Many people struggle to actually find relevent information on the web or in the field on how realistic it is to actually be a full time airbrush artist. I usually tell people that it usually breaks down like this: Out of a class about 10 people ( Which is usually the norm ), I have found that only 5-10% of those students actually apply this medium full time, 40-60% thrive very consistantly part time (And make more money doing this on weekends than they do at their full time jobs, and 30% never ever follow through for many various reasons. I have found that fundamentally the number one reason that people give up in this quest is a lack of passion. The second reason people give up is a lack of confidence in themselves. You can teach people all the tricks and techniques until the cows come home, but if there is no passion in their bellies they will co-exist in a very mediocre world. We all have exquisite talents that are programmed within us at very deep, ethereal levels that we never knew we had. All pessimism aside, let us examine who is doing this full time so that we can do logical deduction and have some sense of direction if we are going to invest the time and money in approaching this skill.

Airbrushing custom graphics on cars etc usually involves having a more diverse plan to be able to keep the dream alive and the revenue coming in. Most custom paint shops have computer programs which create vinyl graphics ( Industrious stickers ) to adhere to cars which will be a stand alone element for graphics, or will be accented by airbrush graphics via the diversity and intensity of the image required. In short, you need to offer other things in your airbrush shop such as gold leafing, pin striping, signs, banners, etc as it seems to be about 70% of the volume. The other 30% is the fun stuff i.e. wizards, radical graphics and realistic fire. Talk to most custom paint shops and you will find this ratio over and over. These custom shops are usually base coat/clear coat shops placated and repackaged with plotters and a custom airbrusher on standby. I have known this through talking to many shop owners.

This supplemental system will usually galvanize, create, and allign you with many opportunities on many substrates thus help you build your skills, textures, color theories and compositions. This is the “street smart” way to go, and will keep milk on the table however you will have to suck it up and sometimes have your soul crushed by people who absolutely KNOW your work is good, but like ( for example) country themes instead of fantasy art.

The other way to go is the “bleeding heart ” route, which is doing something that is totally original. Throw caution to the wind, build a body of work for a year or two, and set a new standard thus opening up the market and let others follow you. This tends to be the riskier way to go indeed, but if you can pull it off then you will accelerate your pace and be well on your way. People who can do this tend to be very artistic and innately talented, but again we have all seen the abstract paintings where someone threw paint behind their back on a white clean canvas and thus will still yield a million dollars ( see: Peter Max lol ). The bottom line is that if you build a body of work, plant seeds, and if the work is done well, the orders will come. Do not ever hold your breath on one market or concept. Try many things. One person who comes to mind is an airbrush artist who has a series called AIRBRUSH MYORCAS, . Simple, quaint, yet original and cutting edge.

My advice is make one of these two decisions: are you going to be a production artist ( Signs, portraits, car graphics etc ) and build your skills, or are you going to set a new standard and ORIGINAL concept? Follow your gut, you might not be disappointed. -David Morton

<img src=’; border=’0′ />


  1. alfonso Says:

    thanks for the advice dude!! i was about to quit and i think ill start all over..ill send u some of my latest drawings…hope to see u soon

    alfonso jimenez

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: