Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Search for:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > The Learning Center > Student's Dorm
User Name
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Bad Post  
Old 11-13-2016, 07:54 PM
Mblick's Avatar
Mblick Mblick is offline
New Member
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 23
Question Planning to avoid art school and teach myself instead... any suggestions or tips


I am a young artist who cannot afford to go to art school as reality brings to me.

I am also disabled with fibromyalgia.

I was wondering how I can make friends with other artists to get tips and ideas of how to go about a self-education in art.

I have looked into what some art school curriculums, but it doesnt provide much input...
I was tempted to just continue creating art, reading some books about different techniques...but theres also the social aspect of art school that ill be lacking.

I live far from art students etc.

Please give me some input and tips. thank you.
"I put my heart and soul into my work, and I have lost my mind in the process." -Vincent Van Gogh
Reply With Quote
  #2   Report Bad Post  
Old 11-14-2016, 03:31 AM
wdaniels wdaniels is offline
Veteran Member
Cazenovia, NY
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 675
Hails from United States
Re: Planning to avoid art school and teach myself instead... any suggestions or tips

It's easier than ever before to be self taught. There is a wealth of information available now online for free.

The term "art" nowadays can mean anything, so what you study depends on what type of art you want to do. If you are planning on being a realist, I can't emphasize learning to draw enough. 98% of the problems people have learning to paint would be taken care of if they had bothered to learn to draw fist. If you are leaning toward an abstract or primitive style, drawing becomes less important. I would pick artists you admire and study what they did to be where they are.

As far as the social aspect, That depends on your location, but I've found that artists tend to find each other. You can obviously join artists groups and take workshops if they are available in your area.

Having other artists input is not all it's cracked up to be either, since most of us are biased to our own style and methods and that includes professional instructors. No matter how good someone is at their art, their approach is not necessarily going to fit you.

Last edited by wdaniels : 11-14-2016 at 03:33 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3   Report Bad Post  
Old 11-22-2016, 08:59 AM
Use Her Name's Avatar
Use Her Name Use Her Name is offline
A WetCanvas! Patron Saint
The Land of Enchantment
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,294
Hails from United States
Re: Planning to avoid art school and teach myself instead... any suggestions or tips

University level art school? Or specialized art school?

My experience is of University Level Art School. Fully 1/2 to 3/4 of the classes were not art related. They were "core curriculum." Then you had to take art history classes, and some kind of non-visual related art, like theater. This left you with approximately 27 or so (it's been awhile) credit hours of actual "art."

For which you had to take: intro to design and design 2
drawing 1, and 2

that takes up 12 credit hours right there:

in the end, you would have painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, or whatever you wanted to actually study at the end.

So,yeah, you could definitely become good at those things with books, and videos, and perhaps some classes.

What you get from college is a "Credential." I have a BA in English, an M.ed. and I will be finishing a BFA-- for which I have approximately 12 credits to go, as well as a math class. The credential (BFA) in art is right next to the terminal degree. Fine arts only give out BFA, and MFA. This would open the door for jobs. It also opens the door for various galleries. I was just reading an article where a very high ranked gallery turned down someone because she did not have an "art degree."

Student Aid is available for students to go to school.

Disability does not matter. Colleges go out of their way to help people with disabilities. The main thing is whether you can get to school and back, and do the work required.

I never really knew about the social aspect of art. You do meet more artists, and job contacts are the most important. Many of these artists are no further along than you, and cannot be helpful in your career at all. In fact, most people who go to school for art do not get jobs in art after school. This is the case for most of these degrees.

Community college is another route you may think of going. It is often very cheap, and art is taught there too.
Making art since 1973-ish
Blog under reconstruction
Reply With Quote
  #4   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-21-2016, 04:36 AM
allforthree's Avatar
allforthree allforthree is offline
New Member
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 9
Re: Planning to avoid art school and teach myself instead... any suggestions or tips

I always point people in the direction of Coursera....not just for art related things but the whole spectrum of knowledge. Plenty of art history courses on there alongside some more practical lectures and conceptual courses. My one big tip would also be to set up a dedicated working space to help you better concentrate. Get a decent lamp for working late into the night and surround youraelf with the tools you need and a few books for inspiration. Keep everything close to hand so when you're inspired, you can get straight to work.
Reply With Quote
  #5   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-28-2016, 08:23 AM
Lpaint22's Avatar
Lpaint22 Lpaint22 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 94
Re: Planning to avoid art school and teach myself instead... any suggestions or tips

My suggestion is to go to a community college. Many have wonderful art programs and are not all that expensive. If you can not afford to go full time, then start out by taking one or 2 courses.
Follow core curriculum. In my opinion, there is no substitute for a classroom experience. You will not only benefit from what the teacher has to offer, but the camaraderie and contact from other students is very important.
Reply With Quote
  #6   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-31-2016, 07:27 PM
Ebowalker's Avatar
Ebowalker Ebowalker is offline
Veteran Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 559
Hails from Canada
Re: Planning to avoid art school and teach myself instead... any suggestions or tips

Hi Mblick! I was self taught for 4 years and when I got out of the military, I went to a college Fine Arts program.
The major difference is that you try many art styles you would probably never try. I've done sculpting , print screening, lino, paper cutting, plaster molds, all sorts of styles I never would have tried. They supply all the materials.

Also, learning from the University of Youtube is great, but you often bounce around a lot and you may not get the basics. The basics are very important, i never thought I'd learn anything from painting monochrome pears, but I sure did. I never did a still life before but now i see why artists do them.

Any professional program will help you put together a professional portfolio and give you access to artists who actually sell or exhibit their art. And you will also learn how to look at any painting and give a formal analysis and critique of other's artwork.

You will be surprised what will spark something in you when you are in a program. I came out of the army with a lot of issues, and during last semester i tore my knee ligaments while getting on a bus with all the supplies we have to carry with us. It's been tough to attend, but they make accommodations for you and the other students really helped a lot.

Lachri Fine Art is a young woman who turned to art because she dealt with a lot of pain. Just google her and her story and you will be inspired.

Don't let pain or poverty ruin your life, esp at a young age. Go talk to the advisors at a college. It's worth a trip.
My art therapy blog: http://cadpaint.wordpress.com/
My pet portrait website: http://veteranpetportraits.wordpress.com/
Reply With Quote
  #7   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-20-2017, 09:08 AM
it'sALLart's Avatar
it'sALLart it'sALLart is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 4,530
Hails from United States
Re: Planning to avoid art school and teach myself instead... any suggestions or tips

Originally Posted by Use Her Name
I was just reading an article where a very high ranked gallery turned down someone because she did not have an "art degree."

I know this is an old post, but I'd love to be directed toward that article if you can remember it.

Keith J. Hampton's Website
Reply With Quote
  #8   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-28-2018, 07:22 PM
Harmony24's Avatar
Harmony24 Harmony24 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 50
Hails from Philippines
Re: Planning to avoid art school and teach myself instead... any suggestions or tips

Here's my biggest tip for you: Don't consider your disabilities as disabilities. Think of them as beautiful additions to the person you are. Once you establish that, you can see the beauty in everything and you will cherish your art more and more. One more thing: never, ever limit yourself. Ever.
"As artists, it is our job to show people the world from a different set of eyes."
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:39 PM.

© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.