Inspiration is one of those tricky... tricky things, and sharing artwork is even more so at times. So before I step into sharing a few of my favorite websites, let's get into the right mindset!
Remember that with any skill-based career or hobby, there are people who are better at what they do than you. Do not be discouraged by those who are more skillful, even if they are younger than you! Chances are they have spent a lot more time honing their skills, or they have been lucky enough to access tools and instructors who have helped push their skills forward. There is also undoubtedly at least one skill you have that they are lacking in! This is also why you should always build up other artists! Share your skills and never discourage someone simply because they are not as well equipped as you are!
Which is a great transition into the second point, respect those who aren't as skilled as you! Always build up other artists! Share your skills and never discourage someone simply because they are not as well equipped as you are! Chances are if there's an artist who you look up to, there is another artist who looks up to you!
And with that, let's get started!
Plain and simple, this is one of the biggest art websites out there! It's great for all skill levels and all genres and mediums. There are a lot of jokes about how it's full of original Sonic recolors, but that's definitely not the majority of the website!
In fact, in addition to the basic art gallery features, there are chats and forums and other ways for people to connect through their interests. I have several friends who met through these features, so it's a great way to connect. There are also huge selections of free art tutorials, photoshop brushes, and stock photos that people can use for their own projects (with proper credit to the source of course).
This is where we start stepping out of beginner friendly territory but take huge steps into the inspiration territory. DrawCrowd is a great website for checking out the portfolios of the pros! There's a ton of unique styles here, and just one look at the Wall of Fame will take your breath away with how much detail these artists can stuff into each drawing.
Once you get the hang of some more complex art concepts you'll be able to see a lot of the little tricks they used to get those looks as well, so backwards engineering what the pros do can definitely push your skills in their direction!
ArtStation, much like DrawCrowd, is a HUGE hub of talent. There are a ton of pros here showing off their work. There is also an ArtStation digital magazine which has a ton of educational articles worth reading. One reason ArtStation also has a different appeal than DrawCrowd is it draws in a lot more artists from Western regions like the US, which leads to different inspirations and different styles.
The other amazing feature of ArtStation is the Jobs tab. Artists with profiles on this website can seek out some of the job positions listed through the site from studios looking for talent. They have built-in resume features and portfolio gallery features, so it also makes it easy for employers to check out all your work and work experience without the need of a personal website (though those are obviously not a bad thing either).
Wait what? Share art on social media?
I don't know where you've been, but a ton of companies and professional artists have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and everything in between.
Social media is great for beginning artists because it provides exposure, instant feedback through comments and replies, and a ton of opportunities to find new artists to connect with as well.
And with that my Amazing Art Tools series comes to an end! I encourage all of you to get out there and find your own amazing art tools, new friends and inspirations, and a ton of ways to learn how to be the best at what you do.