Beginners airbrush journey airbrush artist with twenty years in the business provides some insight into the world of airbrushing for those new to airbrushing.
“Witchcraft , Voodoo , and other Myths About Beginning an Airbrush Artist’s Journey” by Gary Fredericks
One of the most intimidating and daunting tasks for an airbrush artist is “getting started”. Some people happen upon the right place and time, surrounded by a great support group of teachers and mentors resulting in an easier ( not always better ) path to follow. Often times, others such as myself weren’t so fortunate in the beginning. One question that seems the easiest to answer is ” What do I want to paint with my airbrush ? ” as most already know that answer when they begin to pursue their journey into the airbrush art world. Some beginners have aspirations of doing tee shirts and textile while many such as myself are lured by the creative and passionate world / life-style of the motorcycle / automotive art realm. Others may tend to explore the ” fine art ” and ” illustration ” side of the art form on varying surfaces from illustration board to canvas. Whatever your reason or interest, chances are you will try the other aspects of airbrushing at some point.
In most cases the beginner will want to dabble in more than one genre of the diverse world of airbrushing, at least in the beginning. This is where most of the confusion for the aspiring artist begins. They seek out the one magic book and or video that a magazine promised to take you there. Maybe it’s that special airbrush / air source / paint kit that will give them the flexibility to do everything good enough to learn with , all the way through to the professional level . This line of thinking can be detrimental to the complete and unguided beginner. Once you get going and get access to other equipment , one may find preferences change. Just like shoes or underwear, each airbrush is going to perform and feel different to each INDIVIDUAL airbrusher. There is no ” best brand / model of airbrush ” outside of YOUR individual opinion. It is the artist that creates the art and the airbrush ( airbrushes ) that allows the artist to do so to their greatest extent. Much of the for profit media available on airbrushing furthers this confusion.
As in most magazines, the advertising dollars pays the publishers bills and to a lesser extent, the readers. Companies pay a good deal of money for their ads and want their products featured in the content of the publication as much as possible. This is true in most magazines regardless of subject. Just look at a hunting or fishing magazine. You’ll often see a whole page ad for a certain fishing rod or bow and arrow before or after an article with a mention or accompanying photo with that item in it somewhere. Often times it is true in the airbrush media. So how does one start airbrushing and where can they get the best information on the subject? The answer to this for many is on the Internet.
There is a plethora of wealth for the budding airbrush artist on the Internet if you look as well as sites of established airbrush artists that have ” how to’s ” posted on their sites. Before you buy that airbrush (or smash it into a billion pieces out of frustration!) do a search on the web for “airbrush”. Look into all the clubs and message boards you can find. When you do join the message boards or clubs, do not fear that your question will be read as “stupid” or “absurd” because everyone is there at the beginning. Just be sure to include as much detail of the question you seek an answer to. It can also be a good idea to post an introduction of yourself in your initial post. There are MANY people out their more than willing to help you along the way.
Often times the beginner will be able to find a school or workshop that may be within the budget and or close enough to attend and get at least some shoulder to shoulder airbrushing instruction in with a professional airbrush artist Many friends and airbrush related acquaintances could be made this way as well. For even better results, try using the info / advice you gather from the clubs/message boards in conjunction with that magic book or video that promised you ability and fortune. Through the passage of time, the beginner will see that there is no quick formula, magic potion, or voodoo ritual that will make you an overnight sensation in airbrushing . Practice, practice, and practice, along with desire and an open mind set is what will carry you to where you want to go. It is a journey. One that can and SHOULD be enjoyed along the way.
Anyone is more than welcome to have their article posted here on this site or in our mag Airbrush Technique Magazine . Just e-mail me I would be happy to talk it over with you. A big THANK YOU to Gary for taking the time to help those just starting out in airbrushing . I hope more airbrush artist like Gary will do the same and pass their airbrushing experience & knowledge on to those just trying to get started.