Even the humblest creative pursuit can be intimidating, and for larger-scale projects, this holds doubly true. For many of us, however, the pull of starting a creative platform is too great to ignore.
With this in mind, those artists interested in taking their first major steps need to ask themselves some important questions, especially about financing. Going all out can be a great solution, but for most of us, it isn't a realistic one.
Fortunately, there are low-cost solutions to a wide range of artistic endeavors that start us off on a strong footing. Taking a look at different types of work, and the platforms on which they're built, we want to explore how to get started.
1. Getting Inspiration for your Platform
To support yourself through your art, you need to have a platform. Though there are many specific options, this can take on a large scale depending on your medium, so on a base level, you're going to need a website. To this end, you'll want to build a site that reflects your work and the intimate feel your projects are trying to project.
For the highest possible level of personal control, we recommend web design inspiration from professional digital platform specialists. From the right service, these systems can interface with a wide range of disciplines, incorporating themes and templates to serve as a backbone.
Whether reflecting on your paint portfolio or demonstrating your programming passion, these platforms cut out the guesswork and can save significant amounts on hiring professional designers.
2. Beginning the Work Process
Even within a medium, the minutia of our creative processes can make it difficult to find one single way to deliver your message or project. For this reason, each artist is going to have to carefully consider where they lie on the creative spectrum to find the right tools for online engagement.
Drawing and Painting
Perhaps the most illustrative form this idea takes is in drawing or painting. Consider if you're a traditionalist who relies on a physical canvas for your projects. To start with, the painting process is going to involve the same sort of supplies and effort as it always would. Expressing this work online, however, can be complicated.
Painting and drawing are precise by their nature, where a poor transference onto a digital medium can risk compromising your vision. Scanning, while possible for smaller projects, can create unwanted artifacts during the process. In most cases, taking photos of your art is going to be the best idea, but even this can come with pitfalls.
Unnatural lighting is a common villain here, but professional lighting rigs can cost enormous amounts to rent or buy. Instead, there are cheaper ways to overcome most major issues, utilizing the powerful tools of modern mobile technology. Yes, we know it's not going to be the same as a professional job, but don't underestimate just how cheap and effective these systems can be.
If you're a singer, a voice-over artist, or a video content creator, then you've no doubt already run into issues regarding home audio quality. This is especially the case with microphone input, and while there's no way around having to buy at least a mid-range microphone as a base, there are other cheap methods to maintain audio quality.
The biggest killer that most of us struggle with on a professional level in this sphere comes from echoes. A pop filter can cut out noise problems coming from the front, but the rest of the environment is rarely so helpful. You could always rent out a professional recording booth as a solution, but again, that's not cheap.
Instead, some low-cost and effective DIY microphone isolation shields can be built to help in just a couple of hours. Even big-name VO artists like John DiMaggio use these systems, so you can be assured they're not a half-measure.
3. Game Design
Game design has long been a favorite artistic process of the more technologically inclined, but it's also traditionally been a process where the need for in-depth programming knowledge has held creators back. In the new age of cheap and improved tools, such problems are a thing of the past.
Unlike the other artistic avenues on this list, getting involved in game design on the cheap can be simple from the start, as long as you choose the right engine.
The big two user-friendly options here are either the Unreal or Unity engines, both of which are responsible for some of the most popular games ever released. For the Unreal engine, users will only start having to pay 5% royalties if the lifetime gross of the product exceeds USD 1,000,000.
In Unity, creators will have to buy a $40 monthly or $399 yearly subscription if their game nets more than $100K in a year. Considering how much money games would have to make to reach this point, such costs are essentially nothing.
No matter where you find your artistic passion and inspiration, cost doesn't need to be a weight holding you down. In the digital age, there are almost always cheap and effective ways to bridge the gap between amateur and professional work, if you know where to look.
Understand this, put in the research, and you could be well on the way to making your creative dreams a reality.