Owen here! I’ve been lucky enough to receive all kinds of advice and lessons about making art over the years, but there is one thing I can point to as the most important: Make friends!
Other artists can point out different ways to do things.
When I have trouble figuring out how to draw something, I will often turn to Tod and ask him to show me how he would do it. I can then take that lesson, practice it, and overcome my problem – much quicker than if I struggled by myself without help. The same thing goes for criticism. If other people point out flaws in my work, then they are solving problems for me.
I’ve saved a ton of time and heartache by having other artists around who can point me in the right direction.
Networking is useful in any group.
It’s important to know people who do similar things to you. They can point out opportunities that you would otherwise have missed. Also, if you make friends who do art, you are likely to meet other artists they know too.
It’s more fun to create together!
I personally have a hard time getting through all my projects if I have to do it all by myself. It’s way too easy to get distracted or disheartened. So I chat with people about art online, and once a week I go to the Bellingham School of Comics, a local art group. It helps immensely.
You get support while slogging through being unhappy with your work.
I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t get down in the dumps about their work at some point. I usually get that way after finishing a group of projects. Then for at least a few days, I don’t even know what I’m doing or why.
When this happens, it is invaluable to have other people I can turn to to keep going.