Being Self-Taught

May 9, 2019

What defines being self taught when it comes to art? Some people believe that having no higher education in art means being self taught. If that is the case, I am self taught, but I think that statement is very misleading. 

As soon as I hit middle school and art was an option as an elective class, I started taking every single art class I could fit into my schedule. I continued to do this through high school and my last year of high school I was fortunate enough to take an independent study where I chose my medium, oil paint, and I got to paint two hours a day with the guidance of my teacher.

Even though I did not pursue art as a college major, the instruction I had in high school was invaluable. It gave me the opportunity to try a lot of mediums I would never have had the chance to try otherwise. It taught me the basics of composition and color theory and even some art history.  I went to two different junior highs and two different high schools so I had several art teachers who gave me the benefit of multiple opinions. This is where I learned how to take a critique without taking it personally, and it’s where I found most of my friends.

Although I don’t have a formal education to list on a resume, I did have really important teachers that helped me fall in love with creating. If you have the opportunity to get a formal education in art, please take it, but if you don’t, do not lose hope. Work hard. Study your favorite artists. Use the fundamental skills you learned in high school and you can have a successful art career.