I’ve been having a great time working on an art tutorial site. It is a drawing and instructional site, mostly. (I seem to always have some sort of web page “project” going on, and this is my latest.)
One of my goals is to encourage new artists (and people who might like to start to draw, and then paint). I’m not going to give the URL to this site here, because it’s a domain site, and I am silly and paranoid about my privacy. (But if you really are curious about it, drop me a line and I’ll email you the URL.)
One of the things I preach on this site is that “talent is overrated”. Meaning, while talent is great, it’s not going to get your far without hard work and dedication. For example, my own “innate” talent would not have taken me far had I not filled a kajillion sketchbooks with drawings. I needed to practice, and learn. I’ve met few artists that have been any different. I’ve also met people with a “seed” of a talent, but because they were not interested in cultivating it, it never really went anywhere.
I sometimes encounter people who obviously think that artistic and creative people are born with “talent”, and that’s all there is to it. That either you have it, or you don’t, and if you “have it”, then it will all be easy for you. That you don’t really have to push yourself, and struggle and sweat blood and tears. It’s like “plop”! You’re “talented”! But this is rarely how it seems to be, at least from my observation. Talent means that you have an aptitude, or an inclination. You have a strength. But usually, this is not enough on its own - you have to DO something to grow, and improve. And, I’ve also seen people with little innate talent - but because they worked really hard, they really improved a lot, much to everyone’s amazement.
I am trying to encourage new artists to pursue art, by telling them that just because they don’t show a great “talent” from birth, it doesn’t mean that there is no hope for them to do something with art. There are some great books (like Betty Edwards’ “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”) that will help people learn how to draw. Even if they thought they had no “talent”.
This is my opinion on the matter. The reason I’m starting this thread is that I want to have the most balanced viewpoint about the concept “talent” for my web site, and I thought I’d ask other talented people for their viewpoints on this subject. I really am looking forward to everyone’s input!
I was debating putting this is IMHO (since I’m kind of polling here) but since this is definitely about something creative/artistic, I figured I’d put it here.