Cathleen Lengyel > Scribbles > Artist Life > Talented, Gifted or Skilled?

Talented, Gifted or Skilled?

It seems today that people will disagree with just about anything.  The same is true with artists.  Whether it’s freehand vs using proportional tools, never using black paint/pencils etc to a curious disagreement over what I once thought to be a matter of semantics.  Today I want to talk a little about that and my personal opinion. 😉 As an artist you may hear a great many things in regards to your artwork.  Sometimes praise, sometimes criticism.  It’s a part of life.  However, how many times have you been told that you are “gifted” or “talented?” Most people would take such statements as a form of praise.  Recently however, I have discovered there are a number of artists who take it as offensive. But why? Being an artist takes time and effort.  Hours, years of trials and failures, practicing and hard work to reach your current level in your medium.  The artists who disagree with being labeled as “talented or gifted” feel that being called one of those things takes away from the years of effort and struggles put into getting to the level of expertise in their medium.  They argue that (using drawing as an example) anyone can learn to draw!  It’s just that not everyone puts in the amount of effort or sacrifices the amount of time needed to be able to draw well. While I don’t totally disagree, I think anyone can learn to draw and draw well.  Yes, drawing is a skill that takes years to master.  But what if…..  now don’t run away, stay with me here, but what if…. (here comes the way I look at it)  
To me everyone is born with a gift/talent.  EVERYONE.  
  Not everyone is an artist because not everyone has the gift/talent needed to become an artist.  (Here’s where it gets interesting.) I don’t think being able to draw a masterpiece in and of itself is a gift or talent.  However, I DO believe that artists are born with a innate passion which draws them to artistic endeavors.  Artists spend the time (hours, years) to perfect their art because we have a God given gift to want to be artists.  Does that make sense? Yes, anyone can draw, but only those who are gifted with the passion to WANT to draw will become amazing artists.  Just the same way someone who is gifted/talented with debate may go on to a career in law or politics.  WE ALL HAVE A GIFT.  It’s just we don’t always see those gifts the same way as we do when we see artists. So next time, smile and say thank you when someone calls you gifted or talented, because God blessed you with a special gift/talent to create. Until next time, Keep Creating!
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