People that are “self-taught” know what a ridiculous that monniker is. We are all self-taught. I knew a few really good technology executives that didn’t even graduate high school. They picked up a book, learned to code, and kept learning. Software was as close to a meritocracy as you could get – either you knew what you were doing or your plainly didn’t because failure was obvious and bullshit was easily detectible by those that knew something.
The bubble is going to burst on higher learning. When I can learn Calculus from a leading mathemetician at MIT for 100th of the cost of taking that class at a university, why would I pay for it? The textbooks haven’t changed dramatically, the teacher at the local college may not understand it as well or explain it with passion. Youtube gives me the basics, I can pay to take an interactive course or simply pay for a learning library of youtube videos.
I guess I feel that I have learned so much from Atelier artists and my gallery directors and online, and I am continuing to learn constantly. The academic fundamentals of drawing the figure, or classic painting techniques are readily available and I picked them up from every book and video I could find. But that stuff is just the beginning. If you don’t develop a network of people that have experience that teach you how to build and run an art business, you will forever be at 101.
I guess that was the revelation for me as I looked at this entourage of people out of Atlanta, New Orleans, and Seatte. A group of truly worthy friends and mentors who believed in me and my art that all wanted me to succeed. That is what I did not have or know how to cultivate in the software world. The knowledge that I have created something tangible that has value, and that other people believe that too, and that they love and support me. Sorry but that is a Riches-to-Rags-Feel-Good-Story which I think is a pretty rare one in America these days. How can your lose wealth and learn to feel better about yourself and the people around you. That is a gift not many people in the software world will ever have.