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Setting Goals and Living as an Artist

Living as an Artist and Setting Goals

Today Brett Bean shares his response to an artist asking about pursuing a professional art career in the midst of 40 hour workweeks and student loans. What are some goals you can create for yourself each and every day to see your dreams become your reality? Where do you start?

Anonymous asked:

2dbean, I’ve been a fan of your work over the last couple of years. After reading a little bit of your bio, I find it inspiring on how you’ve completely changed paths in your careers. But as an art school graduate whose working sometimes 40 hours a week on a non art-related jobs just to maintain for the last two years, I find it much difficult to pursue being a pro and getting into concept art. What are thoughts and suggestions about setting some goals, learning resources, etc.? Thanks

Brett 2D Bean Concept Art

That’s tough as each person has a different set of circumstances. Family responsibilities, how much money they need to live, what they want out of life etc. That being said, here goes; Set realistic goals. If you are busy, set one to be “painting on Saturday” (and preliminary work during the week) If it’s doable, sketch every morning before work or after. Or during your TV watching.

A goal could be watch one online tutorial on YouTube a week and practice what they preached.

Basically, if you create a few good weekly goals it’s not so amorphous that it’s hard to make progress.  I never worked well under the “I want to be a better artist” goal.  It’s so generic.  But smaller goals that I knew would help that big lofty one are within reach on a regular basis.  Read a chapter from Drawn To Life every night before beddy bye.

Learning resources abound. Youtube, amazon sells great literature, DVD’s, finally take that night class figure drawing you always wanted to.

You CANNOT achieve overnight success. It’s fake and it’s the complete B.S. American society tries to promote. It takes time, and energy, and hard work.

That being said, It is very very hard to work full time, devote time to a balanced life, and then find time to create. It’s very hard and I am never trying to make light of that fact or circumstance. But everyone has an hour a week to devote to a passion. Everyone. And if you can devote more time than an hour, bonus!

I wish you luck. Make achievable goals. When those goals switch over and become part of your regular routine, add another goal. They add up, trust me.


Pirate character concept by Brett 2D Bean

Brett Bean is an artist specializing in Character Design, Visual Development, Conceptual Design, and Illustration for film, TV, games, books, and a wealth of other mediums. His clientele include Disney, Atari, Wizards of the Coast, Imagine FX and others. You can find him on Twitter @2dbean or at 2DBean.com.

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  1. Yumen says:

    Inspiring advice thank you for sharing!!

  2. jax says:

    Wow I needed to hear this just now! 😀

  3. Amy says:

    This is a good one. I am hoping to do some freelance illustrating on the side and it is good to know.

  4. Sabina K says:

    Reading this made me proud to be able to fill 2 pages in sketchbook every day and happy to have just enough time for it :)

  5. Dan says:

    If you’d like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:


    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

  6. mx max says:

    Smooth like butter!

  7. Arthur says:

    I find that it’s almost impossible to juggle pursuing new art of my own while doing freelance and making sure I don’t get kicked out of my apartment so I normally combine the two and try to push my art skills while I do projects that pay.

  8. Chetan Rahate says:

    Its a inspirational for those who wants to become a good artist and
    i amone of them so i found it very useful and motivating.

    You CANNOT achieve overnight success. It’s fake and it’s the complete B.S. American society tries to promote. It takes time, and energy, and hard work.


  9. Parampreet says:

    So what are the subjects we should take after 10 class in order to become an animator and does an animator can ask to promote a game of his animated series?

  10. Andrea Haid says:

    I’ve just set a great goal for myself! It’s to draw 1000 hands. I recently started drawing my own hand holding a pen with the intention of doing a short and simple animation. I realised how relatively few hands I’ve actually drawn in my life. I want to memorize and understand human anatomy to become a better animator and sketching hands seems like an excellent starting point. So I’ve made the goal to understand the anatomy inside a human hand and draw 1000 hands! It’s such a perfect goal for me and I’ll be able to fit it into my schedule by plugging away at it here and there. I wrote about this goal on my blog and I intend to share my drawings as I go: http://pickledperfection.blogspot.com/2014/02/drawing-goal-to-draw-1000-hands.html

  11. mexico julia says:

    Beautiful illustration!!!

  12. Oddiom says:

    Love this!

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