Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Some thoughts on “artistic talent”

1) It’s hard to see your own nose.
lol or in other words: it’s hard to judge your own talent. Some of the best artists in the world always felt like failures. Many six-year-olds think their scribbles are worthy of the Louvre (and PLEASE never tell them otherwise!)

2) It’s subjective anyways.
How are you going to define “talent”? To many people the impressionists or abstract artists are “untalented” because the kind of art they created is not the kind of art that person values. To others they may be geniuses.

3) It’s really top secret code for practice.
People who are considered “talented” have probably spent a LOT of time doing the thing they’re talented at!!

I really believe that most people could learn to be talented if they really, truly wanted to.

It’s like driving. Some people seem to be a natural the very first time they get behind a wheel. Some people just seem to be hopeless drivers no matter what. The vast majority of people fall some place in the middle and will run over a few trash cans at first but will eventually become competent at it. If you spent hours and hours for weeks on end practising parallel parking, you’ll probably eventually learn how to do it. Some people might just not care enough about it to spend that much time learning it.

4). It doesn’t matter!!
And what happens if you just happen to be one of those people who are hopeless no matter how much you practice??

Well for starters, you probably aren’t. It’s much more likely that you are too critical of your own work (most artists are guilty of this!) or you just aren’t where you’d like to be. Yet.

But let’s just say for the sake of argument, that you ARE. So what?

Maybe people who are really, really bad drivers should consider taking the bus. But nobody is going to be hurt by your unskilled doodling. Promise. If you get something from the process, if you enjoy it, and it is something you want to spend your time on then IT IS WORTH DOING!


  1. Anne, I am making my daughter read this tomorrow morning. She has always been very artistic. Last school year a teacher said something not so nice about one of her art pieces and she was crushed. She also cut back on her art dramatically. I finally sat her down and told her that art is personal and she should be drawing, painting and creating anything she wants. No rules except her own. She has finally gotten back to herself but I want her to read your POST. You perfectly put into words what I could not explain to her. LOVE LOVE LOVE your thoughts on Artistic talent!!!

    1. Awww... I know how she feels. I am just now getting back to where I can just be creative & do it for myself-- after 10 years of being frustrated & not enjoying my art very much :/ I'm so glad she did not get stuck in that place <3