Overcoming The Myth Of The Self Taught Artist
I Am A Self-Taught Artist
I honestly used to belief this was true .
While I do not belief that anyone who says this (as I did in the past if I’m being honest) is trying to deceive anyone
It is definitely implying that this is a natural talent that they already have.
What they really mean is that they have not had a teacher and have gained their knowledge from study and practice.
So now that I am a little older a disagree with this notion of a self-taught artist and treat it more like a myth. When you grab a book to study, let’s say its Andrew Loomis’s Successful Drawing, rent you being taught by someone but just second hand ?
I know that there will be a lot of people who disagree with this and that is perfectly fine I am simply stating my own thought process at this moment in time.
The Search For A Teacher
I have been drawing since I can remember and when I was asked “where did you learn that?” I always answered as self-taught neglecting to mention my visual arts teachers in high school, my fellow students, the books I read about the subject and the artist’s I studied. The words of praise and astonishment fueled my ego and instead of seeking outside help and mentorship like I should of. I went down the road of trying to learn everything myself after all I was apparently amazing surely someone would notice my talent and give me a job, right?
Of course this was not reality and also before the internet was widespread as it is now. Back then I had no computer or computer skills and the idea of going to university was forever beyond my reach. It was a very bad time for me, and I ended up working for years letting my skills stagnate and erode away. Not only that but with art being spread by the internet I finally saw what I was competing against and what was the standard that I needed to meet.
It has taken me years of practice. Unlearning and learning to reach where I am today but I am not where I would like to be. I have looked at all the different courses, gone to workshops and learned from various YouTube artists. I can safely say that 90 percent of which was unhelpful or a complete waste of time and money. The workshops I was always just good enough that the teacher didn’t think that I needed help or guidance, so I spent the entire workshop drawing by myself and not improving. The online courses I did was just someone sounding bored drawing a picture and giving out unhelpful advice. And YouTube is just a flood of information with no structure.
So I am out looking for anything that will help me improve and reach that next level. I am looking for a teacher to help me achieve my goals.
What I am trying to achieve in the short term is to create a series of Comics (Manga) I have so many stories I would love to tell. My long-term goal is to create my own school studio. I want to teach people and I want what i have been looking for my entire life, a community moving towards the same goal.
Sounds pretty simple right ?
Unfortunately where I live in Sydney Australia this is not simple at all. The cost of living is incredibly high so I need a full-time job to make ends meet, the culture does not value art and due to this, with the exception of online there are very few communities you can actually meet up with. At least this is my experience.
It appears the only way to break through to people in Australia and have them take notice is not to be just good but exceptional.
And I am far from exceptional.
At the start of 2023 I made the decision to make a blog to use more like an open diary.
While I am honestly not a great writer (as you will probably find out with my poor grammar)
I do believe that my account will be valuable.
I also made the decision to apply for several online classes and document my progress. On top of this I will be reviewing them, so you know if the class is worth the price of admission and if it will genuinely help you.
The first Class I will be taking and reviewing is The Fundamentals of Stylized Character Art By the illustrator Mogoon on Coloso.
Full disclosure I am not being sponsored or paid for any of this and I will disclose any time that I am.
While I am doing this class, I will be implementing my own learning philosophy of.
And creating a one-page comic with what I have learned.
To the Future
My goal for this year is to have released my own one-shot comic and to have a professional portfolio and my plan is to use as many classes as possible and learn from as many places as possible because the idea of the self-taught artist is in my opinion toxic. But a community taught artist I think that is a beautiful thi