I've been following many different artists for the past few years now, either well established artists or less unknown ones. Some are for inspiration, others are supporting friends.
When it comes down to it, It's three factors I value artist with; drawing skill, originality and personality. It's the TriForce for artists, if you have all three you're the ultimate artist.
This one is obvious, are you good at drawing? Can you draw proper anatomy, perspectives, etc? It's important to be technically good, but many artists (myself included) focus to much on the technical aspect of drawing. Even though you can draw a perfect human, it's just a human. No one cares unless there is some originality there. Same thing for houses, cars, whatever. But technical good drawings are impressive to look at, you know how to make good composition, color values, contrast, etc. You know how to please the eye.
If you want to become a designer, concept artist or freelance. I think it's important to be technically good. The more you can draw, the more you can do for customers.
And I think everyone can become a good artist, with just patience and open mind.
This one is the most important in my opinion. It's all about how original and creative you are. Even though your drawings look like shit, if it's unique and original you can get very far. This is perhaps the best thing for artist, since they can produce much content with little effort. You basically hit a goldmine. Or you can be very unlucky and make something that is utter shit and everyone will hate you forever.
Originality is more a talent than a skill. You can't really learn to be original the same way as technical drawing, you need to have it in you. If your ideas a bad, try get in contact with someone who has original ideas. Maybe they can't draw and need a good technical artist, together you could be the ultimate team.
It's hit and miss if you have no skill just ideas. Most artist come up with an original idea and start practicing drawing, just be careful not to lose your originality on your way. Keep both!
This has nothing to do with your art, but you as a person. About a year ago I wouldn't count this as important, but I've seen artists gain and loose popularity just by how they behave.
I think most artist don't care how they behave. It's their art people are after, not them. But if you act like a dick to your readers, you loose them. Take criticism with open mind, and appreciate feedback, even the bad ones. If you fuck up, people will remember, especially if you gain big following.
But if you show appreciation for your fans, they'll become loyal. And stay with even if they necessarily don't like your art. Just remember, on the internet it's easier to get on someone's badside than the goodside.
Artist are sensitive people, we take pride on our work. But don't become to attached, especially if you plan to show it on internet or for a publisher. Because it's gonna hurt when you get criticized. I know it's hard when you have planned your comic for years, but it's something you have to deal with.
Everyone have some of these three in them, if you get a good balance you can get very far. But the better you get, more difficult it is to keep the balance.
That being said, here is some examples of "artist issues" related with these factors, and maybe how to fix them.
-If you feel you are working hard but don't get appreciation for your work. You might lack originality, or you need to get in contact with more people. Just posting art is not gonna make you popular.
-You don't get anywhere, you post often but it's just the same few people commenting on your artwork. Practice more, and get out of your comfort zone. People get tired seeing the same thing over and over.
-People stops following you. Maybe you said something people took in a negative way, or people feel you ignore them. Remember to keep positive touch with your followers. Or maybe you post to rarely, or don't improve.
Another thing could be your artstyle. Changing style is ok, everyone should try different things to get out of their comfort zone. But people might leave because they liked the old style.
People leaving can be very frustrating, since no one want to tell you why they leave. You kinda have to figure it out yourself.
-You get complaints over your art. Then you need to get better! Listen to what they say, maybe you learn something you didn't think off. When people write critiques, they often forget to add what was good. Which can lead to you focusing to much on what is bad about your art. Remember people wouldn't write critiques if they didn't see potential in you.
-After all those years of planning, you started your big comic project, but no one reads it. Be patient, a complex story takes time to get into. It's very likely you won't get a following before years after you started.
On the contrary, If you do get a tremendous amount of views at the start, it's very easy too lose those viewers as fast as they appeared. They won't be attached to the comic the same way as someone who as been following it for a long time. Easy come easy go.
So yeah, I know I'm not the best writer, but I hope you get my point. Thanks for reading!
Marton aka Sokkhue