Uh oh I'm totally guilty of being a bad student and I didn't even know it!
After buying Suzi Blu's book Mixed Media Girls I started following her blog, sometimes confronting, often deeply personal, but always real (have a look you'll love her or loathe her) - I quickly became a fan of this brutally honest, brave woman who creates amazing art. Well imagine my surprise when while reading her recent post, I saw this...
"Some of these people tell me that they couldn't draw a face before taking my classes, and yet I see those very same students in Somerset Studio Magazine describing themselves as "self taught". There is no difference between me teaching you in one of my classes online and you taking a class in a college. I teach real stuff. This is not crafting - I teach you how to draw and shade and paint."
OMG I'm guilty of that! OK well not exactly that perhaps, but along those lines - what an eye opener!!! If you've ever read my 'About' section you will see I describe myself as 'self taught' and 2 years ago that was completely true, but since then I've taken heaps of online classes and even my very first actual real life class. I'm ALWAYS completely dedicated to acknowledging when an idea or technique I'm presenting came from someone else, or was even inspired by someone else (even it it doesn't follow their actual technique), it's the respectful thing to do. Which is why that one paragraph in that blog post shocked me so much, that's not me - I do not misrepresent myself - why hadn't I thought about the 'self taught' line like that before!
So as of today the 'self taught' is vanishing from my bio and will never appear again. Honestly I won't miss it, as it was there as sort of an explanation/apology in case I did anything the rest of the world knew was 'wrong' but I didn't since I hadn't had any formal training. In the future I will describe myself as a
Sparkly Experimentalist: ie an 'experimental artist who loves sparkles'
('cause all the coolest people have their own word for what they do - Jane Davenport (Artmologist) etc... )
A self taught artist no longer! WHY - well because some of the classes I've taken have actually been life changing and I feel it's only right to acknowledge the hard work of the amazing teachers I have encountered and their influence on me and my art. Some have taught me to draw, others to appreciate colour in new ways, others layering, some have influenced how I use collage elements or even text. In acknowledging the influence of these amazing people I do not diminish the value or the uniqueness of my own art - rather I proudly stand as part of an artistic collective, who's members can only become better by sharing what we know and creating bonds of genuine appreciation, respect and friendship.
So stand up people, proudly declare yourself as part of the Artistic Collective and share your own art and the art of those that you love, honor and respect, from now on you will see a bit more of that on my blog.
As part of this, I will be listing the artists who have taught me under a new section - 100 Sources of Inspiration and I will even write a few reviews for those classes which I would recommend to others (I'll leave off those classes where I paid my money but received little in return!). I promise to include online, books and live classes where I can - so you can seek out some of these amazing people for yourself and continue with your own art journey!
Thank you Suzi, for pointing out something so obvious that I missed it!