I found that at least for me, I have a particular way of seeing and recording things, and that people with at least a minimally trained eye can pick that up - they can look at a photo I took, whether it is a nude or an ancient temple, and say, "yes, that's a Scott Davis photograph". Same with my painting and drawing (although let's not go there... I think unlike my photos, the descriptor of a Scott Davis painting or drawing would be 'universally bad'! ) That part of it is something you can't learn/teach, except that if someone HAS a personal way of seeing/recording, you can encourage them to be aware of it and to develop it in a systematic way.
Where personal artistic growth happens is where someone takes that personal way of seeing, and applies it to a subject they haven't applied it to before, or uses new materials to communicate it. Once you get to a certain point, applying new subjects/new materials to your vision becomes synergistic - as you try new things, your way of looking at things changes, and vice versa - as your way of looking at things changes, the tools you use to express it will also change.