fear and discontent

I was reading about the traditions of arts education over the past century or so and it brought to light some things that I've been struggling with for a while.... The lack of formal training in my education has given me a a lack of confidence in my skill... The push for innovation in what I do combined with the knowledge of how much has already been done has given me a sense of hopelessness of ever creating something truly new. and yet, I know that I have skill -- perhaps not mastery in all technical forms of art, but skill in some parts of it at least -- and I know that I have an individual voice so that whatever I do, whether or not addressed by someone at some time, will be new in that it will be addressed through my point of view and that alone makes it valid.

But why then, if I am so dissatisfied with school, am I back in the academic world... The truth is, despite my feeling that something is missing, I love the academic community. I love being surrounded by people promoting thought and progress and introducing new ideas into my way of thinking. When I'm dissatisfied, I'm unable to pinpoint the origin -- is it really with the institution or is it my own set of rules that I'm struggling against? There has always been a question of how much art can be taught, but that does not mean an academic study is useless: it provides a space for exploration, research, discourse, mentorship -- things that are available outside it's walls as well but not nearly as readily.

Regardless of whether I have or will ever become a successful artist (the definition itself being suspect), the article (When Form Has Become Attitude -- And Beyond by Thierry de Duve) provided an interesting opinion regarding some of the thoughts that have been circulating in my head both in regard to being a student and a teacher of art.

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