Insightful (and helpful) reflection by Noah Bradley on his journey to become a professional artist

If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem wonderful at all.

I’ve just read a posting by Noah Bradley on He recounts and reflects on his journey from hobbyist to professional artist. It’s not only the development in his works that is impressive — both in the quality and in its scope. I think he gives some very good insights into what it takes to become an artist:

I hope that, in some small way, this post serves to encourage fellow artists on their journey. It can take a long time and seem hopeless. It can be exhausting, discouraging, even depressing. But if you stay at it, someday you will make it past those obstacles.
If I can leave you with one piece of advice that I have acquired over all of these years, it’s to always find some degree of pride in what you have accomplished so far. Be thankful for every accomplishment, no matter how small. Be proud of yourselves. Not to the point of pride, but rather to encourage and motivate.

He also mentions a rant he has written about art school, which you also find on I’ve never been to art school, but I think that what he writes makes sense and is well-worth reading. Especially when money is an issue — and for whom of us is it not. And I totally agree with the online options:

And then there are the online options. The availability of drawing and painting resources is incredible.
Sitting at a computer I have direct access to artists all over the world. I have the combined wisdom of the artistic community to pull from at my leisure. For less than a few grand a year I can view more educational material than I would see at any art school. You can get a year of access to all of the Gnomon Workshop’s videos for the cost of a few days at the average art school.

Both highly, highly recommended:

* “How I Became an Artist” by Noah Bradley
* “Don’t go to art school” by Noah Bradley