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Submitted on
December 8, 2013
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Little thing called Talent

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 6:12 AM

Little thing called Talent

"My name is Marc, my emotional life is sensitive and my purse is empty, but they say I have talent."

Marc Chagall

Senza titolo-102 by andreuccettiart

Eomticon: Butterfly

In general, talent means the skill that someone has quite naturally to do something that is hard, a high degree of ability that a person was born with. It's hard to argue that some people indeed have more of an inherited talent for arts than others. They are able to get to a certain level rather quickly and get a lot of praise along the way. However, relying on talent will only last for so long, there's a point to be reached when nothing but hard work gets you through.


"Talent is so loaded a word, so full to the brim with meanings, that an artist might be wise to forget about it altogether and just keep on working."

Eric Maisel


Are you one of those people, who draw a picture once a month and than send it to everyone to ask their opinion? Don't worry, we've all been there, that was pretty much my style since I was little, I wanted to hear praises from my mom but my efforts were minimal - why would I invest my time into drawing and painting when I obviously wasn't strikingly good at it? Looking back in time at this, it was a very wrong question to ask and a point missed. When the need for confirmation outbalances the will and joy to create, we're in trouble!


"Don't bother about whether or not you have it. Just assume that you do, and then forget about it. Talent is a word we use after someone has become accomplished. There is no way to detect it before the fact... or to predict when or if mastery will click into place."

Richard Schmind


Is it really the lack of talent or the lack of discipline, will and interest that's making us to abandon our creative attempts? Is the reason why you pick up your brush/camera/tablet every morning the desire to infill someone's expectations or rather your personal connection to this type of work? As suggested, loving what you do is often the most powerful magic that redirects your thoughts from talent talk to the right direction, towards the work itself. A person who loves to create never sees his efforts as a waste of time, no matter how bad the creations turn out, at start. 

Pink Butterfly Bullet

"Perhaps I have no talent, but all vanity aside – I do not believe that anyone makes an artistic attempt, no matter how small, without having a little – or there are many fools."

Paul Gaugin

Nomads IV by PabloJuradoRuiz

Butterfly-Firefly thingy

Do you still believe you have no artistic talent, whatsoever, but you love to paint, enjoy photography or craft?

It's this desire combined with persistence, systematic interest and learning that makes a successful artist. 

PS: This article contained an awful lot of butterflies. I thought they'd help to make the point catching butterfly 

:blahblah: revision Discussion

How do you perceive your own talents? How often do you compare yourself to others and with what result?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below :heart:


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I haven't done a critique in a while so please excuse me. :iconimsopervyplz:

:bulletpink: Good points :iconheplz:

I completely agree with this journal. Having talent and BEING talented are great, yes, but if you don't know where to apply that talent, or how to use it, then it's all for naught. A lot of people say that prodigies have talent, but those very same prodigies wouldn't know where they'd be if they hadn't practiced at what they did and realized that they were BORN for their tool of trade. It's like this... imagine Michael Jordan. Everyone who is anyone knows that he is extremely gifted at basketball. Everyone knows that he was one of the dream team and everyone knows the saying "It's not the shoes." Ever since he's held that orange basketball in his hands as a child and felt the thrill of the game he's dreamed of playing professionally, dribbling down the court, shooting free throws from the half point line and risking taking a three pointer shot, hoping to God it was nothing but net. Imagine that he and the Dream Team could EASILY win US the Gold in the Summer Olympics. Now imagine that very same Michael Jordan decided to give up half way through because he thought it was "too hard" and his father (bless his soul) CONVINCED him to play baseball for the rest of his natural born life. Or (God forbid) he decided to go into retail?

Not much use of his talent now is there? Talent is a double edged sword. Yes, you may have the talent and yes, you may be a prodigy, but everyone starts somewhere and you can't begin unless you practice. Unless you try, you'll never find out what you're good at.

I believe it's more a lack of "discipline" and "laziness" that makes people unable to see their potential, and unless they get off their asses and search for it, it will indeed be "wasted talent", because as said before "A person who loves to create [and do] never sees his efforts as a waste of time..."

:bulletpurple: Constructive criticism :icondidyoujustplz:

But although I did agree with this journal I admit to pulling a TL;DR. I don't understand why, but the formatting bored me and I "skimmed" through it. Perhaps if you could try and get to the point quicker. Yes, they butterflies were pretty, and yes, I liked that you featured two generally EXCEPTIONAL artists, but I was trying to get to the ROOT of the journal (essentially, I was trying to get to the POINT of it all) and I found I had to go back and re-read quite a few things.

Other than that, I enjoyed reading this journal and I've found it's opened my eyes to the point that I now have a fairly different view of the word "talent" and what it means to many. Thank you. :3
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khyrkat Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014   Traditional Artist
Talent is an ability to do something you can't really do in a way that people belive you were born with it. Art is 1% talent and the rest is practice. Based on my very own experience - I was told I have no talent so I decided to paint. I was told I couldn't draw a straight line, didn't know perspective etc. - so I decided to paint. It was good decision. I don't have a talent to draw or paint but I have a talent to take paints and brushes and create what I like to see on the canvas. With time, I do it without thinking about techniques, proportions, perspective etc. I never had a 2 minutes drawing lesson and thought applying for art school was a waste of time. It's kind of anarchy that rules my life in art aspect - what people say is needed I say is not. I feel so damn proud of myself. And this is talent too.
A-n-t-e-n-o-r-A Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I see talent as imagination and desire. The rest is work work work work work, until you hate doing it, but you are addicted to do it, because you actually love it.  
Talent is the word that combines those things, but i do believe no one is born with a skill, talent is desire for this skill and the creativity in how you use it - the skill itself is work.
Avoice Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013   General Artist
To add to this article,  I  think that success doesn't really come from talent, but from trail and error, long hours and not giving up.  I believe that people with less talent have much more ambition and are more acceptable to failure than a person with a lot of natural talent, who was sung praises from the beginning and are not used to the oncoming of criticism and struggle.  
Sellabe Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Whatever 'talent' I have came purely out of hard work. I remind myself of this whenever I look at my first drawing that remains un-published till this very day. I look at it and think, "Wow, you've come so far, Sara! Remember just a few years ago nobody would've considered you an artist, but look at you now!" 

Obviously, I'm still far from my ideal art but my art is beginning to come to the point where I'm satisfied with most of it, and to be honest, I'm proud of myself.

And when it comes to comparing, I never compared my artwork to people who were... I suppose you can say worse than me? Despite art being subjectional--I always strive bettering myself by looking at someones art that looked like what I wanted mine to look like. And then I thought about how I could manage that and how I can improve.

But all in all, I don't exactly believe in 'talent'--talent is derived from hard work that shall pay off in years to come.
taliatheotaku Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't even bother with the word while talking about myself. 
Personally, I am always talking about how talented people are, but I will only truly admire someone who works their hardest. I have seen artists who did nothing but five-minute doodles and sketched even though they were extremely talented, and it actually made me angry, for them to let the products of their previous hard work to get better by just not trying anymore.
But people who work hard to get better, who always put in 100% effort, I think they are the most talented.
I love all the butterflies, they're fabulous xxD
dauw Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice and motivational read. I hate the word talent, absolutely hate it. Not only do people use it wrong, i.e. they actually assume there is such a thing as people being born to do something and if you don't have talent you can't excel, but it also really cheapens the massive effort people put into getting good at any given trade. People say stupid things like "I can't draw a straight line, I have no talent"; no, you can't draw a straight line because you tried once and then you gave up. I stopped using the word altogether. I'll rather say skill and skilled, because that reflects better on the work needed to get good. As far as art goes, I think the best "talent" one can have is diligence and determination, or to quote Henry Rollins: "I didn't have talent, I had tenacity."
simple-minds Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Hobbyist
Enjoyed your article.  Maisel has it right, and those drawings are gorgeous. 

I don't know why I like drawing, I'm not particularly good at it, just OK. I just like doing it. 

However, I've had periods of months or years when I drew absolutely nothing, I didn't see the point. I was one of those kids who was interested in many things, but excelled at nothing; not sport, not dance, not social skills, not academics, not in languages and certainly not at art.  Hell, I failed art, both in theory and in practical.  I also failed maths. (Yet somehow scraped into college.) Not much had changed in adulthood. When your abilities don't match your aspirations and your quest for knowledge, it is jolly frustrating.  I almost flunked college.  It took me two extra years to scrape through (thank God for great professors!).  You have to dig in deep and know thyself well to get anywhere. 

People mistake something you're good at as your passion in life. Not always true.  You can be sodding rubbish at what you're passionate about, so you have to start with skint, just determination and a willingness to learn.

Talent is nothing if not watered with adversity, persistence, passion and yes, support. Paul Cezanne is a classic example.

If, however, you have no inborn ability, then you need to be a red star. Dim and dull though they are, they chug away for aeons. You may not improve much (sports and dance being more obvious examples), but your life and maybe other lives will be better for it.  Charlie Brown, anyone?

I would rather be a tiny red star than a big blue one; the one with the bright spark that blazes for a time before burning out, and explodes when it finally comes across something it cannot outwit, outshine, overcome or outmaneuver, or simply runs out of steam.
theresahelmer Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Professional Photographer
99% hardwork + 1% talent is that sure win addition even when I am faced without that 1% talent on my side, I can still manage my ways around that "talented world" as long as I'm willing to give my 100% efforts.

And I do.
bezzercer Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i dont know if i have talent or not what i do i do beacuse i can (literaly some of the few things i have are scketchbook and mechanical pencil+leads) i dont realy care if you like it, its just something to do, i dont even know if i like drawing but its ive done for maybe a 20-30 percent of my life(including sleeping) though that may be a exageration i did doodle every spare second in school and all through out art class(i almost faild)id rathere creat stuff for personal use or to make othere things(if i ever get the equipment ill make stuff like costumes or visual novels)if i have true skill in "art" or some such perhaps i can make a lil bit of money(maybe just enough for half a hused game) i rambeling ? oh well i hope this fits here...
GreatMasterofChibis Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Its amazing how people tell me and other people: "OMG you're so talented" yet we dont believe it ourselves. It may be for the fact we believe we could do better and aspire to be like the big masters of art, who they might also believe, that they got no talent and aspire to be better. 

But this motivated me to keep working until I get my style to be joined with the great masters of DeviantArt. Love this article. <3 
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