Many artists seem to be born with the knowledge of how they will create, what tools they will use and every image or sculpture they will ever produce. While this may be true for some artists, not everyone is born with this knowledge and no one goes through out their life without being influenced in one direction or another. Many artists are first encouraged by their family, they may be given a camera or a box of finger paints. This influence continues on in schools where students are all encouraged to use chalk, pencils, markers and paint to create something using their imagination or even within the structural confines of a class project.
This is the basis of artistic discovery. Along with whatever the artist is born with, be it a voice or a drive to one art form or the other, it is their early childhood influences and experiences in combination with that special something that brings the artist to the tools of their artistry. Again, not everyone is born with this type of artistic drive or purpose and some may develop it throughout their life, perhaps even in their very late life. How do those people find their artistic purpose? Trial and error.
Start with what you are most interested in. If you have always wanted to work with your hands to create, then try clay. If you always wanted to smash and chip away at stone to find the form hidden within, then you will be a sculptor. The thing that must be remembered is start small, start cheap and you will find yourself a lot happier.
Art stores were not put on earth to prey on the eager minds of new artists, but it might almost seem that way. People that are new to creating often have such a gusto that they want to buy everything they possibly can within their decided upon art form. This mentality is completely discouraged. Start small, if you want to draw, you don’t need an expensive sketchbook or $300.00 pencils quite yet. That can wait until later. A good idea for the artist just starting out is to create 10 works of art before ever buying anything. 10 works of art without buying a single material, be it stone or acrylic paints, may sound extreme, but it is completely feasible and will give you a good measure of your passion for the art form.
If you want to be a sculpture then before you buy a single block of marble you should start with potato or wood. This might sound strange, however, carving a shape out of a potato or bar of soap will not only give you some training for carving later, but it will also save you a lot of money. This is especially true if you find that you are not fond of the work later. Many new artists will rush right to the art store, buy a lot of materials and then put them in storage when they find that their zeal has waned. Start small, start cheap, but try; create and follow that passion.