Here’s the fourth installment with Evan Mann, Michael Ensminger and Jason Thielke for the I Just Know What I Like feature. As a writer, seeing everyone self-publish and call themselves writers (when really they’re just blogging without any training), today’s topic hits home. As every creative market has become saturated with all sorts of people hawking their goods as art (read The Heckler Art vs. Craft vs. Crap for a funny take on the subject in this month’s Art Issue), we wanted to know if it takes training or if it takes talent? Does a gimmick suffice, or do the technical abilities have to be there. Take a look, the jury’s out.

Today’s question: How important do you think it is to be a classically trained artist versus being able to produce conceptual art?

EVAN MANN: Classical training is the bullet in your gun, and concept is the target. They both come in handy when it comes time to making art, but you can’t hit the target without a bullet. I vote classical.

MICHAEL ENSMINGER: The parameters of art have changed so much that the classically trained issue is almost moot. Each individual artist has to answer that in relation to their own work. It’s specific to the particular work. Artists can be classically trained, but if what they do doesn’t engage anyone, what does it matter? And vice-versa.

JASON THIELKE: It is really important to be classically trained. You need to know the rules to break the rules. It shows at the emerging artist’s level, those who haven’t taken history into acount or the basics you would learn in school. I think it’s better to be classically trained–you can soak it all up, then wad it up and throw it out if you want. I have a grasp on both, sometimes I feel like I am finally pulling it all together, but it’s a slow process. And, it’s in that process that I can progress. Without it, I don’t know…

Tomorrow’s question: Who do you think is the most relevant well-known working today?

– Laura Standley, Editor in chief