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[personal profile] kalvan
That's what everything is, really.
I'm from the art scene, so to speak. By that, I mean that I've been trying to become "awesome" at art since I was about 12 years old (so six years). I've used pretty much every major art site out there, and I like to think that I've got a good idea of how the online art community(-ies) work. I haven't taken any formal art classes; art has been more of an asset that I've developed on my own and used in order to enhance my work in other, slightly related classes I've taken (Arts & Crafts [lower secondary] and Graphics/Graphic Design [upper secondary/college] for instance). Art was the first thing I tried to become good at; before that, I dabbled in things that, interestingly, have cropped up later on: Portuguese and French (I've turned out to be a linguaphile), HTML/web design-y stuff (I'm currently taking online classes in computer science as well as web development), Photoshop/graphic design (which I still do) and, well, drawing.
The thing that I just realised, although it may seem obvious, is that in all of those, subjects I suppose, we're all standing on the shoulders of giants. With art, you're consistently encouraged to study the Old Masters, as well as art/style history. I've done this subconsciously (as I didn't take any art classes), through poring over more advanced artists' work over on deviantART or tumblr or whatever. When I find a picture I like, I subconsciously try to find something about it, a technique or something, that I can apply to my own art in order to make it better. Steal like an artist, yeah? I like watching livestreams and speedpaints on YouTube, because they reveal the techniques my favourite artists use. It's the little things especially, like holding the pen differently, or using a different canvas size in X drawing programme (this actually matters!).
This goes for programming too. I'm currently taking CS50x, which is the free/online version of Harvard University's CS50 course (an intro to computer science of sorts. Very cool). The first week, you learn how to use a programming, hm, software, called Scratch (I don't like it very much, but that's a rant for another time). Anyway, the lecturers/professors and Teaching Fellows and whatnot constantly tell you to look at programs previous students have made with Scratch. It's pretty logical! You can't learn something without studying it, right?
Now, the interesting thing is that this goes for learning languages as well! I've learnt English (as well as Norwegian, I suppose!) almost entirely through reading and listening to native material. A couple of years ago, I kept finding myself repeating phrases I'd heard or read, just swapping out the key words in order to make them relevant to the text. I pretty much stole native phrases from native writers and repeated them!
I also recently read a book, Polyglot: How I Learn Languages by Kató Lomb, about learning a language through reading native material. That's essentially picking through native material and subconsciously remembering phrases, then repeating them later on: exactly the same thing as I did!

I don't know, this isn't exactly revolutionary; it's just a cool thing I happened upon.
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