If you are writing a dissertation, and your school is intellectualizing art to the point of nearly killing your inspiration, then congratualtions! You have helped make my point about why studying art at college can be a big waste of your time and money. ( Not to mention having gotten to the disseration level without learning to spell intention correctly
I do have my own answers to some of the questions you pose, and I invite you to read about them on my website:
The discovery of my talents as an artist to the extent of pursuing it as my full time path did not occur until I was 29, so I had formed my ideas about art outside of the influence of college or the contemporary art scene. It is based on values I had developed though life experiences.