January 19, 2012

About Talent & Work

Hello everyone. Today no picture, no illustration, no watercolors, cg nor acrylics, I wanted to write a little bit about a reflection I had lately. Bobby Chiu made an interesting post on G+ I wanted to share,  and I thought it would be interesting to develop the concept. What is talent about? A lot of people seems to consider that the talent is a gift, a blessing not everyone has the right to, something you are, like, "you are talented", something you always have been, like you've been drawing super very extremely well since you're a baby!

I'm not that pessimistic. I think that what those people call "talent" means in reality "a lot of work". It would be so sad that some people would be gifted by that talent, those people would be the only ones that has the true right to do something with their talent, and the others can't have this gift, so they would be doing something else. I don't believe that. I believe that if someone tries and work and study very hard he can become a "talented" people. It's not something you have until you're a baby, it is something you develop by hardworking on it. Otherwise, it would be very unfair and there would be no hope for a lot of artists. And I like to think that everyone has its chance to do what they love, and can reach their goal with hard work, perseverance and determination.

For exemple in art, what people call "talent" is a combination of good observation, good connection eye-brain-hand made by a lot of training, imagination (that can be developed too), inspirations, mixing inspiration and personal experiences, etc., plus years of training trying to figure out the best way to put all this together. Then, an 30 y.o. artist that began his interest in art at 10 should be more talented than an artist of the same age that began his interest at 20 of course. BUT the fact is that it is not really like that, because the "latest vocation" artist has a lot of delays to catch up and then works harder and under pressure and so works better and finally they should be at the same level, if done properly.

Also, as a lot of people thinks that the "talent" is a god blessed gift that the artists has since they are born,  a lot of people give no value to their work. I mean not an artistic value but a financial value. At least it is like that in France. As you are gifted and had no effort, no work to upgrade your skills (since you are talented), why should I pay you for your work? You should be thankful I give you an occupation,like "hey you're my friend and your drawings are nice, would you make one for me please? i have no money but you will have the satisfaction of drawing for me, and i'm awesome! moreover it makes you one more illustration for your portfolio!" , but an artist, it is well known, is a different species. We may live on earth, but we have no house to pay, we don't have to eat neither.... and our only wish is to make art all day, we have no other occupation in our lives.... That is how a lot of people non-artists I have met seems to think... Or at least seemed to think before I asked them why shouldn't we get (well) paid for our work...

So to me, the word "talented" is now banished from my vocabulary, I prefer to use the word "hard-worker". Feel free to comment this post if you have any reflection to do about it, tell me if you agree or don't agree, or just to say "hi" ^^

kisses to all the artists and non-artists that support art,


  1. I totally agree :) . And I think you can apply that to a lot of domains. I often heard that I was "doted for studies". That's insane ! I was probably the only one working all night long to produce a real quality work...

  2. As far as my experience can lead me (in fact, not so far :P), I must agree that "talent" is just a notion, a subjective point of view from someone who doesn't really master the subject (relatively to the person, the "gifted" one, who does). Actually, this view splits people in two, by making them choose between what they seem to be talented for and what they really want to do, like you said in your article...

    Nevertheless, even if you can work hard enough to catch up with skilled people, you can not deny that some people have alot more abilities than the others. For instance, someone who can be more adaptable and more empathetic (or whatever) will be naturally "talented" for some kind of jobs... But, not showing a talent for something should not prevent you from doing what you really want to do. :)

  3. @Sayaelis : Sure thing, instead of hanging out with their friends, those people who told you that could have been studying ^^

    @Irthaal : First of all, thank you for your comment!
    To answer you, I think that most of those abilities you are talking about are environmental, which means developed by the education and the experience (I'm not talking about supernatural 170 IQ of course), so even if it is a "natural talent", to me it is still a kind of "natural work". Of course if you are a small person you won't be able to run as fast as a tall person (with the same training). But for intellectual domains, I think that we (almost) all are born equals, our environment and life experience made us have more abilities in one domain than the other, and our work too. Nevertheless, I think (and hope!) we are all capable the same level at the end with the proper training. :)

  4. Hope you're right ;)
    (and you're welcome :) )