes it so much easier for the rider and elephant.
The Key To Habits
The main thing about building a new habit is consistancy. Many people go all in and say, I’m going to draw for 2 hours every day. This is going from 0-100 and requires a ton of willpower to get this habit started. More than likely, you will quickly burn out.
A better habit to create initially is to draw for 5 minutes each day. This is easy. And the thing is, you can draw anything.
When I first started drawing regularly, in those moments that I couldn’t be bothered drawing anything I would still open up that sketchbook, put a timer on and literally scribbled for 5 minutes.
It's not what you create, its the sticking to the habit that is important.
The crazy thing is that after that 5 minutes I usually kept drawing, but if I didn’t feel like it, I stopped after five minutes. Not guilt. I kept the habit.
I still keep this habit, but now I have put aside a 2 hour block for drawing. If I don’t consistently draw for 2 hours all the time that’s ok. (Sometimes I use it for going through tutorials if I don’t want to draw), but I always make sure I at least got that 5 minutes in of actually pencil/pen/paint on paper. (Don’t try this drawing for 2 hours daily - this habit took months to build up to.)
And yes, I’ve gone to bed with that itching feeling of needing to draw if I haven’t. I will then get up and doodle something for 5 minutes.
Lastly, don’t beat yourself up.
You are going to fail. Period. You will fail multiple times. However, don’t beat yourself up about it? Miss that 5 minutes drawing on that day? Bummer. Just make sure you do your 5 minutes the next day. (Don’t be tempted to “make up lost time” and do 10 minutes the next day. It snowballs and makes you feel guilty as hell - which the elephant hates and avoids).
Just keep on going. If you take a small number of steps each day, in the future, you will look back and see that you have walk MILES. Consistency is the key.
Anyways, that's my brief take and experience with self-disciplined. Hope it helps.
Further reading if you are interested:
- Switch by Dan and Chip Health (Mentioned above)
- Atomic Habits by James Clear