First of all, the "Art" field is a very broad area that encompasses so many creative positions. If you want to be an Artist, it is best that you either attend an art school, or at least take some art classes. If you are looking to be a Painter, and make a living at it, then that entails a great deal more. Successful artists are few and far between, and to actually make a living at it requires allot of time and patience. You will need to first get a job (in the art field is best) and learn all that you can, from the people you work with. This way, you will have some "income", and not fall into the "starving artist" category. That group is rare nowadays, they just start creating a bunch of paintings and hope and pray that they someday will get "noticed" by a successful gallery that will act as their selling agent. However that method can take years and years to develop, and how do you survive without an income during that period?
So, taking the education route, in my opinion, is the better approach. Try to go to college, and if possible, get a degree in Art. Make sure you take as many courses in Digital Art, that are available (all good paying design positions require these in the current market) Try to secure an Intern job in your Senior year, in some related art field, there should be plenty of them around. After graduating, get a job working in the Art or Design field.
Now, you will be on your way to supporting yourself and you can start painting canvases with the style and subjects you love the most. Join as many art groups and online art sites, and begin entering your work in competitions. As you get better at it, you will find that your paintings will begin to catch the eye of buyers, and begin to sell. There are no real "short cuts" to becoming a successful artist, you need to put in the time AND effort, and above all......be patient.
D.R. recommends the following next steps:
- Finish high school, taking all the Art Classes you can.
- Apply to college, either full four year, or local Community Colleges. Take all the prerequisites, but also add any art courses that they offer.
- Join any art groups you can find in your area, they can be very helpful sharing their experiences. (this can be done at any time, even while you are still in school)
- If you can get the finances, take a few painting lessons from a local artist, you will need to learn the basics, like colour mixing, composition, styles, perspectives, etc.
- Go online and look for any art groups you can join to start the learning process. One good one to try is called ArtWanted.com, and another one is DrawPaintAcademy.com