Artists are meant to continue learning. Did you know that?
Well if you’ve been an artist for a while you probably already do. And many of you may really embrace this thought and others you may feel like your cheating. I’m here to set you straight so to speak. There is no cheating in continuing to learn! In fact, you can learn by looking at your fellow artist community, by taking classes, workshops,s attending conferences. There are so many ways to really embrace this learning throughout your career.
Recently I took a 12-week class on Zbrush taught by Paul Gaboury. Several times he seemed to ask why I was taking the class and wanted to know if I was learning anything. Now I’m sure he knows I’ve had copies of Zbrush in my studio since Zbrush version 1 and I’ve used it a fair amount to sculpt. But having used several 3D packages in the past I had already found that there is always more to learn and more specifically more to learn from other artists who just have a different take on things. Other artists perspective are different from our own and their workflow thus is of great interest to me. So I learned a lot from this Zbrush class and I really recommend it!
Id like to share one more thing. It’s a quote I use and look to when I’m thinking of learning and expanding my knowledge.
““Throw out your conceited opinions, for it is impossible for a person to begin to learn what he thinks he already knows.”—EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 2.17.1
Of all the Stoics, Epictetus is the closest one to a true teacher. He had a school. He hosted classes. In fact, his wisdom is passed down to us through a student who took really good lecture notes. One of the things that frustrated Epictetus about philosophy students—and has frustrated all college professors since time began—is how students claim to want to be taught but really secretly believe they already know everything. The reality is that we’re all guilty of thinking we know it all, and we’d all learn more if we could set that attitude aside. As smart or successful as we may be, there is always someone who is smarter, more successful, and wiser than us. Emerson put it well: “Every man I meet is my master in some point, and in that, I learn of him.”If you want to learn, if you want to improve your life, seeking out teachers, philosophers, and great books is a good start. But this approach will only be effective if you’re humble and ready to let go of opinions you already have.”
I hope to remain humble in my art. Not that I don’t think its good, I do. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have made it through my career and I wouldn’t have anything to show for all this effort. But I always know art is changing and my art always needs to evolve as time moves on. I hope you find your way to a humble and fruitful career as an artist in your own way.
Long days and pleasant nights,