I’ve always wondered what the upper limit was on self-taught YouTube learning.
For every exemplary video there’s a dozen sub-par one’s, and to find the trail of content leading you to your goals…well, that seems far from straightforward. For anyone who feels as though they simply cannot succeed at a craft unless they have a formal education, tools, or a ticket to that-magic-conference-that-solves-all-their-probems…
I offer this article as a challenge.
In the process of moving to Thailand, my wife and I took a short vacation to the south. It was there that I met Ritar and Bancha through the psuedo-serendipity of airbnb. From what I can tell, Ritar handles the airbnb side of things, while Bancha works as a local architect (feel free to shoot me an email if you’re ever wanting to vacation in Krabi, Thailand). They are kind and caring people, enormously fun, and profoundly skilled at what they do.
Ritar had also told me her husband enjoys watercolor painting as a sort of hobby.
“Wait…just a hobby?” I wondered…
Lines that flow
Bancha seemed focused on three things: loving his family, doing his job well, and enjoying and sharing watercolors. The skill in which Ritar managed the airbnb (making sure we knew what to do, where to go, and always always always making sure we had had enough to eat!) was matched by Bancha’s quiet focus – taking time to connect with his children, finishing off the details of an architectural project, or even teaching his guests to paint!
Case in point:
Believe me when I saw that what you’re seeing has very little to do with our ability to paint, and far more to do with Bancha’s ability to teach! His encouragements were kind and quick. His instruction, appropriate, and his art has traveled the world over.
How long have you been painting?
“Nine years,” he replied.
No formal education. No art classes. Just YouTube and determination.
As creatives, I think it’s easy for us to fall into the trap of believing that we don’t have everything we need: If only we had more equipment, better content, or more time…then we might become an incredible artist.
But this simply isn’t true.
I think what we need most is to remember better equipment and learning should be in their proper place: below that of practice.
Yes. We should be humble and teachable when more experience tells us something.
Yes. We should be welcoming of better tools to create our art.
And Yes! Of course we purchase courses and attend conferences to learn about the state of our art.
But our lack of experience, or our lack of those tools, or our inability to make it to a conference should never be an excuse for us to not make art.
I think that’s what I love about Bancha. He didn’t make excuses; Instead, he chose courage and made his art.
If you want to see more of Bancha’s work, learn how to watercolor step-by-step, and you’re willing to parse through the Thai, check out his blog here!