This book I’m reading on art marketing says not to call yourself a self-taught artist.
“Who are the gods that say you have to reach a certain level of proficiency to be called an artist? Who says you must sell a certain dollar amount to be called an artist or win X number of ribbons to be a real artist? Who says you have to attend such and such school, be trained in a certain style or technique to be handed the title, artist? You either are or you are not.” ~ Jack White, “Mystery of Making It”.
I just edited a brief bio piece for a specific purpose – and deleted the words self-taught. It looks sooo much better! I had no idea. I thought using self-taught made me look studious or hard-working or something. Now I think it made made look one step above hobbyist. Not a darn thing wrong with being a hobbyist, it’s just not who I strive to be with my paper art. I’m definitely a hobbyist in other areas, like any DIY projects I do, for instance.
And if you want to think deeper about it – and I always do, according to Steve – aren’t all artists self-taught to some degree? You may start with basic concepts learned from other people or sources, but I’m pretty sure everyone ends up noodling around with their art until they find “their own voice”.
When Steve and I moved into our house 13 years ago, I labeled all my craft-related boxes with the new room they were destined for: Studio. I would no longer be working at the kitchen table. I took the smallest bedroom (so small it didn’t have a closet) as my studio. It probably took a good 2 months before I could routinely say studio without having to think about it.
The same is true of when I began calling myself an artist. These things take practice! It takes 21 times to make a habit – so please, start practicing now. You are an artist. And you work in a studio, even if it is a corner of your bedroom.