to be or not to be…self-taught


My creative work is my life. I am always looking for new ways to learn old tricks—how to take my enter creative format here to the next level. I took a literature/classics course last summer and this summer I  wanted to take a photography course. The course I wanted to take is given by a photographer I look up to but the class is too expensive for me right now.

I feel a little low because I’d really like to take this course.But on the needs vs wants list, it’s a want. Until I make a steady cash flow from my photographs, it’s not considered a “business expense.” After venting about it to my sister, I came across a book and DVDs by the photographer (at a discounted price) and decided to make the purchase.

When I got my first guitar, my dad purchased a couple of teach yourself videos and that’s how I learned. The downside to teaching yourself is that you can easily teach yourself bad habits. So I took a class while in college to take my guitar playing to the next level. My teacher, a guitar player for 20+ years told me that Joni Mitchell taught herself and played jazz chords, something she probably wouldn’t have picked up if she had lessons. A roadie (back in my “groupie days”) told me that a famous guitarist would get a lesson from any place he could find while on the road because he learned best from a variety of teachers. I point this out because when it comes down to it, we have our own ways of learning and as long as you find what approach works best for you and persevere, you can succeed.

I am forever inspired by the teachers I had in my life. As far as teaching myself goes, I think I have enough ambition, drive, and on the days I can admit it, talent too. Right now, I think a class would force me to leave my comfort zone and learn new techniques. But since it’s not an option at the moment, I’ll teach myself with these videos and continue to experiment and attempt to learn from my mistakes. This summer, I plan to complete a photography portfolio, online and in print too. I’d love to hear what your plans are. Anyone finding new ways to stay creative this summer? 

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