You can have one person's artistic ability: Who, what and why?

Too hard to use the poll function for this one.

While staggering out of a bar at closing time, you trip over a lamp in a parking lot, and the genie of the lamp grants you one rather specific kind of wish. To wit, he will imbue you with a specific aspect of a specific person’s artistic ability at their peak. You can paint like Picasso, write like Wilde, dance like Duncan. Mind you, you don’t have their inspiration, training or experience, just their innate ability. What do you choose, and why?

George Gershwin.


John Barth.

And the why of your choices?
Personally, I want the voice of Levi Stubbs at his peak. It would make singing in the shower a much more pleasing experience for all concerned.

Hayao Miyazaki

I wish I could draw and he’s a wonderful illustrator. And, on top of that, he has amazing storytelling abilities and a magical imagination. Ah, to have such talent!

I would like to play the guitar like Jimi Hendrix. Can you say rock God?

Leonardo da Vinci for the Renaissance Man master skills. Even if I don’t get his scientific skills (if they can really be separated anyhow), I’d think the artistic would be wide-ranging and awesome.

I’m not even sure I know what this means. When you remove inspiration, training or experience, we have no way of knowing what’s left.

And it would be frustrating as hell, to have “innate ability” (whatever that is), and not have the inspiration, training or experience. For all we know, we might already have it.

But I’ll go with Rachmaninoff.

What I mean is, if you choose the talent of Hendrix, you don’t have the calluses. If you choose athletic ability, you don’t instantly get into shape. You get the talent.

I want Terry Pratchett’s ability to find the absolute right words to string together.

Keith Moon, because then I could pound the drums like a mad man without being a mad man.

My choice too. Not just his guitar playing but his very underrated singing which was filled to the brim with soul. He sounds, both in his playing and his singing, like he’s channeling the universe and it’s all coming rushing through faster than he can control it. Absolutely, Jimi, to experience that feeling of being able to funnel all your passion into the music like that.

I want to sing like Barbra Streisand. I’ve always wanted a singing voice, and I love hers.

I wish I had the ability of any sort of cartoonist. One that can draw decent characters and scenes just off the top of their heads.

I want to be able to draw cartoons for my friends and make them laugh, and make cool greeting cards. Every time I try to draw now, it just looks awful.

Yeah, I’d like the artistic ability of Bill Watterson. I’d love to draw a great comic strip.

My initial impulse was to say that I’d like the overall artistic ability of Leonardo. However, upon further reflection, I think that I would enjoy the singing and songwriting talent of John Denver even more.

The man could (and still can) write. Few have topped him in imagination or cleverness of narrative, not to mention his insights on writing and the writing process. He can be pretty damn funny, too.

Excellent choice.


Added emphasis mine.

Certainly not clinically insane, but having read the bio’s I’d say he had significant mental illness.

Not that I care. He was the only reason I liked The Who, and is one of my three or four favorite rock drummers ever. The man was indeed amazing, but more “mad” than not, IMO.

Anyway, I like your choice.

Well let’s see…

Jesus was a carpenter, which is a craftsman/artist. I think that would be pretty cool.

What about the mind of Hawking or Einstein? Way up there on the list.

Jerry’s got to be pretty high up on the list. But for music I guess I’d have to go with either Babatunde Olatunjior Mamady Keita. I studied under Mamady, and know just how far from greatness one can be, yet know that you’ve traveled an infinite distance already.

Visual arts? How about the dude who first put color on a cave wall? I don’t know how mechanically talented he was, but consider the imagination.