Self Taught Artists
The term of "self-taught artist" makes me cringe. Most of the artists that describe themselves as self-taught have art that has potential but just seems to fall flat. Looking at the art makes me feel incomplete in some sense: composition, color, balance, or materials. The art could be so much better, so much more, but the self-taught artist cannot see the possibilities because they refuse to come out of their world and explore the work of others, take lessons, read books, watch videos, etc. Even during less technological times, artists still taught themselves and learned from other artists. Talent is not enough, whether it is in art, sports, business, etc
Talent is Not Enough
Talent is something most people consider as you either have it or you don't. Talent is something that makes a skill a little more special - like the difference between me trying to be graceful on a bicycle and someone who just takes the bicycle and makes it look like they are dancing. I might have the skill to ride a bike (Andy calls me "Lacking Grace) - but you can tell that I struggle. I have the skill, not the talent. Andy rides rings around me while waiting for me to catch up to him...he has a talent for body movement and the skill for riding a bicycle. Switch gears: give Andy a paint brush and he might struggle if asked to draw while using a paint brush is easy for me. Skills help bolster talent. Skills and techniques help someone express themselves, whether it be in art, sports, business, etc.
|Art in progress with artist's feet ©2011 by Angeline|
Make Talent Shine
I am a self-taught talented artist (hope you think so, too). I enjoy learning, stretching, reading, and getting critiques about art. Skills and techniques in my arsenal help me express my feelings, stories, desires, needs, frustrations, and imagination. Without those techinques, what I draw may inspire me, but what is drawn may not express the inspiration.
A mom friend recently wrote me an email that included "[my daughter, age 5, is] learning technique and would rather draw whatever inspires her at the moment, but she's learning that technique is the foundation so she's quickly coming around [sic]." My reply was to encourage to use technique when she draws whatever inspires her!!! Both inspiration and technique work together to create a better skill set and make talent shine.
Podcast about Fine Art Degrees
There was a podcast about the difference between artists who obtain degrees in art and those who "self-teach." If you care to listen, click here. The link will take to Art Heroes, and there is an "explicit" sticker. If you don't mind an occasional, well placed curse word, the hour will cover my opinion. I may not have an art degree, but Andy and mi Mama can tell you that I am constantly trying to learn more art techniques, art history, and skills. Maybe I am teaching myself, but it is a form of education.
Do you think there are categories of "self-taught" in the art world? What about in other worlds such as writing, sports, and photography? What is something you have taught yourself?
Angeline Marie of
Angeline Marie Fine Art