Is talent a myth?

If you've ever felt discouraged that other artists are more "talented" than you, I want to call this article to your attention right away: http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/06/01/479335421/practice-makes-possible-what-we-learn-by-studying-amazing-kids

This is the dark side of believing in innate talent. It can beget a tendency to assume that some people have a talent for something and others don't and that you can tell the difference early on. If you believe that, you encourage and support the 'talented' ones and discourage the rest, creating the self-fulfilling prophecy. ... The best way to avoid this is to recognize the potential in all of us — and work to find ways to develop it.

Seriously, go check it out!

Comments on "Is talent a myth?"

Udom (unregistered visitor)

People can be talented in a variety of directions. I've known people who can effortlessly solve math problems while carrying on a conversation, while I like to joke that I've never been sure how many fingers and toes I have. We just aren't all alike, and that's OK. The author you quote approaches the question by devaluing genius. Better to just be the best you can be and stop fretting about how you compare to others.

Sabina (unregistered visitor)

Talent and genius, neither of these are myths. I see it as a process, and a progress in benefiting mankind. We are all different and some can do things better then others. Genius is someone who invented or discovers something that has benefitted mankind. Talent and genius is not a myth; both go hand in hand. If "genius" means someone who can do something the rest of us cannot do, figured out or has accomplished and/or created something to benefit all mankind, doesn't "talent" come first? By recognizing the talent, acknowledging the talent, then supporting the talent, from these aspects, the talent can be aspired to become a "genius".
If we can overcome our own selfishness and focus on the betterment of all people, I wonder how much further we would be at this time

Mike (unregistered visitor)

This is an interesting topic, I know for a fact that for some people it is easier to draw than others , that is a fact.
Whilst for others (like me !) it takes longer to learn & the process of learning requires more effort.
Even Michelangelo wrote - " People would not think me such a Genius if they knew how hard I have worked."
If you work at it & put in the hours you will get better at it in direct proportion with how much effort you direct at it.
I've known brilliant young artists who have not put in the hours , they just weren't motivated & they have been left far behind by people who were motivated to work at it .
Personally I'm quite offended by the many well intentioned comments I receive "Oh that's gorgeous , you are so talented ! - I think , I've trained as hard as any sportsman to be able to do that !
The thing that holds most folk back from even attempting to enter the world of art is after a couple of tries they conclude , "oh I just have not the talent " . NO ! you just have not learned & practiced enough .

samuel adelbai (unregistered visitor)

It all started from the womb. When my mom still had me in her womb, she often visited her cousin who was a baker in a school, where a German Christian lady used to play classical music very loud through out the school campus. My mom told me that I loved those music when I was a baby. Now when I listen to Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and etc's, I get emotional. I am a painter artist. When I was 3rd. grade, the upper grades and the lower grades asked me to come to draw a Santa's picture in their class for Christmas decoration.

plop (unregistered visitor)

Talent is a 5%. 95% is a hard work. That is a fact. You can still be very successful artist having that 95% ;-).

Foxtrot

Talent certainly plays a role, then too, it all depends upon what you call the ability to draw. Everyone, to some degree can draw so I believe the topic is a myth. One can learn a skill but art takes something just a little bit different. I think it is important to differentiate what is being discussed. I look at Jean-Michel Basquiat's work and personally I think "Hack" but his works have garnered up to $100,000 plus. Because someone is willing to give up this kind of money for one painting does that make it art?
As for me I could stand producing just a few works to equal one or two of his mid-range paintings. However, what I produce is really for myself and my lineage. I don't believe I can paint that bad no matter howmuch I would love tol

Add comment

Your email will not be published, sold, or distributed. This is just part of our record-keeping and anti-spam efforts.

As part of our anti-spam efforts, your IP address will be recorded for our records when you post your comment.