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Want to be a digital artist?

Hey I’m Brittany and I'm a digital artist. I’ve been passionate about drawing/creating art from as early as I can remember.

As a child I used to spend my summers in Ireland with my dad and stepmum and a huge part of that time was spent drawing. They used to pin up every single thing I ever drew on my bedroom wall and put them up around the house. My mum still has some of my pieces I did in my teens up on her walls. Long story short, drawing has always been a big part of who I am and everyone who knows me knows that.

I decided to take Art as a GCSE subject and I absolutely loved it, so much so that I went on to do it a AS-Level. However, I didn’t go on to do it in my second year of college because I found that it was quite restrictive; you had to stick to a set syllabus. From then I left art behind for about four years, instead focusing on studying biomedical science at university.

Like many, during lockdown I found myself bored and in need of a hobby. A friend introduced me to Procreate and showed me some digital pieces she had created using the app and I was instantly obsessed! I decided to give it a go, I made my Instagram art account (@shouldbeedoodles) and posted my first piece in June.

My three top tips if you're interested in trying out the Procreate app:

1) I use Procreate 5X (the most recent update) with the iPad Pro 12.9” and 2nd Generation Apple Pencil, I highly recommend all of these products, especially the larger screen iPad as having a larger screen made a huge difference for me when drawing compared to the 9” iPad

2) It’s so easy to get the hang of, there are hundreds of tutorials available on YouTube to help you get the hang it.

3) There’s a huge variety of brushes already available in the app but you can also buy some online from brush creators and import them into the app. My personal favourite creators are Bardot Brush and Maxpacks.

Personally right now my art is just a hobby for me, I've done a few commissions but really my current goals are to improve and perfect my art style and be confident in that (before I think about officially opening commissions and/or selling my art on websites like Etsy) and to build up an audience on my Instagram account.

It’s really easy to fall into bad habits, comparing your own art to other people’s and feeling bad about the progress you’re making, but some advice I'd give is that your taste develops at a much faster rate than your skills do. You end up with a kind of “gap” between your taste and your skill. The best thing to do is just be aware of it, acknowledge and accept it and then practice, practice, practice! My art has improved so much in just 3 months and I’ve had to constantly acknowledge that my skill might not be at the same level as my taste and this is fine! But seriously, constant practice is the key!

Finally a couple tips for building an audience that I’ve been trying to follow and believe have helped me gain some followers these past 3 months:

1) Post frequently. It’s recommended to post between 2-7 times a week, it can feel very demanding, definitely don’t put any unnecessary pressure on yourself, but if you’re having a good week with lots of ideas then post post post! Share your works in progress on your stories etc and share art by other creators that you love, it’s all about being active on your account.

2) Use hashtags. Hashtags are important for getting your art seen by a wider audience, constantly check for new hashtags people are using to keep up to date with them.

3) Interact and make friends with other artists. Put yourself out there. This is not only important for building an audience, but it’s good to be actively involved with people in the community. I've made some really good friends in the community and it’s nice to just have someone to talk to about your craft with.