TO DEGREE OR NOT TO DEGREE
Written by Ana Mehrish
Art is a form of self-expression. And to express yourself, a degree is not needed. Art is highly subjective; the work of the artist speaks for itself. Creativity does not stem from education itself, but it comes as an outcome of the artists' imagination and skill. While showcasing your art, no one will ask for your degree but your thought process and inspiration behind the work presented.
Art is about creating, and combined practice and passion give the artist a unique style. Artists who have never studied art have a different perspective on their work and style. They do not limit themselves to the realms of the teachings done in the academic world but instead find alternate ways of learning and understanding art.
One example of such an artist is Madhvi Parekh. She had no formal education in art and learnt from childhood memories, popular folk stories and legends of her village. She used imaginary characters in figurative and abstracted orientations in her compositions. She has been exhibiting her work since 1972, and her work has been showcased in various international exhibitions from places such as London and Australia. She has been an inspiration to those who have wanted to pursue art but have no formal training/education in the field.
Looking at art from a predetermined learning perspective can give an objective outlook to the artwork but exploring different types of art and artistic techniques which fascinate you help you discover it all yourself and only motivates you further into your passion. Although it is not easy to learn the art all by yourself, it has become easier and more affordable to learn and improve on skills with the advent of multiple online learning platforms. Coursera and Udemy and Skillshare are some of the platforms which give proper certification and provide suitable resources to the user. These resources also help build an artist's portfolio, which can level the playing field for an untrained vis a trained artist. The key to success is not a degree but the hard work and effort an individual is willing to put in.
Lots of practice and consistency with the time you put in will be fruitful.
Create an online profile and maintain it by expressing what people like about your art and why you enjoy doing what you do. Brand yourself well, pump out content/work which relates to you and finally help grow your profile by increasing engagement by posting consistently. Platforms like Facebook, Youtube and Instagram are good places to start for building an online profile. Or even starting your own website and blog can help build your online presence. Through these accounts, you will be able to find like-minded individuals which help broaden your community, and expand your horizons.
The most important thing is trusting yourself and having faith in your abilities and achievements. Never underestimate yourself, and don't think you're any less of an artist because you've honed your skills without any formal education or instruction. It's the opposite; talent and perseverance is the key towards your success as an artist.