The Self-Taught Artist

The Art Advice I Keep Hearing

Gouache Zorn Palette

For the past few years I’ve listened to hundreds of podcasts searching for clues, paths, assurance but most of all, company. We know that art students have the environment where they connect with teachers and other students and they spend four years doing art full-time.

The self-educated artists have to go it alone, and unless we are super extroverted or have already joined a community during our school years, it’s very hard to create that group of people with whom you can exchange ideas, experiment and share your findings in your art practice.

Add to that any of the following: you moved countries, you have a day job, you are at a different stage in life (empty nest, retirement, change of career, etc.) and the search for peers and kindred spirits gets really challenging.

This is why I decided to create my Patreon page. I knew that by keeping it closed, away from Facebook, with a modest subscription I could create my little community. I toyed about creating a Mighty Network but it seemed too complex, I toyed with creating an online course but I don’t feel qualified to teach.

Mostly I feel like sharing.

I have a studio full of treasures and the main goal is to use them and make what comes out naturally.

I started making videos very timidly, as some of you know I have a voice problem and in the beginning I didn’t really want to speak. But as I went along and Patrons commented and asked questions, I decided to start narrating a bit more what I was doing.

It’s a funny thing, when you face your fear and you do the thing that makes you most afraid. It suddenly gets easier.

The art advice is the same in each podcast: you need a community of people to bounce ideas with. You don’t always need to join a program or a course to find that. The courses end, they have a lot of rules and most of the times, the instructor isn’t really there. I’ve been supporting a few Patreon accounts and the possibility to message the creator and get a response is what keeps me there. Plus, it’s the informal nature of the platform: you can produce fantastic videos or you can simply be yourself, with the bumps on the road. I prefer to keep it real.

Here is a little peek into one of the exclusive videos.

Since July, during my social media break I was able to create 41 posts, more than in four or five years of blogging.

So if you’re feeling a bit isolated in your art practice, come and join us.