Monthly Archives: January 2011

So what is talent?

I don’t know yet.

Talent is a tricky thing to define. For most of my life I thought that people were either talented or untalented, that talent was innate and not learned. One could be talented at a sport, singing, acting, or in my case, drawing and painting. But if you didn’t have that special something, whatever field it was, it was not worth pursuing.

Going through my high school’s art program began to change my view. I saw a number of people progress from stick figures to creating technically and conceptually interesting pieces. Learning the fundamentals of design combined with new techniques, many made the jump from untalented to talented. Yet many still claim that the creative fields are not like the maths and sciences, you either have it or you don’t. So how can people make the jump?

Researchers nowadays say that talent is about practice. My drawing teacher Cliff likes to tell us this frequently, emphasizing the idea that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert in any field. The “deliberate” part is important. Practice that makes us better often isn’t fun. Past a certain point you have to truly push to get better.

I want to push to get better. I want to explore what talent is and how I can get there. This blog is my way of exploring the art world, thinking more carefully about my own work, and pushing myself to become better than what I am now.

Let’s see if I can get there.

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