To be taken for what it is - ramblings of a weirdo. A weirdo with a heart of gold, and good intentions.
Look for Inspiration Outside of Your Medium
One of the biggest mistakes I see is people only gathering inspiration from art made out of their own medium. Admiring your fellow -insert artist type here-
is fine of course, but make sure to mix in a slew of other sources as well. This will help keep your art unique and fresh and help you steer away from trends.
My personal inspiration tends to come from digital and oil painters, fashion photographers, movies and my favorite: people watching.
Don't Blame Your Equipment, or Lack there Of
This has to be one of my biggest
pet peeves. The artist that blames their equipment or the fact they don't have what they "need". "If I just had -this- then I would be sooo much better! ...But I don't so oh well". I can not stand this line of thought.
It's pure poison. Rotting the mind of the young artist that thinks it's a valid excuse as to why he's not good or why everyone else is better than him.
Artists, true artists, do their art regardless. Stop pretending like you need
the $2,000 cintique. You want
it. Not need.
Be Happy with Your Progress
Always take time to acknowledge where you were and how far you have come. Take a look at your art from a year ago, or hell even 6 months ago. Be proud of your improvement!
Focusing on your improvement, rather than where you currently are, will help you avoid discouragement and frustrations. If you have improved you have succeeded!
Don't Follow Tutorials Step by Step
Doing a tutorial step by step with the same images, and the same concept, and the same everything else will hinder how much you learn from the tutorial expediently.
At the very
least you should be using different images than the tutorial does.
Personally, I prefer tutorials that either teach a singular effect that can be applied to various different subjects, and elaborated on or I simply only go to the part of the tutorial that's showing a step I am actually curious about. So I end up only reading a couple steps of any tutorial.
Doing this helps keep your work unique, especially if you are following a popular tutorial that has been done a million times over.
Experiment and Fail - Often!
Last, but most importantly, experiment and fail as much as you can! Do something different, do something unpopular, do something weird, do something gross, do something sweet, do something inappropriate, do something political, do something funny, do something blasphemous, do something you would never do.
Do something people won't like. And love the fact people don't like it.
Bonus tip! Call yourself an Artist
Do you make art? Then you are an artist. You may hate it, or are ashamed of it, or don't "feel" like you are one, but you are one. You may be a bad one, a mediocre one or a great one, but you are
Deal with it.