Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Blockbuster Dream of a Self Taught Artist

In the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness,” Will Smith talks to his son about his dreams. 
He says: "Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something. Not even me. All right? You got a dream? You gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period."
© Treading in unknown waters, one baby step at a time.
My big dream: to be a successful artist.

In the recent past I have had varied conversation with friends and colleagues about Art, the process of creating art and an art degree. I have been advised by a few to seriously consider going back to school to get a degree in art and have been rejected by galleries for the pure lack of a degree, NOT talent.

I have seen the work of so many self taught artists which are compelling, sincere and full of raw charm that can rival that of a trained artist any day. A self-taught artist also has a voice, has a lifetime of learning to learn and share.

I guess my question here is: Do you need to have a formal degree to call yourself an Artist?
Is our passion for art limited to just paint and canvas and technique or is it about the artist, their stories and the connection we all share?

Does an average art collector buy a piece of art because its made by a famous artist or because it speaks to him/her?

Why does a successful HR professional suddenly find her muse and begin painting?
What gives this self taught artist the courage and motivation to express herself visually, without the sanction of a formal education and without fear of reproach?

And if our ancestors, who painted on cave walls let formal education get in their way of expression, would we really be having this discussion now?

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