Art schools provide students with structure and professional feedback, but they’re not the only way forward for artists looking to develop their skills. Teaching yourself is more viable than ever thanks to an explosion of easily accessible, affordable online learning materials, and it’s an approach that gives artists greater freedom to explore and develop their own unique voice.
Of course, the two routes aren’t mutually exclusive. But for artists short on time and money, or those looking to switch into an artistic career, the idea that you can teach yourself is especially appealing.
“It’s not easy to do it on your own,” stresses Irina French, who self-taught out of a desire to save money and look after her baby. “It takes courage and a great deal of hope, a lot of determination, as well as self-discipline.”
Craww agrees: “A desire to progress and willingness to fail are all essential!” Having quit graphic design out of frustration to pursue art, he wanted to learn on his own terms. “There are times when I’ve wished I’d had more of a formal training, when I would have benefitted from a little more practical tuition, but overall I’m happy with where I’m at.”
“I can see where higher education would have been beneficial in learning more quickly,” adds Lisa Hansen, who always saw art school as an impossible aspiration. “But on the other hand, experimenting with different mediums guided by my own needs and whims is what led me to discover what works best in terms of achieving self-expression.”
THE RIGHT MINDSET
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