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Creative tips for young artists, from young artists

Published 12 April 2021

Regardless of your age, we could all learn something from these exhibitors from last year’s Young Artists’ Summer Show.

    • Always love your work

      Daniel, age 7

      “I stay creative by finding things that are bland and giving them colour and asking people if they know that everything has a colour.

      About three years ago I found a big, dirty hubcap on the side of the road and thought it needed colour so I painted it.

      Always follow your dreams, and if it doesn’t come out as planned, always love your work.”

      Daniel, Age 7

      Daniel, Age 7

    • Be happy

      Isabel, age 6

      “I think it’s good to be happy, draw or make whatever makes you happy.

      I draw whatever I am thinking about. I like to draw things that I see in real life, like my family, teachers, friends, my toys, food and objects in the house. I listen to my mummy and daddy talking and then draw what they are talking about. I love using lots of colour and I like to make dull things beautiful by painting them.”

      Isabel, Age 6

      Isabel, Age 6

    • Repeat, repeat and repeat again

      Omotayo, age 18

      “The first thing I would suggest is to try out lots of new styles and mediums – I started with drawings and then progressed to painting and mixed media. The internet is full of many helpful art channels and influencers which could help guide someone along this process.

      I would also suggest that a young artist should get lots of repetition. It’s very important to build up the necessary basic skills, like tone, value and proportion, before diving straight into the deep end and giving up on a really ambitious piece, which can be really disheartening.”

      Omotayo, Age 18

      Omotayo, Age 18

    • Have another go until you are happy

      Oscar, age 11

      “I always have a sketch book and pencil in my room. I also pay attention to everything around me in case it inspires me.

      Do what you have in your head, shapes, colours and ideas. Don’t worry if it doesn’t work the first time, just have another go until you are happy.”

      Oscar, Age 11

      Oscar, Age 11

    • Draw, draw, draw

      Connie, age 10

      “When I am bored I like to draw what is in my mind.

      Draw draw and draw some more and don’t worry how it’s going to turn out.”

      Connie, Age 10, Storm

      Connie, Age 10, Storm, 2020.

      Mixed media. A3 Landscape. Young Artists' Summer Show 2020..

    • The more you make, the more you enjoy

      Nathanael, age 16

      “Keep creating. Even if you don’t feel particularly inspired. The more things you produce the more you will develop your own style and way of working, and over time your skill and enjoyment will increase.

      I watch a lot of YouTube videos of people working with wood. Often I’ll see something that inspires me or a new technique that I want to try. I will then adapt my own techniques to create something interesting. I have Autism and I find it helps me with focus and attention to detail.”

      Nathanael, Age 16

      Nathanael, Age 16

    • Don’t worry too much and do what you feel like

      Coco & Roman, ages 11 & 13

      Coco: “Draw or make what you feel like at the time! If you’re in the mood for making cartoons, do that, or if you feel like painting, do that!”

      Roman: “Use whatever materials you have laying about and don’t worry too much about what the end result will be. Once you start, things can just come together.”

      Coco and Roman, Ages 11 & 13, Teatime Parade

      Coco and Roman, Ages 11 & 13, Teatime Parade, 2020.

      Sculpture, bone china and horse skull. 70 x 40cm.

    • Don't worry about what anyone else thinks

      Archie, age 10

      “I think art is about being yourself and having fun. It’s also a good idea to have a sketchbook or somewhere to write down ideas and do drawings. I take mine on journeys or to places I know I might get bored, so I always have something to do.

      (I also get a chance to draw my own pictures at school if I finish my work early.)”

      Archie, Age 10

      Archie, Age 10

    • YASS

      Enter the Young Artists' Summer Show 2021

      Now in its third year, the Young Artists’ Summer Show is a free, open submission exhibition for students aged 5 - 19 studying in the UK and British schools overseas. Artworks are judged by artists and arts professionals with selected artworks displayed online and on-site at the Royal Academy of Arts.

      The deadline for submissions is 26 April 2021.