Are You Formally Trained or Self-Taught?

I’ve been asked this question by a handful of folks over the years, and I think it’s kind of a set-up for positioning or pigeonholing the artist (round peg) into an inappropriate creative demographic (square hole). Training also makes me think of dogs and other cage-restricted animals. Creative education I feel is an ongoing process, whereby the individual absorbs over time the tools, techniques, and such ingredients that eventually become the bread that slowly rises. To assume that the training an individual would receive in one of our “Art” institutions in four, six, or even eight years would be enough to make him or her eligible for productive, creative dispensation for the next fifty years presupposes the individual’s propensity for adaptation and individuality and, in essence, makes the question rather moot. To think of it a different way: self-taught or formally trained, if there is no creative egg in the individual to begin with, I believe there will be no hatching of art. So…..where was I? Oh, yeah, I’m kind of self-taught with a little training thrown in.

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