I read a really neat post today by Crystal Cook. She listed ten things she's learned about art since high school. Here's her list but please go check out her great blog.
1. There is no ONE way to make art. If someone tells you there is, they are wrong. It's that simple.
2. If you want to paint horses and puppies, then paint them. Don't paint something just because you think other people will like it. Paint whatyou like, and it will appeal to others as well. Images that come from the deepest desires of your heart will always touch other people too.
3. Not everyone is going to like what you paint. That's okay. Who cares? You like it, that's what matters.
4. You can teach yourself how to paint and draw the way you want to. It's a learnable skill. Practice, practice, practice. Study, learn, repeat.
5. Believe in yourself. If you don't, no one else will either.
6. The smell of instant coffee still reminds you of Mr. Crowther (your art teacher). And he was right about doing all those contour line drawings. Suck it up, do them, and be thankful.
7. Your first realistic portrait? 'Tis not beautiful. That's okay, try, try again. Learn from it what you can, don't get discouraged, and try again.
8. Don't give up. Not even when you think you suck. Because you don't.
9. Prayer helps. A lot.
10. Your favorite watercolor brush is still a size 6. And also a ten. :)