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How to Boost Your Productivity as a Digital Artist

Are you a digital artist looking to increase your productivity? Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there are always ways to improve your workflow and create more efficiently. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and tricks to help you streamline your process, stay organized, and produce better work in less time.

One of the keys to being a productive digital artist is having the right tools and equipment. Investing in a high-quality art tablet, like a Wacom or Huion, can make a big difference in your workflow. Additionally, having a comfortable workspace with good lighting and ergonomic seating can help you stay focused and avoid distractions. But equipment is only part of the equation – it’s also important to have a solid understanding of the software you’re using, whether it’s Photoshop, Procreate, or another program.

Understanding Digital Art Tools

As a digital artist, understanding the tools available to you is essential to increasing your productivity. Here are two important sub-sections to consider:

Choosing the Right Software

There are many digital art software options out there, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to choose a program that fits your needs and workflow. Some popular options include:

  • Adobe Photoshop: great for photo editing and digital painting
  • Procreate: a powerful mobile app for iPad
  • Clip Studio Paint: popular for manga and comic book artists
  • Krita: a free and open-source option with a strong community

Before committing to a program, consider the following factors:

  • Compatibility with your hardware and operating system
  • Available features and tools
  • Learning curve and ease of use
  • Cost and licensing options

Mastering Keyboard Shortcuts

Mastering keyboard shortcuts can save you time and increase your productivity. Here are a few common shortcuts to get you started:

  • Ctrl/Cmd + Z: undo
  • Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + Z: redo
  • Ctrl/Cmd + C: copy
  • Ctrl/Cmd + V: paste
  • Ctrl/Cmd + A: select all
  • Ctrl/Cmd + D: deselect
  • Ctrl/Cmd + T: transform
  • Spacebar: temporarily switch to the Hand tool for panning

Many programs allow you to customize your own shortcuts, so take advantage of this feature to create a workflow that works for you.

Remember, the key to increasing your productivity as a digital artist is to find the tools and shortcuts that work best for you and your workflow.

Creating a Productive Workspace

As a digital artist, your workspace plays a crucial role in your productivity. Here are some tips to create a productive workspace:

  • Choose a comfortable chair: You’ll spend a lot of time sitting, so invest in a comfortable chair that supports your back and neck.
  • Organize your desk: Keep your desk clean and clutter-free. Use organizers to store your supplies and keep them within reach.
  • Invest in good lighting: Good lighting can reduce eye strain and improve your mood. Use natural light whenever possible, and supplement with task lighting as needed.
  • Personalize your space: Add some personal touches to your workspace to make it feel more inviting. Hang up some artwork or add a plant to brighten up the space.
  • Eliminate distractions: Minimize distractions by turning off notifications on your phone and computer. Consider using noise-cancelling headphones to block out background noise.
  • Keep your tools organized: Keep your digital tools organized by creating a file structure that makes sense to you. Use naming conventions and color coding to make it easier to find what you need.

By creating a comfortable, organized workspace, you can increase your productivity and create your best work.

Managing Your Time Effectively

As a digital artist, managing your time effectively is crucial to your success. Here are some tips to help you stay productive and motivated:

Setting Goals

Setting goals is an important part of managing your time effectively. Start by defining your long-term goals and then break them down into smaller, achievable tasks. This will help you stay focused on what you need to accomplish and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

One useful technique is to use the SMART method when setting your goals. This means making sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. By doing this, you can create a clear roadmap of what you want to achieve and when.

Taking Regular Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential to staying productive and avoiding burnout. Studies show that taking short breaks throughout the day can actually increase your productivity and creativity.

Try the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break. After four Pomodoros, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. This method can help you stay focused while also giving your brain a chance to rest and recharge.

Remember, managing your time effectively is all about finding a balance between work and rest. By setting goals and taking regular breaks, you can stay motivated and achieve your goals as a digital artist.

Enhancing Skills and Techniques

As a digital artist, it’s essential to continuously improve your skills and techniques to stay competitive in the industry. Here are two ways to enhance your skills and techniques:

Continuous Learning

Continuous learning is crucial for digital artists to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. There are several ways to learn new skills, such as taking online courses, attending workshops, and reading books and articles. You can also join online communities and forums to connect with other artists and share knowledge.

One popular online learning platform is Skillshare, which offers a wide range of courses in digital art, design, and illustration. Another platform is Udemy, which has courses in various topics, including digital painting, graphic design, and animation.

Experimenting with Styles

Experimenting with different styles is an excellent way to expand your skills and techniques. By trying out new styles, you can discover new ways to express your creativity and develop a unique style that sets you apart from other artists.

One way to experiment with styles is to study the work of other artists and try to recreate their style. You can also try combining different styles to create something new. For example, you can combine traditional painting techniques with digital tools to create a unique style.

In conclusion, enhancing your skills and techniques is essential for digital artists to stay competitive in the industry. By continuously learning and experimenting with different styles, you can develop your skills and create unique and compelling artwork.

Staying Inspired and Motivated

As a digital artist, staying inspired and motivated is crucial to your productivity. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:

  • Set Goals: Setting specific, achievable goals can help you stay motivated and focused. Break down larger projects into smaller tasks and set deadlines for each one. This will help you stay on track and feel a sense of accomplishment as you complete each task.
  • Take Breaks: It’s important to take breaks throughout the day to avoid burnout and stay inspired. Take a walk, listen to music, or do something else that helps you relax and recharge. When you come back to your work, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle your tasks.
  • Find Inspiration: Look for inspiration in your surroundings, online, or in other artists’ work. Keep a mood board or inspiration folder to refer to when you need a creative boost. Don’t copy others’ work, but use it as a starting point for your own unique creations.
  • Collaborate: Collaborating with other artists can be a great way to stay inspired and motivated. Join online communities or attend local events to meet other artists and share ideas. Working with others can also help you learn new techniques and approaches to your work.
  • Celebrate Progress: Celebrate your progress and accomplishments along the way. Take time to reflect on what you’ve achieved and how far you’ve come. This will help you stay motivated and inspired to keep pushing forward.

Collaborating with Others

As a digital artist, collaborating with others can help you grow creatively and increase your productivity. Here are some ways to collaborate with others:

Joining Digital Art Communities

Joining digital art communities can help you connect with other artists and learn new skills. You can join online forums, social media groups, or even create your own Discord server. By joining these communities, you can share your work, receive feedback, and collaborate with other artists on projects. It’s a great way to build your network and learn from others.

Receiving Feedback

Receiving feedback is an essential part of growing as an artist. It can be difficult to receive criticism, but it’s important to remember that it’s not personal. Feedback can help you improve your skills and make your work better. You can ask for feedback from other artists in digital art communities, or even from friends and family. Take their feedback into consideration and use it to improve your work.

Collaborating with others can help you grow as a digital artist. Joining digital art communities and receiving feedback are just a few ways to collaborate with others. By working with others, you can learn new skills, receive feedback, and create amazing projects.

Maintaining Physical and Mental Health

As a digital artist, it’s easy to get lost in your work and forget about taking care of your physical and mental health. However, neglecting these areas can lead to burnout, decreased productivity, and even physical health problems. Here are some tips to help you maintain your physical and mental health as a digital artist:

Take Frequent Breaks

Sitting in front of a screen for hours on end can be detrimental to your physical health. To combat this, take frequent breaks to stretch your legs, rest your eyes, and get some fresh air. Consider using the Pomodoro technique, where you work for 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break, to help you stay focused and avoid burnout.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise can help improve your physical health and mental well-being. It doesn’t have to be anything intense – even a 30-minute walk or yoga session can do wonders for your body and mind. Consider incorporating exercise into your daily routine to help you stay energized and focused.

Practice Mindfulness

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and practicing mindfulness can help you stay grounded and focused. Consider taking a few minutes each day to meditate, practice deep breathing, or simply sit quietly and reflect. This can help reduce stress, improve your mood, and increase your productivity.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is crucial for both your physical and mental health. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night to help you stay alert, focused, and energized throughout the day. Consider establishing a bedtime routine to help you wind down and prepare for a good night’s rest.

By taking care of your physical and mental health, you can improve your productivity as a digital artist and avoid burnout. Remember to take breaks, exercise regularly, practice mindfulness, and get enough sleep to help you stay healthy and focused.


In conclusion, increasing productivity as a digital artist is crucial to success in the industry. By implementing the tips and techniques discussed in this article, artists can streamline their workflow, reduce distractions, and create high-quality work in less time.

It’s important to remember that productivity is not just about working harder, but working smarter. Taking breaks, staying organized, and setting realistic goals can all lead to a more productive and fulfilling workday.

Additionally, investing in the right tools and software can make a significant difference in productivity. From drawing tablets to project management software, there are many resources available to help digital artists work more efficiently.

By staying focused, organized, and utilizing the right tools, digital artists can increase their productivity and achieve their goals. Remember, productivity is a skill that can be learned and improved upon over time. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results, keep implementing these techniques and you’ll be on your way to a more productive and successful career as a digital artist.