Can I Draw for a Living

If you love to draw, you've probably considered making it your full-time job. But where should you start?

Decide on a Career Path

First, you should decide what you want to do with your drawings. Are you looking to draw cartoons, illustrate books or design for video games? There are many opportunities when it comes to art, but you need to focus on one specific area to work on the necessary skills.

Experience

Remember that even an extremely talented artist's drawings will be ignored if she has no experience or portfolio. Unless you know people in high places, you will need to start off small.

Offer to draw portraits of friends, family or even strangers. If you charge money, this is also a good way to make some spare cash. You can use these portraits to begin building your portfolio, if you don't already have one started.

Market Yourself

Having a presence online is vital for any aspiring artist. You should have a MySpace account or a blog, so that your site will come up in search engine results for your name.

You should also start scanning your work to build a portfolio online. Sites like DeviantArt provide a community for experts and amateurs alike. These sites also allow you to sell your art and receive critiques from fellow artists.

It also helps to take a word-of-mouth marketing approach. Ask your friends and family for help with advertising. Have them post about you online or recommend you to their friends and co-workers. You can also post flyers around town with your name, a picture of your work and your Web address.

Practice & Study

In the meantime, you should take some art classes to hone your skills and study the art that you aim to create. For example, if you want to be a cartoonist, you should study vintage comic strips, political cartoons and today's televised cartoons. If you are still in school, you should consider taking classes in illustration, art history and graphic design. Again, this should be tailored to your specific concentration.

Never stop drawing. Bring a sketch book with you when you leave the house in case inspiration strikes. If you have a true flair for drawing, you can do it for a living. All you need is the motivation to work hard and never give up!

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