I'm just wondering if there are any professional self taught artists on here, or artists that have had very little schooling.
If so, I'd like to ask you how long it took you to get where your at?
I'm not a pro, I'm a beginner, I do manage to make some money off what I can do so far,
tho may aim is higher of course, and I am completely self taught. Haven't taken a formal
lesson in my life...and it shows!
In any case, there are plenty of folks who are self taught and have an awesome
level. How long it takes has much to do with how much effort you put in it and keep on
putting in it.
For instance, you may spend 3 weeks copying arm anatomy, many angles, many poses,
reading, studying, and you manage to draw a great arm from memory and it helps you
understand how to draw it from life. I guarantee you, that if you don't draw another arm
for 2 months you'll find yourself asking where that damn branchialis goes!
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You may do all the work but no professional is REALLY self taught. If they ever did anatomy studies from another artist's work, or watched a tutorial or anything like that, then they aren't completely self taught.
I just think the idea of being "self taught" is irrelevant in this age of vast amount of connectivity and information. Browsing conceptart is essentially years at any school if you utilize all of the information on here.
To add to Jeff's comment: You can have the best instructor in the world or you can pull on the resources of centuries of painting, but at the end of the day it all comes down to what you put into it.
I'm primarily self taught in the sense I never went to art school or got an art degree fromn a college. Once I was hired professionally I started taking workshops but not before. I did attend open life drawing sessions with no instruction from about the age of 15 though which really helped me. I agree with most of the other comments though; school doesn't make arrtists as much as it can save the right kind of person time from reinventing the wheel. Thats only probably 1 or 2% of the people in art school though.
Ultimately though, you have to do the work, process and internalize the examples and lessons...in that sense we are all self taught. But, I have seen many examples of people that basically teach themselves...and sadly far more examples of people who you can show x, y and z and they will go "duh".
It's the old saying of leading a horse to water...you can do it...but the horse has to drink for itself.
i did a car design degree- they didnt teach you anything, they gave you a brief and said come back in 3 weeks with the work. so you had to teach yourself or fail. i just got stoned a lot and nearly fucked it.
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//to add to the discussion: I do wonder though that instructions of a "master" can help tremendously provided that the pupil is committed. I mean if I were to paint something, and someone could point out issues and give tips, wouldn't that be fastening the process compared to having no critique on anything you do (like me) and information in books is obviously general and not specific. It is just a question. It might be that lots of books are just crap. Certainly the Gurney ones are so down-to-the-point that I feel he knows all my issues and questions, and answers them. Maybe individual critique is not necessary?
You guys are true. There's something i believe about art and creativity which is that no one can teach you to do art, you can only learn it from others and yourself.
There is a HUGE difference if we talk about techniques, you can definitively teach techniques, but you can learn techniques from others for sure too.
The problem about teaching is that you must follow a student in every step of the learning process (of a technique) and make sure he get's it by actually trying it, until he reaches the same level of understanding as you. Very few teachers can understand and do this and we usually call them masters. (Source: Me, a life spent to become a great teacher one day before realizing that wasn't possible in my country...)
Unfortunately today most of us become self taught cause of this, i've learned everything i could about drawing techniques in my first 2 years of high school (cause i found 2 good masters) and i spend every year untill now teaching myself.
So my answer about the question is that you can save time about learning techniques if you found a master to teach you.
The thing about learning art (and a lot of other skilled trades) is that you have to learn actively. YOU have to put in the effort of trying to understand what teachers/books/etc. are trying to tell you, YOU have to put in the practice and make the mistakes and learn from the mistakes... More often than not, you'll have to heckle your teachers and ask a lot of questions to drag the info you need out of them; or you may have to hunt down better teachers and bug them.
It's not something you can learn by being a passive vessel to be filled up with memorized facts. Teachers and books and things are there to help, but you have to do the bulk of the work yourself.
In my school, a lot of us had the same teachers and classes, and some students never progressed at all while others went above and beyond expectations. The ones who made progress were the ones actively participating in classes and putting in a lot of personal effort on homework. The ones who didn't get anywhere were the ones who sat passively in class expecting to be told what to do, and putting in a bare minimum of effort on homework.
It's not unlike learning music. You can have the best teacher in the world, but if you're not putting in hours of practice between classes, you ain't getting nowhere.
Though at the same time, you can't depend on teachers to spot EVERYTHING that needs improvement. You have to actively criticize yourself constantly. I had some really helpful teachers who gave me plenty of good advice, but even so, there were some issues they didn't catch that I wish they had... (I figured out some of the overlooked issues eventually, but it took a while.) But hey, teachers aren't omniscient.
I think any artist who gives a damn is constantly self-criticizing and looking for areas that need improvement... No matter what stage they're at...
Is it really necessary to scan in your beginning work? At that point there is nothing specific that someone will be able to critique you on because you'll be bad at everything. You know you have to practice x, y, and z in general so you don't need to go around showing your work to everyone, and if you don't need to show your work around just yet why do you need a scanner?
Use recycled paper. You'll have some cents left to buy potato chips.
Learning via digital will slow you down and hinder your progress.
Alright, I think if I make a decision to go for this I'll start out with paper and pencils.
Do you know any forums online that are for COMPLETE beginners in learning how to draw art?
Thanks for the post by the way.
I'd say pretty much all artists are self taught. All art school does is kick your butt into action and force you to keep working, but you still have to do all the hard work and pretty much all of the studying yourself.
My instructors at school have told me literally the same things as people have been telling me in this site's critique section. They would point out a few flaws, recommend books for you to buy and if you're lucky tell you of a couple of useful studies you could do. If you count that as not being self taught, I guess nobody is since practically everyone's gotten critique from someone at some point.
That's interesting. So what kind of hours do you practice each day to insure you pass your exams and all that?