Monday, 30 May 2011

Self Education Survival Guide - Part 1

Self Education, will stand you in good stead all life long as a artist, although if you have the financial means, perhaps a art education will help accelerate your path and thus be a worthy investment.

Nevertheless, let us look at Self Education as a viable creative means of the modern digital artist.
Especially if one enjoys the lifestyle of a truly mobile artist that can survive and paint anywhere, thus being able to enjoy roaming from say games to film to animation all offsite or onsite.

Also, one should note that there are essentially THREE types of artist towards which, the self educated route may differ in terms of education, continuing education and lifestyle
  1. The Illustrator
  2. The Concept/Animation Artist
  3. The Production Artist


In the internet age, a good friend said:
well to be honest... i don't think where you are locally makes a huge impact nowadays.... work hard, make good arts and put it online!
To this I would say:

The majority of work relies of the artist education themselves lifelong, and to a large extent this is good in a freelance capacity and building a reputation for themselves to the point they join a studio or continue their current course.

The slight drawback is, working in isolation can limit a artists growth and eventually they might feel the natural inclination to reach out to other local artists. There is a certain organic growth of bouncing off ideas, or even showing off a sketch to receive some sort of feedback from other artists that allows for a different mindset and perspective to kindle a artists growth.


As a self educated artist, one needs to develop a disciplined routine.

You need to establish a "work space" that represents your studio, ensure adequate breaks and when work is all done, be able to step away from the work - to return to sociable non artistic activities.

Afterall, the artist is really the sum of their life experience. Thus to fill their ideas, imagination and creative juices, alternative everyday life stimulation is vital!


Common things being common, its no secret of how you get yourself a foot into the industry.
"work hard, make good arts and put it online!" seems to sum it all up in a nutshell. What this means essentially is.

//////// BUILD A VISUAL PORTFOLIO ////////
Without a basic stall to showcase your wares, no one can see the budding promise and talent that you are. With arts, its really straightforward - and there are multiple online websites to portray your works ranging from personal websites to online art communities eg. cghub

//////// Network ////////
Once you have your visual portfolio in place, do your best to go out there, meet fellow artists, participate in artistic communities and attend local/international events. This will not only educate you in the current pulse of the moment, but provide immeasurable first hand information about current trends, obtain invaluable artistic feedback and provide a firsthand social humanistic aspect that helps represents yourself as a artist.
People being people, love to work with reliable sociable creative talent and putting a name to a face means in the future, the relationship can work at both a personable and professional capacity.

The community itself is relatively modest to small, and with time you will find you bump into the same folk over and over again. Thus, all those initial choices add up and can help improve your career, or destroy a career depending on your work ethic, and choices.

//////// Can't Please Everyone ////////
Perhaps, one can only try your best.
Be professional at all times and make every art asset, art piece and project a lifelong learning experience. For it takes many years to build a solid reputation, but a instant to cast a long shadow of doubt.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this. I'm self taught and am making my way through college in a very self directed way. It helps a lot reading advice on freelancing and education. I've drawn on my own for years and thus I feel like a bit of a hack, but the more I learn about others in the industry, the more I realize there is no one way to successfully become a concept artist.