Re: Tips for self taught artists
I left a fairly good art school because of what I perceived as trying too much to influence my art. There is quite a difference in "Academic" art, as opposed to just experimenting and doing your own thing. I think that in that case "Art School" is useless unless you wish to teach, and what you are teaching is actually only one "version," of art-- that which Academia has blessed.
Not that I do not appreciate the idea of education, but education is a loaded word. Educators are compelled to restrict their ideas and views. They must "publish or die," they are fairly conservative, and want to keep their jobs so they take few risks. -- I mean, that is the reality. They also want to continue looking good to their superiors-- so this is another reason to toe the party line so to speak.
In a way, formal education does not teach as much as mythologized. Technique is taught, but often on a level that is relative to the interest of the student. So they will show you how to cut an etching plate, burnish the edges, use the acid, use the press, but the actual art is not part of the training. They want you to use the process as perfectly as possible: getting the deepest blacks, or the perfect gradations or whatever you are studying at the moment. But the style and the subject matter is up to the student.
So, in a way, you do not even really learn "ART" at Art school, you learn the mechanics of techniques. You learn "good practice" of a skill. You learn how to use tools.
So all artists are self-taught even when they go to art school because so much of the development of technique and style is by personal dedication, will, and influences that you choose (or you are forced to use).
In the same way, if you go to get a BFA in creative writing, no one really cares about the story you are writing-- they want to see a good use of technique. (I moved from art school to writing school-- not that it is obvious from some of my writing.