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  #16   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-24-2011, 12:37 AM
GlennM GlennM is offline
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Re: Defining "Self Taught Artist"

To my way of thinking, a person born on an island, never being exposed to art, who then does art is not self-taught. He is self-discovered, self-enlightened, self anything other than taught. Teaching is leading others(or yourself) through a corpus of knowledge that already exists. Teaching is passing on (or learning) the discoveries of those who went before you, not discovering new things yourself. If you guide yourself through the corpus of art knowledge passed on from others, then you are self taught. If you go on to discover something new that someone else has never done, then that is invention, not teaching.
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:07 PM
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Oilartnelson Oilartnelson is offline
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Re: Defining "Self Taught Artist"

As far as these islands go, Wow! Is it really that complex?

Someone taught us all how to hold a pencil or use coloring crayons at an early age. Does that ruin our ability to call ourselves self taught artists?
I go with weather one has been formally trained or not.

High school art classes don't go far for me. There you may get less than one hour a day for half a year, in which you may learn nothing of oil painting! If that's all one has had I would consider myself a self taught artist.

For as much as there is to learn about art, you can't get all that knowledge even after your P.H.D.! Though, if I had a B.A. in Art, I would say that is good enough to call oneself formally trained. Though, like any musician knows, it is a life long discipline, and there will always be more to learn. I will die knowing that my next piece of work would have been better than the last.
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:48 AM
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chrismc chrismc is offline
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Re: Defining "Self Taught Artist"

Agree with oilartnelson. For formally trained you're looking at college. Calling youself a formally trained artist after high school is like me calling myself a formally trained mathematician.

In the UK(Scotland at least) after 16 you can leave school. If you decide to stay (till age 18) things get progressively harder and you can do things in school that are almost the same as year 1 at art college. That's more formal but a basic grounding till age 16 is nowhere near it.

Oh and I call myself self taught because what I learned was eseentialy found on my own through pursuit of knowledge and using the term automatically makes people understand I have no formal training. Just like I'm a self taught musician.

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Old 05-03-2011, 05:35 PM
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lovin art lovin art is offline
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Re: Defining "Self Taught Artist"

Originally Posted by East89
and when it comes down to it, its all about practice.

I agree totally best statement on here , and being a full timE art student myself, its this practice every day ,that makes a marked improvement in all areas of art ....
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:33 PM
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Re: Defining "Self Taught Artist"

I think we are all self taught. We find instruction (normally) in one form or another...books, videos, critiques, institutions). What works for some does not work for others. -and no way is inferior to another. I get really peaved when someone looks down & treats someone poorly for not being formally educated. It's a real quick way for me to never look at thier work again.

Personally, I had some really awesome art teachers in school, but i did not pursue art in college. I have friends who, like me, did not go to college... And i have friends & relatives who have degrees. I fit in well with both. I consider myself "self taught" because most of what i do now escapes the realm of my high school art. Even though it's my foundation. Don't you just hate labels? I know I do! lol

Sorry for my lack of caps, i'm texting this from my phone & it's annoying enough to type long, let alone fix every typo.


Last edited by deapea : 05-18-2011 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:16 AM
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scottbaird scottbaird is offline
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Re: Defining "Self Taught Artist"

"An artist who is self-taught is taught by a very ignorant person indeed." -John Constable.

Socio-political Printmaker in Calgary, Canada
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:59 PM
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DominicM DominicM is offline
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Re: Defining "Self Taught Artist"

I only just passed my art in Highschool because to quote the examiner: "I showed originality by sculpting the exam piece in modeling clay rather than drawing it because my drawing level was well below average"

to that extent when I took up art again in 2004 after 20 year gap I do view myself as self-taught - but the input and encouragement I have had in these forums has been invaluable, flint sharpens flint, we all affect and infect each other and you have influenced me..
All Comments & Criticism welcome, love it or hate it I wish to know

Never deprive someone of hope - it may be all they have. Unknown.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:11 PM
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jacasteel jacasteel is offline
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Re: Defining "Self Taught Artist"

I know I am a bit late to this discussion but I feel I have a bit to add. I considered myself self taught for many years, and to be honest my paintings reflected that fact. I had the so called "natural" ability but being self-taught I was trapped in my own bubble. Imagine a watercolor artist trying to mix the lessons of Ron Ranson and Bob Ross. In the words of Dr. Phil, "How's that workin' for ya?" To make a long story short I ended up working under a person that I would call a Master Watercolorist for about 3 years. I am not sure that I would still be painting now 25 years later without that time spent in her studio. I have now come full circle and I again become self taught. Now that there are water mixable oils I am finally trying oils. I seriously doubt that I will find another artist to apprentice under now that I am in my 50s, but I will take a few workshops.
I am not against taking art in a college or university setting, I just think you can learn much more about your craft as an apprentice if you have the chance.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:40 AM
pamici pamici is offline
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Re: Defining "Self Taught Artist"

OK, what if I want to create a course of self-study? Do you believe in a hierarchy of skills? Would you say it goes: drawing-painting-sculpture? With a lot of art history & gallery-going in between?
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:02 PM
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calin4thewin calin4thewin is offline
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Re: Defining "Self Taught Artist"

I think it's a matter of degrees. The more GOOD formal schooling one gets (from competent, active, interested teachers) the less self-taught one can say they are, at least in the fields that were covered well in school.

I for one have only 1 year of painting behind me, whereas most of my colleagues have 5+. To make matters worse, I'd say no more than 20% of the teachers we have actually do something useful with our time there, the rest don't really seem to care (or are themselves clueless and should not be teaching at all).

So I invested most of my summer vacation into setting up a home studio, painting as much as possible, reading and viewing video tutorials with various techniques, and looking into things that aren't covered at all in school (like selling one's art online for instance).

Even in school, whenever possible, I'd reduce time spent in boring useless classes and either put in time at the easel, or hunt down other teachers, asking for feedback and advice, even if I wasn't in their class. I got a lot of useful info that way, info that my colleagues may not ever get, for lack of initiative and just thinking inside the box.

If I make things work as an artist and am successful a few years down the line, I will NOT consider myself a fine product of the school I attended. I will of course be grateful to the few teachers that actually contributed to my skills and education, but I'll say that I am self-taught in all the other areas.
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:33 PM
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LostInWonderArt LostInWonderArt is offline
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Re: Defining "Self Taught Artist"

I agree that self-taught pertains to formal art training. It may be through reading, viewing, discussing, but not having gone to a formal art program.

I think Outsider and Folk Art pertain to people who have never had anything shown to them. People who represent these types of artists are very careful to be sure that they don't affect the artwork that is beign produced. It's so hard these days, I think, for a true folk artist to exist. It's too easy to see or hear information about how work should be imporved.

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