I’m one of those people that, when they decide on a hobby or profession, must know EVERYTHING about it. I’m the first in line to book into a course as I feel it gives me more confidence in the area if I think I’ve studied it. I’ve done this with fitness, project management, lighting, dog washing – you name it, I’ve done it!
Except for art…
I just can’t bring myself to take art classes. I’ve enquired a few times but never followed through. Here’s why.
I consider whatever creative or artistic ability I may have as a genetic “gift”. Some people inherit their mother’s fine hair, their father’s height or their grandmother’s stubborness. I think art is like singing or blue eyes – you are either born with it or not. I believe you can tweak some techniques to get a better outcome but on the whole I don’t think you can be taught to paint or draw.
My fear with art classes is that someone would tell me that what I’m doing is crap or wrong. Can art be wrong? Isn’t it personal expression in whatever form you choose? Isn’t experimentation part of the creativity journey?
Imagine if Picasso went to art school (maybe he did?), I can just picture the teacher taking one look at his “cubism” work and saying “whoa dude, that woman you painted is totally out of whack – what’s going on there?!” (Or maybe “man, your rooster drawing looks like a squiggle!).
Imagine what would be lost if artists were trained in a specific way and couldn’t experiment freely, without boundaries.
I don’t want to BE Picasso or BE Emma Hack. Don’t get me wrong, I’d LOVE to have their skill and creativity (even 1% would be great!) but I do want to create my own work – good or bad. I hope that the people I create for will like what I do but mostly I hope I like what I produce. I don’t want to be someone else. If I went to “art school” I’d be scared that my work would no longer be my own as I’d pick up the vibe, style and technique of the teacher.
On the flip side I think that some aspects can be taught, maybe even need to be. For example, mosaic – I could do a course on that because I’d want to find out what sort of glue, tiles and other materials to use or how best to cut tiles etc. Or if I wanted to air-brush I’d need to know about the gun, the paint etc – how it works, how to set it up, what paint to use etc.
I really want to be better at what I like doing artistically. Is there a proper way to hold a brush, apply a brush stroke or mix paint and would knowing this improve my results? But is it a case of practice, experiment, trial and error or do I need to attend a course? Would training, schooling or courses limit natural ability or enhance it?