What the hell does self taught mean anyway? At the pace I’m going self taught mostly means eating whole boxes of oreos and feeling bad about myself. No instagram moments here. But the truth is, self taught doesn’t actually give any guidance. And learning to draw or paint needs that. It needs a road map. I’ve tried a few roadmaps but I’m discovering that “Paint every day” or “follow your bliss” are both relatively useless for me. They might not be useless for you, but they are 100% at this point useless to me. I thrive on outside structure. Give me a classroom and I am a student pro. Ask me to be self guided...truly self guided...and I look like a slacker in the back row. I didn’t realize how much that would $#@! with my self identity. The past few months says otherwise.
I knew (know) intellectually that I’m still adjusting to full time artist life. But I’m also realizing that I won’t make it very far if I don’t figure out how to feel good at the end of most days. Feeling good can’t rely on the quality of art I create that day. There’s still too much I have to learn before I get anywhere near that point. (If I ever get anywhere near that point.) It has to be based on small, reachable building blocks. I have to get in the habit of doing those building blocks every day and then train myself to feel good because of those small accomplishments.
October was my painting a day challenge. November is my back to (self-taught) school challenge. I’m focusing on four areas. Basic drawing. Art history. Marketing. Artist’s life. It seriously may be a month of drawing circles and reading about romanticism, but that’s OK. Somewhere in December I’ll have some pretty bad ass sphere shading and I’ll be able to mispronounce a bunch of italian names. That is progress toward being a professional artist. Even if it’s some relatively small steps (like finishing a book), it’ll be a step. And a blah blah blah a thousand steps begins with one something what?
Now excuse me while I go listen to Blind Spot and draw a bunch of circles.