If you’re in STEM, sure, by all means get all the degrees you need. But I may come across as a brutal realist when it comes to art.
I’ve done my art school classes. A whopping two of them. And been friends with Art majors. Not coincidentally, none of them made it in art. Well, maybe a few became teachers.
Art is a craft. It can be taught. Sometimes though, school is the worst place to learn it from.
Gone are the old real art schools. Also gone are the art apprenticeships. That’s where you can really learn formal art training.
Nowadays, art schools have been replaced by politics.
I saw one stupid ass exhibit of a “lesbian bed,” a frilly bed with a blood stain on it. That’s art? Give me a break.
The Post Modernists have completely taken over art schools to the point where you really don’t learn that much. If you’ve just met me, I’ll make one thing clear. I fucking hate the Post Modernists.
I hate their “art.” I hate their architecture. I hate their music.
Everything they do is about some nihilistic bullshit rather than actually producing some real quality.
So, you barely learn anything useful and you’re now $50,000 in debt. Great way to start your adulthood.
So if the schools are dead, how do I learn?
Well, my friends, I got the best possible news for you. The Post Modernists may have taken over the colleges, but they didn’t burn all the books.
You can learn any technique you need from public domain resources. If you absolutely have to have something in a book form, then I highly suggest Dover Publications. I bought everything from art howto books to my Beethoven and Tchaikovsky scores to books on orchestration from them.
Learn what you have to from others. And just start painting.
I’ve painted so many hours that things are now just instinct. I’ve considered making watercolor classes, but decided against it. I’d rather people just painted. That’s how you get better at watercolors (or whatever your art medium is). Heck, that’s how you get better at anything.
And as I said in my previous article, before you get good with art, you have to learn to draw anyways. If you can’t draw, your paintings are going to suck.
Speaking of instinct, the featured image. Two flowers. Work in progress. I instinctively knew how much color to use, how much water to use, which colors to use, and which brushes to use. That’s just something that comes from doing.
That’s four different colors and three different brushes. That’s only a tiny part of a bigger painting too.
(I intentionally left it incomplete with a few problem areas I have to fix and/or cover up. You get to see a work in progress).
If you want to take a specific class on a technique, then by all means, do it! I’d actually highly suggest it. If I ever make lessons, they would be on specific techniques.
But seriously, experience is better anyways. Someone can be an A+ teacher and if the student doesn’t actually do the work, the student gets an F.
And finally, one more point. One hot tip for getting better – copy your favorites. Do you know who your favorite artists are? If you can’t name your favorite artists, then who are you going to emulate?
The beauty of that final point – the more you steal from other artists, the more original you become. I know that sounds counterintuitive but it’s true. I learned that with music and it also applies to painting.