Disputing Popular Myths about Being a Self-Taught Artist

There are lots of popular myths about those who are self-taught and have met with success, whether they’re Illustrators, graphic artists, artists, or CEOs of giant corporations. Sure, most successful people who have gone on to do something they love are motivated, innovative, and determined – but it doesn’t mean they were the master of some novel new invention!

What are some of the most popular myths about the successful self-taught? We’ll debunk a few of them here:

Entrepreneurs are anti-social.

While it may often seem like many of us who are dedicated to reaching success mostly on our own devices are anti-social or introverted somehow, the fact is we simply get “wrapped up” in our work, and usually have an enormous capacity for focus. Not introverted, just dedicated to getting where we want to go!

The self-taught are risk-taking gamblers.

Nothing could be further from the truth! If anything, those of us who are designers, writers, or professional artists are control freaks who will only get involved in the game if they can use their own marked deck of cards. If anything, we usually avoid taking risks that could actually further our success because – well, it just seems too risky.

Men are geared more toward entrepreneurialism than women.

What? No way! This is a HUGE lie – in fact, women have the same abilities as men, but are actually at an even bigger advantage in one area – growing a business to successful levels after it has launched. Why is this? Most women “connect” with others naturally and build a stronger foundation because of their outreach to others. Some Men typically only reach out to determine if their competition is beating them, or for reasons related to money. Oh well, as the old saying goes, “boys will be boys.”

A college degree is necessary for success.

Ha! The truth of the matter is most self-taught successful people have no college degree, they’re simply driven and have no aversion to digging and scratching their way through whatever it takes to reach their goals. Need proof? A few of the self-starters who ended up reaching unimaginable success without a degree include the founders of IKEA, McDonald’s and the Ford Motor Company.

Other common myths about those who choose to teach themselves whatever it is they want to learn is that it’s easy, and that anyone can achieve their dreams as long as they have a great idea.

You don’t have to have a great idea, all that is required is that you’re passionate about what you do, and dedicated to making it work – and sometimes the learning process and work involved leave you drained and downright exhausted, but in the end it’s definitely worth it.


  • Thank you for this post! Seriously, I’m teaching myself graphic design, and I keep reading articles that tell me I need a degree to be taking seriously. And yeah that might be true for people who work corporately, but I plan on freelancing and selling my art.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *