View Poll Results: If the rest is interest, dedication, and inspiration, how much does talent account?

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  1. #1
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    how far will talent get you?

    I remember way back in high school all I wanted was to be good at basketball. As far as talent went, I had none, but I practiced and practiced every damn day until I won the respect of the basketball dudes in our neighborhood. I was by no means dominant, yet I was a team player and would probably be described as "pretty good".


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  3. #2
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    I don't have any talents. I just have an aptitude for spatial problem solving on paper. The rest are hard work.
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    Talent is bogus.

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    Talent is a word lazy people use to feel better about their inaction.
    I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.

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    Well I believe hard work is also a talent not everyone can do that.

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    talent is probably THE word i hate most. i had some quite heated discussions with my parents about it and in my opinion there is no such thing as talent. on the one hand it's quite hard to even define it properly

    the dictionary says

    A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment.

    "innate" means obviously that you are BORN with it. and i do not think that talent has something to do with our genetical code / DNA. in my opinion what we call "talent" is most often something that comes with hard and steady, dedicated practice; talent at design for example is the skill to create things that many people will like. what many people forget when they talk about it though is that there is a psychological factor in design, concerning choice of color, form, quality of the material and so on. for example the "ipod" is mostly considered as a good piece of product design. because of it's simplicity, handyness, colour, form. what i want to say is that everyone who studies "good design" and has some (or a lot of --- -- > Syd Mead !!) education in terms of art history and so on, can be good at designing things and have success and therefore be considered as talented.

    my 2 cents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lim
    ...the dictionary says
    A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment.
    "innate" means obviously that you are BORN with it. and i do not think that talent has something to do with our genetical code / DNA. in my opinion what we call "talent" is most often something that comes with hard and steady, dedicated practice; talent at design for example is the skill to create things that many people will like.
    Whoa, there, buckaroo! You are confusing things, and contradicting yourself all over the place!
    First, the defintion of "talent." Yes, "innate" means you are born with it. Where you are confused and losing focus, is by not reading the associative word after "innate," "ability," which Mirriam-Webster defines as:
    2 : natural aptitude or acquired proficiency
    Being able to do something can be natural (as in "innate") or acquired (as in learned and practiced ). What you are attributing to dedicated practice, is acquired proficiency. ANYONE and EVERYONE has ability based upon acquiring proficiency through learning and practice, but natural or "innate" proficiency does also exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lim
    ...what many people forget when they talk about it though is that there is a psychological factor in design, concerning choice of color, form, quality of the material and so on. for example the "ipod" is mostly considered as a good piece of product design. because of it's simplicity, handyness, colour, form.
    Again, your usage of words is improper for the focus you are presenting.
    Design means to create or execute a plan, as in a "psychologial" formulation.
    Your example of the I-Pod as a good piece of product design is subjective. Not all good product design is as minimalist as an I-pod, and there are some who say the shape of the design is not as form effective as it could be. "Good" is a relative term.
    what i want to say is that everyone who studies "good design" and has some (or a lot of --- -- > Syd Mead !!) education in terms of art history and so on, can be good at designing things and have success and therefore be considered as talented.
    No argument, but, to return to the original discussion of the word "talent" being an "innate ability," there are people who have designed things, both aesthetically pleasing, and/or beneficially functional, who have had little to no education in terms of art history and so on, who have been good at designing things, and have had success.

    Talent goes beyond mere "skill," in the fact that ANYONE can learn to lay tile, but only someone with talent can naturally lay the tile in a specific pattern without an exteraneous plan, instead being able to design as they go.

    Talent has nothing to do with inaction, except that those with talent can accomplish as much as those with skill, with less exertion. That's not lazy, that's time efficient if the results are comparable...
    Last edited by madster; May 12th, 2005 at 12:17 PM.
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    If my calculations are correct, which invariably they arent, then approxiamately 427m. After that your f**ked!
    Cockney boy, but south of the river!

  10. #9
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    Not sure how far my talent takes me, but I know it's not enough for me to reach my goal if I soley depend on it alone.

    I was pretty good with visualizing things in 3D, and I'm always the best in any of the drafting class I take no matter how complicated teh matter is. But since I haven't done anything of that sort in the past couple of years, I kept messing things up when I attempt to draw it again. So there... with talent and effort I can move forward, but when I put away the effort, my talent alone cannot prevent me from falling back. >.<

    and I'd rather not believe in talent. It would make me either give up too easily or get lazy.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by madster
    Whoa, there, buckaroo! You are confusing things, and contradicting yourself all over the place!
    First, the defintion of "talent." Yes, "innate" means you are born with it. Where you are confused and losing focus, is by not reading the associative word after "innate," "ability," which Mirriam-Webster defines as:
    2 : natural aptitude or acquired proficiency
    Being able to do something can be natural (as in "innate") or acquired (as in learned and practiced ). What you are attributing to dedicated practice, is acquired proficiency. ANYONE and EVERYONE has ability based upon acquiring proficiency through learning and practice, but natural or "innate" proficiency does also exist.

    Again, your usage of words is improper for the focus you are presenting.
    Design means to create or execute a plan, as in a "psychologial" formulation.
    Your example of the I-Pod as a good piece of product design is subjective. Not all good product design is as minimalist as an I-pod, and there are some who say the shape of the design is not as form effective as it could be. "Good" is a relative term.
    No argument, but, to return to the original discussion of the word "talent" being an "innate ability," there are people who have designed things, both aesthetically pleasing, and/or beneficially functional, who have had little to no education in terms of art history and so on, who have been good at designing things, and have had success.

    Talent goes beyond mere "skill," in the fact that ANYONE can learn to lay tile, but only someone with talent can naturally lay the tile in a specific pattern without an exteraneous plan, instead being able to design as they go.
    i am sorry if i may have sounded paradox with this statement.
    first of all, english is not my native language.

    but i don't quite get whether you are trying to make a point here by showing up my contradictions or if you actually have to say something your own.
    the term "psychological" may have been inappropriate in this context.
    i wrote this quite fast so i may have not been too exact on my points here.

    Talent has nothing to do with inaction, except that those with talent can accomplish as much as those with skill, with less exertion. That's not lazy, that's time efficient if the results are comparable...
    skill in the definition i have learned is the current status of where you are at when you learn and practice something. you may disagree with me on the following point as you did with my past points, but what's the point in a discussion anyway.

    my main point of argument was that talent is NOT something you just have when you were born, it is NOT some innate ability (as the dictionary says). talent always depends on the circumstances of your life, such as the time you live in, the parents that raised you and gave (or didn't give you) education, the place you spent your childhood and so on.

    of course there were people like da vinci or picasso (who are widely considered "geniuses" and thus "talented persons"). but i think their environment made them what they were, as environment makes us all what we are, at least to a certain point. if someone wants to learn the foundations of art, such as drawing and painting, rendering and so on, he has to dedicate a lot of time to master his skill, but i think that ANY person who isnt handicapped and whose arms work in a normal way can learn how to master the skill. "talent" in art although is the ability to form and composit a great piece that will provoke attention.

    OF COURSE this perceptions of mine are ENTIRELY subjective, as the usage of the word "talent" itself is, I am trying to make a point here, therefore I tried to express my view of things in my poor english. Sorry for that once more, I try to improve.

  12. #11
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    Talent is one thing, but having determination and persistence is another. I love this quote that summerizes this perfectly.

    "Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent."

    Plus drawing, painting, sculpting and 2d/3d is a SKILL, a LEARNED SKILL to be precise.

  13. #12
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    proper,inproper use

    I think i can agree with almost everyone here.


    Talented is a strange way to describe someone, especially if the claim is that they are born with a certain talent.

    I would say that it is better to use the word ' Talent ' after someone has dedicated themself. You can't deny when someone is good at something after working hard.......so i guess that's when talented is a good word to use.

    Somehow this makes more sense in my head than written out....

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    one factor I forgot to mention is exposure.

    Now that I look back on it, I sure am glad my mom bought all those art materials for me early on.

    I know some parents that claim that their son/daughter had artistic potential -- but they never tried to develop it.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lim
    my main point of argument was that talent is NOT something you just have when you were born, it is NOT some innate ability (as the dictionary says). talent always depends on the circumstances of your life, such as the time you live in, the parents that raised you and gave (or didn't give you) education, the place you spent your childhood and so on.
    Then your main point of argument is dead wrong Lim. Talent IS something which is inate, it is not environmentally dependent, that is why it is talent.

    A skill (ie. refinement of talent through time and experience) and the ability to develop such skill is environmentally dependent which is normally why most of us attempt to put our self into that environment (school), those circumstances of life which you mentioned are what will or will not allow the fostering of that talent into a skill set.

    Talent is something you are born with, end of story.

    I have seen it first hand even as I taught art at an element school level, there were kids in that class, grade five, who had obvious talent though were more concerned with soccor and hockey. They spent possibly less than 10% of their personal time on artistic ventures compared to those who were deeply interested in art.

    There is a common trend I have seen over the years and this is that those who have spent thousands upon thousands of hours busting lead to paper will agree that talent alone will not and can not make you a professional.

    A Professional is one who has either taken their talent or pure interest into a drive which shapes his or her environment and decision making process to allow for the development of a skill set which is unique to them.

    ie. Putting them in demand because of their skill set.

    So, how far will talent get YOU? As far as that INDIVIDUAL wants to go.

  16. #15
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    Isnt the enviornment you were raised in just as circumstantial as being born with an innate talent ?

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    Yes, everyone can be a great artist, EVERYONE! Talent, genetic coding, predisposition, whatever you want to call it.. nonsense! I mean if I wanted to, there is no doubt in my mind that I could be a particle physicist, or an economist, or a doctor! Forget the fact that I can't divide without a calculator, or that economic models elude me, or that I wretch at the mere though of blood. Bah I say! Disregard aptitude, or accelerated learning that some people display when exposed to a skill that conforms to their learning style or cognition patterns. We're all special dammit! Let mediocrity reign!

    ..hmm you know however I was able to wield a mean crayon at the age of 2. I wonder if that means something..
    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed, The world in arms is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from an iron cross."

    ...I have a sketchbook?

  18. #17
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    Your natural ability dictates the amount of filling in you have to learn. It's not the same for everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helium Macaroni
    Yes, everyone can be a great artist, EVERYONE! Talent, genetic coding, predisposition, whatever you want to call it.. nonsense! I mean if I wanted to, there is no doubt in my mind that I could be a particle physicist, or an economist, or a doctor! Forget the fact that I can't divide without a calculator, or that economic models elude me, or that I wretch at the mere though of blood. Bah I say! Disregard aptitude, or accelerated learning that some people display when exposed to a skill that conforms to their learning style or cognition patterns. We're all special dammit! Let mediocrity reign!

    ..hmm you know however I was able to wield a mean crayon at the age of 2. I wonder if that means something..

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  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by aesir
    Isnt the enviornment you were raised in just as circumstantial as being born with an innate talent ?
    Only in that it may play a part in how motivated you are to utilize your skills, whether innate or acquired.
    People who are born naturally limber can bend their bodies into some weird positions. People who aren't can, to some extent, learn to do the same, but have to spend countless hours more training their bodies to do what the naturally talented effortlessly bend themselves into. A nurturing environment can encourage the "layman" to keep trying, just as a discouraging environment can cause the human rubber band to never show their abilities to anyone. But, again, it's the individual's choice. People with physical disabilites who paint with their feet, or their mouth prove that environment doesn't stop you if you don't want it to. And innate talent is not circumstantial past the magical happenchance of DNA combination. Some people are born better skilled at some things than others. Doesn't mean the unskilled can't learn, or practice. Doesn't mean the innate ability will ever be realized or capitalized upon. It just means you're unique to the universe, just like everybody else, and you choose how fulfilling your life is.
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    It's so naive to think that there is no such thing as talent... Why do you think some people are just better at things then others? Even if you work hard you'll propably never beat Mike Tyson in the ring simply because you're not build for it. Almost everybody can learn to draw, true, but then again almost everybody can learn to write and are we all great writers?? There is more to it than simply knowing how to draw.

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    Man, hasn't this subject been beaten to death yet?

    My 2 cents on Talent vs. Skill:

    In any skill, progess is usually measured in a series of plateaus. You make advances until you level off, things seem to get really difficult, and you struggle, seeming to make no progress whatsoever. Then, eventually, you have a breakthrough and you rocket forward until you hit the next plateau. Invariably, as you become more and more skilled, the plateaus become harder and harder to overcome, the distance between them smaller and smaller (ie. the amount of change you make when you break free of one plateau to when you hit the next one may seem barely noticeable).

    Where am I going with this? In my own experience and observations, "talent" usually gives you a few "free" plateaus. You still need to put in the work, but in general, those first pleateaus are almost invisible. You seem to travel the path much further, much faster than less "talented" people who put in a like amount of effort (because most of their effort is spent struggling over the challenges at each plateau). More talented people have more free plateaus. In addition, talent might give you an edge and allow you to spend less time at the higher plateaus.

    In the end though, even those with talent will reach a place where they too will struggle. For some immensely talented people, this may be quite far along their path. But everyone will reach that point. And no matter how talented you are, it STILL takes work to advance.

    In some cases (*ahem*) a certain amount of talent can actually be a drawback. Those often accustomed to reaching a certain level of aptitude in certain skills often tend to not develop the mental self discipline required to work beyond that level and thus never excell in any areas (or find it actually harder to excell in those areas than others at their same skill level, because those people have already put in more work than the talented person and are used to the work ethic required to break through to the next plateau).

    Anyways, that's my 2 cents on the subject. Take it or leave it.
    "Every generation sees the past though the lens of its own time." - Thom Hartmann

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    Good post, Forest.

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    Talent is so abstract, I find it difficult to believe or identify myself. Sure, there is aptitude, but it's no secret how Rockwell painted, why can't anyone learn it over time? Mastering the technical aspects of art is simple (not easy, but simple). But putting something down that means something, that transcends time, that relates to people in a way nothing else can...Maybe that is the Art; the Talent.

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    I wonder who voted for the 81-100% option...
    DON'T CLICK THIS

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    Quote Originally Posted by Presence
    Then your main point of argument is dead wrong Lim. Talent IS something which is inate, it is not environmentally dependent, that is why it is talent.
    One thing that makes me doubt that is, if talent is really something in your genes, how come an artist doesn't often have an artistic parent or grandparent or more family members invovled with art and good at it? Unless it's a genetic mutation thing.
    I think early development in childhood is a major factor. Being taught to fold paper things by looking at diagrams since age 2 had help me to visualize 3D better, while my cousins are much more talented in music and languages because their parents listen to music and talk to them a lot more while they were babies. I think environment plays a major factor that influence the brain development.

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    Quote Originally Posted by look
    One thing that makes me doubt that is, if talent is really something in your genes, how come an artist doesn't often have an artistic parent or grandparent or more family members invovled with art and good at it?
    How many great basketball players had parents who were basketball players? How many great mathematicians had parents who were mathematicians? It's not like there's a single "art gene" that you either have or you don't. Were talking about complex suits of characteristics that can manifest themselves in different ways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by look
    One thing that makes me doubt that is, if talent is really something in your genes, how come an artist doesn't often have an artistic parent or grandparent or more family members invovled with art and good at it? Unless it's a genetic mutation thing.
    In addition to what Elwell just said, just because someone was born with a talent doesn't mean they ever used or even discovered it. One of my grandparents could have incredible artistic talent and just never realised it, not been interested in it, or had it discouraged.



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    well!
    the ominous wikipedia says that
    "Talent refers to a special aptitude, faculty or gift of a person. The word comes from the Greek word "Τάλαντο" meaning balance or weight."

    so if someone has a talent they have a nack at something, it comes natural. So in my opinion it is completely possible for one to have a talent to draw and also i believe one shouldnt soley rely on talent, but its a good starting point.
    theres my 2 brass farvings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s.s.nails
    the ominous wikipedia says that
    "Talent refers to a special aptitude, faculty or gift of a person. The word comes from the Greek word "???????" meaning balance or weight."
    Slightly O.T. (this should probably go in the "Facts, facts, facts" thread), the use of "talent" in this sense comes from the parable of the talents in the New Testament.

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    I've read about autistic artists who can make draw accurate reproductions of buildings at the age of three ... I guess that classifies as talent ...

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