Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I've been pondering the subject of formal training lately. Some artists are so proud of their formal training, and others are quite proud to do without it. I've been feeling both super confident and terribly nervous about how to go about making a living from art without formal artistic training. Because truly, my education is in how to run the world. And then how to tell everyone about it.

Then it occurred to me that I am already a writer, which, cheesily enough, requires painting with words. And since I've also worked in TV, I have told plenty of stories with images (and sound, for that matter). I like to think of myself a storyteller-of-all-trades. And as I see it, painting, collage and illustration just fit right in as forms of communication.

But I was nevertheless delighted to remember that I have had at least some formal training in various media:

Summer art classes at Moore College of Art (two years in a row)
A fantastically fun photography class at USC
Ten weeks of watercolor classes one fall
Art and Architecture class at Charles University in Prague (where I was introduced to Fluxus)
Art history class when I lived in Germany
Sculpture class in Philadelphia. (thanks, Amanda and Sabine!)

As for exposure and study, I've been to so many art museums in so many cities and countries, I can't remember them all. Most recently, my mother and I stopped in here, which is a delightful place. Just big enough to satisfy, small enough that you don't feel rushed.

Finally, I did, after all spend three seasons working on Home Matters, meeting and working with a wonderful assortment of crafters, designers and artists.

So, keeping all of that in mind, I feel better about my legitimacy, and can get back to painting. Whew!

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