top of page

Life Lessons from Well Known Artists

Part 1: Illustrator

Trial and error is a way of life. Some of our mistakes often teach us the biggest lessons. The life of an artist is very complex and many have chosen to share their biggest life lessons. If you are an emerging artist, the following lessons will definitely be of use.

“I learned to use every job as an opportunity to become…better.”

Davide Bonazzi is an award-winning freelance illustrator for large scale publishing companies such as The New York Times, The Economist, Paramount and more. His biggest takeaway from his career happened to be: “I learned to do my best work in every circumstance. I polished up all of my artworks as if it were my last chance to draw something–even if that meant putting in more time and effort than I had originally planned”.

Author and illustrator Jo Rioux

“I learned that thinking is overrated.”

Overthinking things important to us is very common, especially when you want a result which reflects your hard work and talent. However when it comes to art, overthinking doesn’t necessarily guarantee the best work. Author and illustrator Jo Rioux found that, “I’ve realized that of all the things required to make good art, thinking is right at the bottom of my list. It’s a bit like dancing— if you have to think about it, you probably won’t be doing it very gracefully. I get much more interesting illustrations if I start out with my focal point then let the rest grow organically around it, following the strokes of the pencil”.

nicole rifkin illustrator

“I learned that I need to plan before I start drawing”

Nicole Rifkin is also an award-winning illustrator who values the importance of planning ahead and good time management to help create the best work. “Planning is something I’m not hugely fond of, but incorporating the sketch process more prominently while creating personal work has been exceedingly helpful, and so has planning my day

Spanish illustrator Ana Jaren

“I should avoid any kind of comparison to others.”

In an industry as popular as art, it is normal to be unsure of your work at times and compare it to others. However this will; not aid in any progression - the key is to be confident in yourself and constantly find ways to improve. Spanish illustrator Ana Jaren found, “I’ve learned to stick to my style and trust in my intuition. I sometimes feel a bit insecure about what I do, and the biggest lesson I’ve learned this year is that I should avoid any kind of comparison to others”.

If you are an emerging artist looking for support to aid in your success, CISTA ARTS is the place for you. We offer a range of services, here is the link to more information about this If you would like more personalized information, please email us directly at


bottom of page