Rising To Art Competence

Here’s a tale or woe and growth. She wasn’t the best student in high school. She had a few medical problems and it left her foggy for a good amount of the time. Although she wanted to be an artist she never figured on having it turn into a career.

She couldn’t put two and two together regarding studying and applying what she learned, and there was just no consistency in her performance as a student. It wasn’t all doom and gloom as she did excel in playing sports at a very competitive level, that demonstrated she had the discipline and determination to be competitive, but it wasn’t consistent if she didn’t understand or care for a specific subject. This went on year after year but somehow she finally emerged triumphant enough to make it to college.

Don’t ask her how she did it, but she sure did get in the door. Well, as history has shown, she had to struggle in college too and succumbed to failure. She had to leave and it was just her and the world.



The Crucial Point

This is a crucial point in a person’s life, especially if you have a skill or talent that you’ve developed but don’t know what to do with it. If you’ve not studied correctly nor have someone around to guide you, you’ll be up against your own ignorance.

This can go on for some time if you don’t catch it before or just after it emerges. I was confused and it caused me to stumble here and there which leads to a pile up of disappointments and can inhibit a person from forging forward in all areas of life.

Things changed for her when neighbors saw some work she had done in the crafts. It was nothing to her, something she did years earlier. Her parents thought enough of it to showcase it in the house. The neighbors were enthralled at the potential the piece presented and then referred her to a professional in the field. Luckily there was a class in her area and she stopped by to see what the class entailed.

It sure was a good move because she then saw something that really piqued her interest and it was head on from there. The instructors showed her some literature about her art and it really spoke to her in a way she had never felt before. She then realized that there was a whole world she hadn’t understood until that moment and it really fired up her engines.

It showed her that every form of creativity had its own language and processes and procedures and that in order to be successful one needs to know those fundamentals or there’s no succeeding. Armed with this new knowledge it occurred to her that she could continue her formal education and went back to college. Right off the bat she could see her new found enthusiasm was going to pay off. She spent more time focusing on the basics and that opened the door to the higher concepts which college is designed to present.


It was a good idea and a major game changer for her.

Not only did she start to do better in her studies, but as a person it enlightened her to look at others and become curious and caring regarding their careers in the arts. She wouldn’t hesitate to get into discussions with others and ask them about their experiences.

Just listening to these people she found out that no two were alike but that there were certain common denominators. It takes both education and determination to have an art career. Talent is the first step but that talent follows interest. Then there’s the long hours of practice and experimentation. The history of the craft you’re in and crafts in general and what to expect if you decide to make it your career. Learning how to promote your work, manage your work, budgets and so on are all part of the picture as well.


The Long Hard Road

It’s been a long road and hard one, but no one said it would be easy and it isn’t. That’s part of life’s challenges and it will bring about a better you in the short and long term.

So you might wonder where you should start? Well, from her experience, one would say evaluate your education. Do you really know what you should know?

Do you have a full grasp of the fundamentals? Can you apply those fundamentals in a career setting? Do you practice enough or do you think you know it all? Arrogance has gotten no one anywhere and that goes double for a career. Look at what the top people in your field do and see where they went to school. Look at what they reference when speaking. If they focus on a particular technique or celebrity in the field or even equipment, learn about that subject. Look at how you can apply it and really seek to enjoy what you do.


Final Word

Don’t worry if it takes some time. Nothing happens overnight and haste makes waste. Don’t fret over past mistakes either. That was long ago and if you don’t realize that you’re still a good person even though you’ve been ignorant or made mistakes then you won’t progress. What you want is that you can see new opportunities and have no hesitation in pursuing a better route for your success.

About The Author

Professor David Percival

Director of AHVC programme, and specialist in art and technology, including presence research, mixed and virtual reality.