| Design ,Illustration ,Life Style

Before I get started I want to indicate that I am a self-taught artist and designer and I have a personal blog, mervedemisken.com where I share my learning process and my personal experiences. You can check if you are interested.

In this technology and information age, people have an enormous chance to learn so many stuff and gain the required skills for the job they want to have and to be the one who does that for living without going to a university. Basically, I want to say that people can be self-taught artists, illustrators, designers, developers, and etc. even though they do not have a bachelor’s degree on the subject. There are tons of available sources on the Internet. In fact, so many of them are even free. Therefore, my favorite things about the self-learning process are that the accessibility of information and the potential possibility of improving required skills on your own.

At some point in your life, you may want to change what you do for a living. Of course, there must be a learning process for the new thing you want to do. When you decide to learn everything about it, at the very beginning of this process you may be confused about where to start, what to do, basically how to be one.

As a self-taught artist and designer, I am still exploring the best ways to improve myself in these areas and learn the required techniques. It has been about one and a half years now, and I have learned so many things about being a self-taught person. According to my experiences until now, I wanted to share my pieces of advice for those people who want to change their career path and learn new things to advance themselves on another subject.

So, let’s get started!

1. Find out your ‘thing’ and have a strong desire to be one.

At the very beginning, you may have interests for a number of things. Some of them might be small enthusiasms you must proceed as just a hobby or some of them can turn into your future job. In this step, you just need to experiment in order to decide whether it is your thing or not.

After you find it, you have to take it seriously and start to do something for it without any delay. It should not just stay in your mind as a future project you will do when you are completely available to start. You should not delay taking a step. If you are willing to delay it that much in the first place, then you don’t actually want to have it.

So, you must have a strong desire. Otherwise, I think it is not already your thing at all. Then, you shouldn’t go for it. It may not make you happy in the future.

2. Search about it – Google it.

When you choose it, you should start searching for it in order to learn;

  • What it is,
  • What people do exactly if they have this job,
  • Is it learnable?

Searching is important. You need to know what you are diving in. It might be not the one you would like to proceed. That’s why you have to learn what it is exactly before you start learning the required skills if it makes sense.

Also, there is another point. As it is a self-learning process, there won’t be anyone who tells you what to learn at which order or what you should NOT learn. If you don’t do your research properly, you might start diving in irrelevant subjects. Do not forget, time is important. Even though learning new things are amazing, you cannot learn everything. Irrelevant subjects may distract you or make you even stop learning. For example, if you want to be a front-end developer, you may need to learn JavaScript, not C++. So, make your research properly at the first place.

3. Read people’s experiences.

LOTS of people are sharing their experiences on the Internet. They are so valuable in terms of giving you an idea of how to start. You can find them basically by searching. For example, there are so many creative people sharing their stories on social platforms like Medium, Youtube and etc. You can learn how they start or the best ways to start and of course that gives you an idea.

However, you should be careful to not get lost during that process. Trying to make it short as possible is kind of important. I think you will see what I mean when you come to this step. Even though the Internet is awesome to learn stuff, it is also tricky because you can easily get lost while searching.

4. Get started to learn as self-taught person.

Firstly, find out some platforms that teach you for free according to your area of interest. For example, EdX, W3 Schools, and Youtube are great platforms. You can find so many of others too. If you are willing to learn, then you could make everything possible for you.

If you can afford, there are also so many platforms that teach with some price like Skillshare, Udemy, and etc. I am sure you can easily find any of them by searching.

5. Make a plan, set goals, and take it series.

This might be the most important part of the self-learning process. You should have a plan. Going blindly does not make you reach you where you want to go. You plan must include;

  • Everyday practice.
  • Everyday learning habit
  • Daily, weekly, monthly goals.
  • Daily, weekly, monthly self-controls.
  • Daily, weekly, monthly written schedules.
  • Long-term control points (e.g. performance evaluation after 3 months, 6 months, 1 year)

6. Test yourself whether you really learn something.

You must check yourself in terms of it is going well and efficient. Ask yourself these questions;

  • Does it actually work?
  • Can you create something solid?
  • Can you be one who does this as a job?
  • Can you create something like a final product?
  • Can you start making money soon with that?

being self-taught person