My generation likes to ask permission.
We like to be prepared and we like the tests. Not because tests are fun, but because tests tell us how good we are.
And we believe one of the biggest lies in the education business.
We believe that before we can do something, we need instruction to do it.
I see a lot of people asking for permission. If someone wants to be a professional painter, what is the advice?
Go to an art school in New York State. Pay sixty thousand dollars a year for four years. Be in debt to learn art as your major, and then use your business minor to work off that debt for the subsequent thirty years.
What if instead of asking, Hey, can I have the credentials to be an artist, please? you did something radical.
What if instead of saying, Okay, I want to be an artist, so I should go take classes, watch interviews with artists online, read about the artist world in magazines, and go to art shows. What if instead of that, an artists said;
I want to be an artist. Why don’t I go do art in New York. In a studio. For a year, be an artist for free. Or maybe try to sell my work. Or maybe work for a non-profit. Or maybe work for the straight year and improve craft without deadlines, without restrictions on type of art you can do, but just, do art.
Because when you’re not in a classroom with rules, you have to start asking questions like, What kind of an artist do I want to be? How can I make being an artist sustainable? How? Why? What?
No answering stupid questions about twentieth century Impressionist art.
How do I be an artist?
But how would I know what to work on for that year? You’re an artist. Figure it out. When I started this blog I didn’t know what to write about. Not a single post. By showing up every day and saying, Write a piece, I figured out that I enjoy speaking about things that improve people’s lives.
Picasso was a great artist. Nobody can dispute that. He was an art prodigy from a young age, and his first words were allegedly, ‘piz’ or pencil in Spanish. By the age of sixteen, Picasso was such a great artist that his father decided to send him to Spain’s foremost Art Academy; Madrid’s Royal Academy of San Fernando.
Shortly after Picasso got into the academy, he stopped attending classes because he disliked formal instruction.
Picasso became Picasso because he stopped listening to what teacher’s told him, and started doing art in how own vision. That’s what makes a Picasso worth $125,000.
So, if you want to do art, stop asking permission. Do art.
If you want to write, don’t look up countless tutorials, get bored, and then watch Netflix. Write every day, and I guarantee you after a few weeks you’ll start having some inkling as to what it’s all about.
Real life experience for a few months is more useful than a year spent in a classroom.
Stop asking how, and just begin. It will become abundantly clear which way the path is.