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Who's Approval are you waiting for?

Who's Approval are you waiting for?

I always get asked where I studied art. What education institute I went to. What Art Degree I have. I had to write an “artist CV” once for a grant opportunity, and gave up when the example they provided said to list your top three formal qualifications … I starred blankly thinking “is it inappropriate to write not applicable”. I kept thinking, am I not a professional artist because I don’t have any formal qualifications?  


Not many people know, but I’ve actually got a university degree (business & marketing… buried somewhere in the back of my closest..) but seriously it hasn't been much help to me, not once did we touch on Social Media marketing – which is my primary source of business for BrightSide Art. With the knowledge I have to grow my business has all been self taught. And I’m constantly learning how to best use platforms like Instagram & Facebook to promote my business, and when those platforms decrease effectiveness, I’ll learn the next one and the next one. And I definitely don’t have any formal training in arts. IN FACT, I failed art in year 10 in high school. And never have I taken any formal training in art technics or history or anything like that.


But I learn, I adapt to my style, I practice and I practice and I practice and I practice …. And I practice some more! That’s my learning, in dedicating my full time job to creating art I have advanced my skills dramatically from when I first made the choice to create art for a living.


I strongly believe in the self taught artist, not to take away from anyone who is traditionally trained. But a lot of self taught artists face the mental challenge – “are we good enough?” this battle means we start looking for internal validation – the ability to look at my work and tell myself “I am good enough” because I am stoked with the art I have created. Each piece of art created means something special to me because it's not just some bullshit "a piece of me" thing - it's actually a message to me sharing my skills, sharing my story & telling myself I've created something special here.


This self taught attitude has pushed me harder & faster towards my goal of a dream life sharing my art. It’s a tough gig, but it’s a rewarding path & an experience I never would have if I decided to go into a formal Art Degree instead of jumping into the deep end and spending the past 12 months learning "on the job" & growing at such a fast pace.


So my point, if you have a passion, look at how you can build I life from your passion. Don’t look for courses to do, or people to ask permission from or schools to attend. Look for the path that will see you learn quickly, embrace the challenge of building your knowledge yourself, don't shy away from failing. The world is full of possibilities to make a living from creativity, look for these and embrace the chance to learn & jump in the deep end.


Stay Rad!

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