Becoming proficiently skilled in art is an activity that requires immense self-motivation. Without your own personal desire to succeed, like most anything else in life, you simply won't. Nobody else is going to do that for you.
That being said, art shouldn't be just something you learn out of a book (as seen in photo 1)
From painting and drawing to origami, sewing, and jewelry making, there is definitely no shortage of instructional tutorials showing you how to do pretty much anything you want to learn to do. The internet is limitless with sites like Youtube and Pintrest, where craftspeople can communicate and share ideas, tips, tricks and how-to’s with a single click of a button. There are books on how to do these things as well-- on anything and everything. How to draw books depict the drawing of characters, objects, and creatures from practically any existing genre or art style. Even televised shows, such as painting with Bob Ross and other such instructional DVDs and shows exist.
Tutorials provide us with an example of how to do something we wish to accomplish. It gives us the steps, explains what materials are needed and how to use them. It takes you through the process and you watch through video or pictures as the instructor's project comes to life before you, proving that it can, in fact, be done.
The only thing they can't do is draw your picture for you (as seen in photo 2).
Even self taught artists, while they rely more on their own ingenuity and trial and error aren't really learning everything that they need to be successful as an artist.
However, on the flip side of the coin, going to a fancy art school isn't enough to pronounce you the all-knowing expert in art and the best at state of the art, professional practices.
Being self-taught is great, but it isn't everything it's cracked up to be. There is some great merit to be had for teaching yourself art, and training your own hands to perform the skills necessary to produce art, but it doesn't automatically make you a successful artist, or an artist at all for that fact. Self taught doesn't mean you should be ignorant of the skills and information to be had if you took advantage of some of the information and opportunities available for you to use. In fact, in many ways being "self taught" can leave you at a disadvantage, despite how skilled you may be.
Ultimately, it is a combination of knowledge and skill that will make an artist successful. It matters less where you went to school and what degrees you acquired when it comes to art than it does so much what you learned and how you applied that knowledge to your work.
Photos 1 - 2
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We Are The Foundation for Self-Taught Artists. (n.d.). Retrieved August 21, 2014, from Foundation Start website: http://foundationstart.org/
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Askey-Adams, S. (2013, January 3). Can't Believe They Are Self-taught Artists. Retrieved August 21, 2014, from Fine Art Studio Online website: http://sandyaskeyadams.com/blog/53977/cant-believe-they-are-self-taught-artists