Today I want to give you guys a new perspective to look at art with. Back in school when we go to art class you had those kids that did well then you had those kids who just didn't have the skill, those who didn't stand a chance in art and you hear those people say all the time, "man all I can draw is a stick figure". What if that's all you really the only skill you needed in order to learn how to draw? Stick figures are just made up of lines and lines are just your tools to render shape, form and texture of all kinds.
Now I get asked by people from all over " how do I get better in art, how do I improve" and it's very easy to put all of the emphasis on practice but truth is theirs more to it than that. What good does all that practice do you if you have no direction? In a world like art where the possibilities are endless practicing from the process of elimination isn't the smart way to get better at your craft because theirs too many possibilities and processes to eliminate. The fact of the matter is, knowledge is just as important as the skill in art. Now it doesn't take much skill to be a good artist because all you need to know is how to draw a line. From there all getting better means is learning where to place those lines on the canvas or to put it in more exact terms you need to learn where to place the elements of art (Line, Shape, Form, Space, Color and Texture. Thinking of art as being this gift or skill that only some can do does art and artists a huge injustice and isn't accurate at all because anyone can learn to be an amazing artist. All art is a problem solving exercise and you don't solve problems with skill, you solve it with information. Thinking of art more as an activity requiring intelligence makes art easier to grasp because getting smarter is something we can all do. Thinking in this way is a better depiction of art and it takes a lot of the weight off art being this ability you're "born with" and natural skill. It's overall a better depiction of the struggle artists go through in order to get to the level they're at. The truth is we're all amateurs at some point and most artists aren't born with some gift to be able to draw well. The lines a professional draws are the same lines an amateur can draw. The only difference is the professional spent years researching and observing the different subject matters they paint so they can better understand how to render it's form, texture and color. They've studies methods and techniques that best suit them.
So on an ending note, if you're looking to get better in any art form, information is every bit as important as skill so go learn you some knowledge :D !