As an artist, your creativity will grow and change over the course of your career. The art you create in the early years of your career may be entirely different from that you create in the middle of your career. Over time, you will be inspired by many different things and the skills you develop will have an impact on the art you create.
If you’d like to learn some new art techniques, you might be thinking about taking some classes. Unfortunately, classes can be expensive and if you’re living off of your art you might not have a lot of extra to spend. Here are some free or low-cost ideas to learn new techniques:
1. Visit Craft Shows and Art Fairs
Sometimes all it takes to get the creative juices flowing is to see what other artists are doing. Craft shows and art fairs are a great showcase for creativity and you can see a lot of different techniques on display in a short period of time. So, hit up a local craft show and wander around. If you see something that interests you, talk to the artist about their technique – you never know what you might learn!
2. Take Some Online Classes
While taking classes at a college or university could cost you hundreds of dollars per credit, you can take art classes online for much less. Better than that, many sites offer a free trial membership where you can take classes at no cost for 30 days (or more). Some of the top sites to take art classes include the following: Skillshare, Lynda.com, Envato Tuts+, Drawspace, and more. Another great place to look for free art tutorials is YouTube. You can even find ideas on Pinterest and similar platforms.
3. Experiment with New Materials
If you’re an artist, you already have a healthy dose of creativity so you may not need expensive classes to learn a new technique. Try picking up a new medium or a different material than you’re used to using and just do a little bit of old-fashioned experimentation. Even if the item you purchase doesn’t come with instructions, you can probably figure it out on your own. You may not necessarily do it “right,” but you may come up with something unique and interesting along the way.
4. Network with Other Artists
Every artist is an individual and you can learn a lot just by talking to other artists about their work. Networking with other artists is a wonderful way to stay inspired, but you can also draw upon your network to learn new skills. Consider pairing up with an artist you admire and offer some kind of exchange in which you teach each other how to do something you happen to be good at. In a way, it’s like having private art lessons for free!
5. Visit Local Museums
Another great place to find inspiration to try new techniques is at your local art museum. Even a painting that is hundreds of years old can teach you something if you take the time to look. Pick a handful of pieces that you find intriguing and really study them. Get up close to examine the brush strokes and view the painting from all angles to get a feel for how the light and shadows interact. In studying the works of the masters, you can learn a lot even if they aren’t there to teach you themselves.
The beauty of being an artist is that you can create something out of nothing. You don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune on classes to learn fancy techniques, all you really need is a little creativity and some inspiration. Put these tips to use and see what you can create!