Being an independent artist is a double edged sword.
You are free to pursue your own vision, releasing you of the burden of inadequacy - you don't need to beat anyone in the race if you are the only one in it, if your practice is so unique and original.
Not having these external standards allows you to focus on your own ones - ones with more integrity, personality and depth. It allows you to forget what you previously thought you knew. Allows you to see the world objectively and with bewilderment - like a child.
However following your own path is scary, lonely and uncertain. How do you know what will work? Is THIS or THAT worth pursuing... you're on your own and must be keenly perceptive and alert, it is anything but easy.
It is a constant learning process.
One that rewards careful observation.
Learning through the act of creation.
In this video Jim Kwik outlines the FAST method to learn things at an accelerated rate. I found this video incredibly helpful as it echoed a lot of these thoughts about the artistic practice...
Forgetting what you know..
Active learning through creation.
State control through objectivity.
Teach others in order for yourself to learn in a heightened state.