There are two kinds of artist, them that must recreate what they see and them that must see what they will create. I am the artist of the third kind. Coming from a drafting background and loving architecture, interior design, I am more prone to design the picture frame than the picture. But I did have some training or more correctly some classes in college. I took a teacher training arts class where we explored various media.
Macramé was big stuff, fabric crafts, then clay handling. I didn't get to throw a pot but hand building was cool and I did a bust of myself. Well it was a head that kind of resembled me. Wire sculpture was fun, I got to bend and soldier some brass rods into a wispy pseudo-futureistic form. Life drawing was awkward but eye-opening revelations of perception and proportion and accurate recording on paper, yeah and a naked body. On the Architecture side there was art history and lots of discussions about the industry and the class project. We had to take $5.00's worth of any materials and construct a seating unit to sit on all semester.
My own time was spent in the library, I was a shelver, a great job for me I scanned through many books I had no interest in. Architecture magazines galore, it was a wonder I got my work done. In my dorm room and in an apartment I had later I did acrylic painting, dabbling and smearing. I don't recall doing anything life-like.
When I left the campus life I became an electrical drafter. We worked with pen and ink on vellum and pencil on anything. Then computers came in. I was trained on CADD, Computer Aided Drafting and Design. I was into the task of engineering drawing. The art side didn't dawn on me till one day while running a plotter I wondered how a hand drawing would look plotted big. I drew something at home on paper and got it scanned in the PC, took the file to work. I felt sneaky and like a little kid about to do a crime. While I was plotting my regular stuff I slipped in my lined freehand drawing. My eyes got big with excitement, had to push them back in and hide my joy. It was hard to go into the plotter room after that. Big plots are the bomb man! I gotta get me one of these!
To gather it all together, you see that life shapes the kind of artist you are. All the experiences and other stuff that gets dumped into you. It all activates the art gene, that must come out. The fun part is when I get to laugh at ones who survived traditional artist training. They are often like war vets, good but boy did they take a beating. I've met the incurable crafters of the cute and cuddly, the "I've got something to say" clan and the "it's a job" commercial artist. Everybody loves what they do sort of, kind of, it's a blessing and a curse thing. You can not escape the coming out, the expression of the art gene, you will express!!!