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    Talent is a predisposition to excel at something. Some people are just superior to others. The hard work and dedication of a mediocrity will not equal the hard work and dedication of someone with great talent.

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    talent, all it takes is talent. oh yes, all you need is love, but all it takes is talent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the_jos View Post
    Seem is indeed the right word. The difference is very often determination and not being afraid of failure once in a while.


    When I was younger I would always do anything but study and get high grades at school. Does that mean I'm smarter or does it mean my brain is more 'attuned' to the teaching methods that schools use? When I make an IQ test, does this really tell how smart I am? Or is it just one of the scales I can use to measure? It's about 20 degree here.... But it matters a lot if it's measured in Fahrenheit or Celcius...
    "A good student is the student who manages to have good marks and doesn't learn anything" ;-)

    These things seem to be not measurable. I for one have dyscalculia and will always fail on most IQ tests, yet I'm not THAT stupid But I see your point.

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    Thanks everybody for the replies. Some of you gave me great answers that made me think about it even more, some of you failed to understand my question, which is what is that thing called talent, not "what does it take to be successful at X" ;-)

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    I think talent is just love for doing something and the determination to do it better each time.

    Some time ago I had this conversation with someone: he said "wow, I always wanted to draw well, like you, I wish I could do that"
    and I said "well... I think the only difference between you and me is that, when you were a child and spent all day playing football with your friends, I was alone... drawing; some years later when you went camping on a weekend, I spent the entire day alone... drawing, I drew my entire life... if we would go back in time and swap places, you would be as good or even better than me"
    And he said... "oh... no way, thanks... (laughs)"
    I said "yes, I know" (I laugh)

    ...makes you wonder, doesnt' it?

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    I was speaking to a friend a couple of years ago about talent, he was saying I was born with something that he wasn't. I think the only reason I could draw from an early age was because I wanted to. I used to try and draw the monsters from DOOM and stuff. I think that got me started, I don't think I was born with anything unique, only the part of me that liked drawing monsters and things. Then I didn't really draw for many years, and now I'm trying to teach myself again.

    I think really, more than anything its just having a certain mindset, if you want to draw well I think you end up analysing things more and you kind of learn without actually drawing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    The thing is, there isn't really an exclusive "art" section of the brain... The brain is complicated, many activities involve quite a lot of things going on at once, all over the brain. I suspect well-done art is one of those activities, it's a lot more than just being able to see well, or being able to copy what you see. For one thing, you need the ability to make good judgments about an image, which requires cultural learning (to understand visual semantics etc.), exposure to well-made images, memory of images you've previously been exposed to, etc... and anything that involves learning and memory is already hugely complex and involves many parts of the brain, or maybe the whole brain.

    Maaaaaybe some biochemical factors could make one more sensitive to visual stimuli, or better able to remember visual data, which might cause someone to take a liking to art given proper exposure and opportunity, maybe...? But it wouldn't be anything as simple as "you got good lungs and strong legs, you could be a good runner", sort of thing. I just doubt there's anything as simple as an "art gene" that makes you automagically "talented" and predestines you to become an artist regardless of upbringing.
    I wasn't talking about predestination or an I/O switch for "artist" in the brain. All I'm saying is that the varying sets of factors defining that initial leap forward in art happen in the brain, perhaps with basic input from the rest of the body. Regardless of what it is that draws you as a person to be an artist, different structures in your brain and body are responsible for your choices, actions, feelings and viewpoints, bar none. In any case, I have no doubt that certain people instantly grasp what others have to train diligently to understand, and sometimes the planets align and an individual possesses a higher capacity for certain skills and concepts as well as having a life that supports growth in those areas.

    Gosh I'm all over the place this morning. Hope that makes sense.

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    Talent seems to be a pretty divisive topic. People either seem to fervently believe there is no such thing as talent and that people who do believe in talent are just making excuses, or they believe that there is such a thing as being naturally talented and that can give a person a leg up in their endeavors. I am a little unsure what people are making excuses for by believing in talent, it seems to cover both ends of the spectrum from making excuses as to why they will never be good, or making excuses as to why they are great. I think that at the end of the day it may, as many things do, boil down to fear. I think that some people are afraid that since they don't consider themselves to have talent in the thing that really interests them, that means that no matter how hard they work they can never be 'great' at it. That is just silly. There are many paths to the same destination and many starting points, no two people will have the same journey. So one person's 'talent' may mean they start a little closer to the finishing line than you do that by no means invalidates your journey or prevents you from reaching the same finishing line. Talent is really only a head start, everyone still has to put in the hard work to be great. So some people have a natural inclination for a task and some people don't, at the end of the day it doesn't matter, what matters is what you do with what you've got.

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    Talent is something you make time to ponder when you should be working on bettering yourself through your medium of choice so the question would never occur to you to enquire.

    Pondering what talent is, is like wondering why night is black and why is water wet.

    I've only asked a similar question (what is style type question) out of insecurity of the moment. After I grew in knowledge from my own research and experience, I never concerned myself with a pointless though such as that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nateman742 View Post
    Regardless of what it is that draws you as a person to be an artist, different structures in your brain and body are responsible for your choices, actions, feelings and viewpoints, bar none.
    But not inherently. Your choices, actions, feelings and viewpoints are vastly affected by experience and environment. I doubt anyone is "predestined" from birth to be an artist, or a good artist for that matter - which is what "talent" usually seems to imply. At the most someone might be favorably inclined from the start towards things-that-could-lead-to-art, but a million and one things could happen in life to steer them away from becoming a good artist.

    Honestly, when I was a kid, people said I was "talented", but I started from exactly the same point as every other kid, drawing inchoate scribbles. It just so happened that I liked looking at pictures, so I wanted to try making them, and kept on trying because it turned out to be fun. Add to the mix encouraging relatives, a Dad who was an art major, a grandmother who was a painter, and a total lack of TV, and you have someone who drew a lot for fun and decided to stick with it long enough to go to art school and make a career of it. (Though when I got to art school, I was surrounded by other dedicated kids, many of them better than me, so I was no longer considered especially "talented". I was just another art student trying to improve.)

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    I would say that some people are born more able to comprehend form and perspecrtive of outer world and to get this understanding on paper. These qualities which others achieve through hard-work, individuals have fortified from the birth. Like some are born stronger and more clever.

    For example the pictures below were made by the famous artist Konstantin Vasilyev in his early ages of 5. Do feel practice here?

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    For example the pictures below were made by the famous artist Konstantin Vasilyev in his early ages of 5. Do feel practice here?
    Question: are those drawn from actual dogs and statues, or were they copies of pictures? Anyone can learn to copy a picture exactly, with just a little training. (Hello, Betty Edwards...)

    I suspect those childhood drawings are copied from pictures, judging by his later work...

    Dunno. Whenever I see work by prodigies, they always seem to be doing some form of exact copying, not creating pictures the way a fully trained artist does, using a combination of observation, learning and judgment... I could be wrong, but successful artists always seem to be the ones who went on to practice constantly all their lives, I don't know of any who became instantly successful in childhood and then stayed that way.

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    Turner was accepted into the Royal Academy Schools at 14.

    Millais was 11.

    I don't think it's crazy talk to suggest that some people just pick things up really quickly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    Question: are those drawn from actual dogs and statues, or were they copies of pictures? Anyone can learn to copy a picture exactly, with just a little training. (Hello, Betty Edwards...)
    Not any five-year-old. Most people's brains simply aren't wired up that way at that age.


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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    Question: are those drawn from actual dogs and statues, or were they copies of pictures? Anyone can learn to copy a picture exactly, with just a little training. (Hello, Betty Edwards...)
    Dog is drawn from his own home pet. And the second picture is drawn from existing statue, so they are not copies of other picture but representational ones.

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    But...HE'S NOT A REAL ARTIST UNLESS HE CAN DRAW ONLY FROM HIS IMAGINATION!

    HE CHEATED USING REFERENCE?!



    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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    Turner was accepted into the Royal Academy Schools at 14.

    Millais was 11.

    I don't think it's crazy talk to suggest that some people just pick things up really quickly.
    And Picasso got into art school at some ridiculous young age too, I forget what age exactly... But he still had to work hard to develop past the level of average schlock.

    Dog is drawn from his own home pet. And the second picture is drawn from existing statue, so they are not copies of other picture but representational ones.
    Okay, that's fairly impressive then. What happened later? His later stuff seems so... stiff.

    Not any five-year-old. Most people's brains simply aren't wired up that way at that age.
    Mostly I'm just curious, because his later work doesn't look especially brilliant. It's okay, but not what you'd expect from someone who's supposed to be a super-genius. So I'm wondering, what's the story behind his 5-year-old drawings? And what happened between age 5 and maturity? What, if anything, happened to help things along? Or hinder things? That's the part I'm really curious about...

    I also wonder if any of this has anything to do with the whole Betty Edwards right-side-of-the-brain thing. Whatever it was she thought she was getting at. I mean, considering she claimed to be able to train people whose drawing skills were about the level of your average 5-year old.

    And this brings up another question, what CAN you teach young children? I mean really? If you try? No one tries teaching them to draw, for instance - so do we know if they could learn? Or not? Back in the renaissance, young princes were expected to have a full mastery of several languages, armed combat, military strategy, and everything else a prince would need to know as an adult by age 14 or so. And they DID, because they were taught early. So I wonder - what is the average person's real potential if taught early? I'm curious.

    Y'know, leaving aside the whole question of whether some people have some kind of natural predilection or advantage or whatever you want to call it, or whether it's caused by early exposure and encouragement, or what... I've suddenly realized why I hate the term "talent". It's because of the way people usually use it, as though if you have that mystical magickal "talent", you don't need anything else. The typical exchange I've experienced usually goes something like:

    "omg, ur so talented! How do you do it!"
    "Um....... practice?"
    "omg no way ur just talented, I'll never be as good as you, liek, omg!"

    (Perhaps I exaggerate the stupidity. But close enough.) Even friends and relations who should know better act like that - I tell them I'm doing something for practice, and their reaction is usually something like "Oh, but what do you mean! You're so talented! You don't need practice!" And I'm like "uh, yes, I do, I'm not that good and I didn't even reach my current level without practice, helloooo..."

    Seriously makes me want to start slapping people...

    Last edited by QueenGwenevere; June 22nd, 2010 at 12:36 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmenSpirits View Post
    But...HE'S NOT A REAL ARTIST UNLESS HE CAN DRAW ONLY FROM HIS IMAGINATION!

    HE CHEATED USING REFERENCE?!
    Oy. Who said anything about drawing from imagination? You KNOW it's harder to draw from life than to copy a picture. For that matter it's harder to use refs well than to just copy something mindlessly Betty Edwards-style...

    Heck, I copied pictures and photos as a kid, and I can tell you it was easier to do and the results were waaaaay more impressive-looking than when I tried drawing from life, or composing my own pictures in any form.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    Oy. Who said anything about drawing from imagination? You KNOW it's harder to draw from life than to copy a picture. For that matter it's harder to use refs well than to just copy something mindlessly Betty Edwards-style...

    Heck, I copied pictures and photos as a kid, and I can tell you it was easier to do and the results were waaaaay more impressive-looking than when I tried drawing from life, or composing my own pictures in any form.
    sarcasm alert haha

    Quote Originally Posted by OmenSpirits View Post
    (on the topic of ART) She's a demanding bitch that wants ALL your time and gets angry and pulls away if you even LOOK at another creative endeavor! "What, I'm not GOOD enough for you now? hm? well guess what, BAM! now try to draw without me, ya bastard!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by alffla View Post
    sarcasm alert haha
    I figured that. I was just being crabby. (90 degrees and no air conditioning will do that to you...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    I figured that. I was just being crabby. (90 degrees and no air conditioning will do that to you...)
    I live 20 paces from the water, but I feel your pain.

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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    Even friends and relations who should know better act like that - I tell them I'm doing something for practice, and their reaction is usually something like "Oh, but what do you mean! You're so talented! You don't need practice!" And I'm like "uh, yes, I do, I'm not that good and I didn't even reach my current level without practice, helloooo..."


    I get the same thing from my family and granted it's nice to hear at times but after a while...it gets annoying, to me. *wants to start slapping people too...my family is all way older than me and they should know better (have no members who are artist...only artist in family)*

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    Of course to be one of the best to do something you need to practice. That's because all the people at the top had some degree of talent to begin with than did hours of practice on top of that. But to say that there's no such thing as natural talent is bullshit in my opinion. Take any skill or field of study and some people have the natural disposition to succeed in that field and some don't. Just like not everyone can become an astro physicist or a professional basketball player no matter how much they practice the same goes for art. You all know you've seen it before, that person who's been practicing and practicing at drawing or music or whatever for years and years and still sucks at it.

    So basically find something you love that you aren't completely stumped by and keep working at it until you are as good as the top few that are successful in that field.

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