I’d say my number one tip for budding artists would be to dedicate time each day to the creative process. We’re all stretched pretty thin making a living and can’t always find time to paint or even sketch daily. On those days, make time to read an inspiring article, watch an interview with someone in the creative arts, do some Google image searches or try visiting a virtual gallery. These don’t have to be in your direct field of work. Have faith in the process. It may take some time but what goes in one day comes out another.
Don’t be too self-critical. Even the masters don’t create masterpieces every single time! Explore a lot of different mediums in order to find your niche.
I decided to pass the buck on this question and ask my 6 and 8 year old children. My son said to practice drawing everything and look at things very carefully. My daughter said whether you draw, paint, or sculpt, you should start with something you’re really interested in (in her case, Garfield and Pokemon) and explore it because you make better art when you care about what you’re making. A few minutes later, she also chimed in with, “Oh, and be creative!”
I think there’s a lot of precocious wisdom in their answers: practice, observation, passion, curiosity, a connection to your subject. All children are born artists. (And scientists, too, for that matter.) The secret is to hold onto this wisdom as you grow up.