Deep Thought Thursday: Educating the Artist

Is it possible to know too much?

Too much about art?

Too much about art-making?

Too much about business?

Too much about “the way things have always been done”?

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10 thoughts on “Deep Thought Thursday: Educating the Artist”

  1. GREAT questions!!

    I love learning and I think that as artists, it helps us to:
    Grow continually
    Push boundaries in our work
    Mentor younger artists
    Make wiser decisions in our creative businesses

    When people stop aquiring knowledge, things can get boring/stale. That doesn’t sound like any kind of life I would enjoy at all.

  2. Yes it is possible “to know to much” if that means being in your head all the time. Making art means giving yourself over to having an experience. No one would ask if it’s possible to know to much about being in love, except for those who’ve stopped believing love is possible.

    What’s needed is a balance between our knowledge and our instincts and intuitions.

  3. I don’t think that it’s having the knowledge that is the problem. I think it is always a good idea to have a background knowledge of different things. But it is when you think that you have enough knowledge that you believe that you know all there is to know on a subject that you have a problem (like joe said more succinctly than I just did) If you let having knowledge be a crutch for your creativity there is a problem. What I’m trying to say is that if you stop looking for new ideas, you’re never going to have any. It’s the search for knowledge that leads us in new directions and to new ways of thinking.

  4. I don’t think the problem is knowing too much. I agree with Philip’s comment on the need to get our of your head at times; the knowledge is a tool to be used. Learning should be a lifelong endeavor, hopefully more often exciting and interesting rather than painful, but there’s that, too.

    I love Jo-Ann’s idea about “timeouts for absorption and expansion”!

  5. No, the worst thing in the world is a closed mind. We’re only using a small portion of our brain as it is, so there’s plenty of room for more knowledge. It just needs to be balanced with “time outs” for absorbtion and expansion.

  6. It is never a bad thing to know too much. It is, however, a bad thing to let what you know (so far) or your fear that you don’t know enough overwhelm you and keep you from taking action.

    “Knowing” seems to be static but because of its relationship to “learning” is, in fact, an ongoing, even dynamic, process. “I know” does not mean “I don’t have to learn more.”


  7. Absolutely it is possible to know too much about art! I learned to paint at my grandmother’s knee. I learned how to use color in a rustic way and a lot of other out of date ideas. I went to art school, about 100 years ago now, and had very modern ideas, at least for the time, put into my head. In the time since, I have not painted, but I have done a lot of reading. Getting back to painting earlier this year, it has all changed again. Because I have painted in a vacuum, all alone with very little input from others, I don’t have a style that reflects current trends. As I have recently been accepted to a gallery interested in what I am currently doing, I now feel I must limit the my exposure to sources of information in an attempt to grow artistically at a controlled pace. There is more information than ever available, so this is an interesting choice for me to make.

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