What If I Didn’t Go To Art School?

When you are with a group of artists and they start talking about the art school they attended how do you react?  Since you didn’t go to art school do you wonder if it is something you should do?

How important is “formal art training” ?  Does it make a difference when you try and get into local art shows or galleries?

I am sure it would look great on your resume but the question is…would it improve your art?  Art school is certainly not a requirement to be a successful artist.

There was a time when I considered going to art school as I thought it might help me become a better artist but I changed my mind when I realized that a piece of paper didn’t guarantee great art.

Here are 5 things you can do to help you along your journey…

  • Decide if you are serious about your art.  Learn all you can about the type of art you want to create. 
    If you are interested in abstracts then find an artist you admire and study her art.  If she offers workshops study with her.  Ask lots of questions.
  • Be open to suggestions about your art and open to learning more.  A closed mind never grows. 
    I have witnessed many artists who feel they know more than they actually do.  Always embrace a beginners mind.
  • Understand the Elements and Principles of design and how to  apply them to your paintings.
    Design is the foundation of good art and yes, the rules of design can be broken …but only when you have a full understanding of design.
  • Accept the fact that you will produce many bad paintings.  When I decided I wanted to paint abstracts I studied with abstract artists I admired and guess what….I sucked at painting abstracts!  Seriously, I was horrible but I was determined and never gave up.
  • Prepare for those dreaded rejection letters.  Here is what I did to make them more palatable.  I made a folder called “rejections”.  The folder was a beautiful yellow.  As the rejection letters arrived my file folder grew fatter and fatter. Today this folder is a source of strength and pride.

Here is what you need to remember….you will get rejection letters. They are part of the game but make sure your motto is to Never Give Up.

I am committed to helping you succeed so if you have any questions feel free to email me…gwen@gwenfox.com

Until next time…

Create brilliantly,



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