Before moving away from the business of art I must mention that your education, of one sort or another, continues for however long one decides to continue working at becoming an artist.
I oft use the word, “ becoming”, as one can never really consider themselves an artist. One’s art is forever evolving. One never really gets to where they hope to be, that place where one is entirely satisfied with the result. Making art is about trying to capture the image that exists inside our head, and failing, then trying again.
Educating one’s self can be quite expensive. I suppose that if your art is all about emotion, and is abstract, then it’s possible that one can get all the education that one needs by simply watching and learning. But, if your thing is nature, or landscape, then one must travel. You can only sleep in your car, or on the ground, for just so long. At some point you have to make use of hotels and lodgings that enable you to reduce living costs. Restaurant food is not only expensive, but a steady diet of the stuff is not entirely healthy.
Copyright laws prevent simply copying someone’s photograph. You must make the effort to acquire your own reference. At one stage in my development we got in the car and travelled from Ontario, Canada, to Arizona, U.S.A., to study hummingbirds. A long car ride there and back. As well, to complete various projects at Algonquin, Killarney, and Superior Provincial Parks, it was necessary to make many trips over a period of many years involving thousands of miles driving and, a tremendous overall cost for fuel, accommodation, and food.
There is a tremendous cost to producing art, and most of it is borne and absorbed by the artist. Artists unlike many other professions are unable to recover most of the cost that go into their art. The market is far too competitive and unregulated, and sadly the general public fail to recognize the value of art to society. I once read that a society without art is “a dead society”.
So, living in a society that has embraced the concept of the starving artist, and teaches its young that life as an artist is romantic, artists have no choice but to absorb the cost, and seek comfort in the effort to survive while working at becoming an artist.
Frood Lake Pencil Study