Talented I'm Not

by lesley // posted on Apr 11, 2016

At least in the Western world, talent is thought of as an innate ability to do something - generally in the arts.

I'm not saying there's no such thing as talent, I'm just saying it's overrated.  There are those who are talented but because they thought talent was all that was required,  we've never heard of them.

I wasn't born with a silver paintbrush in my mouth nor was I raised in an artistically inclined environment.  That's not to say I wasn't incredibly fortunate to have had parents who encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to do - but to just work really hard at it.

Skill is not inherent.  Skill is the result of endless hours of practice.  Learning remains infinite.  The practice is daily.  No amount of talent will pull you through if you don't learn the basics.

We need to stop glorifying talent and begin recognizing the artists we admire for their dogged determination, desire, practice and dedication - qualities required to make progress.

This is actually good news.

Many people say they would love to paint, play a musical instrument, write sonnets or a novel, but are  paralyzed by the belief they lack the talent necessary to realize their dream.

If you're willing to put in the hours and stubbornly maintain focus through all the ups and downs, you CAN do it in spades. 

Now is never too late.


Lesley, thank you so much for this blog. My youngest grandchildren, at least two of them think I am the most talented artist in the world and want to be just like me. I love that they think that, I paint with them and I think that is a good way to show them that it is hard work. I said two of my grandchildren,(I have ten ). Ha ha . I did read your blog to my class at the CO-OP and all agreed . Thanks so much,hugs.

Well, there ya go Jocelyn - that's a fine testament to hard work, passion to create and hanging in there. Way to go! It's a shame kids are told things like that by adults who should know better. It can really effect their future - fortunately in your case it wasn't permanent.

Well, I agree with Mary-Lou; you are talented. And working hard makes you an exceptional artist. I do agree with you about the talent part (generally speaking). I was failed in Grade 8 in Art. I was told I couldn't draw. I did not even try to paint or draw again until I was almost 60. And that was because I had hand surgery and wasn't able to play my musical instrument. Creativity has to go somewhere....and I am painting....and I finally got the guts to enter a poetry contest and placed third nationally. So anyone who wants to draw, paint, play, sing, can do it. Hard work is a most important factor.

Thanks for setting me straight Mary-Lou, you've always been talented at that :) BTW - Happy Birthday today.

That is are so talented but you do work hard too...I mean you you don't work hard at writing but you're very good at it...ha, ha, got you!

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