July 30, 2010

Skill vs. Talent

I often object when someone say’s I’m "talented" when they see what I’m doing. I feel that it degrades the integrity and real work behind what I’m doing. It’s not like I just woke up and was able to create something beautiful with natural skills. They had to be developed. I continue to devote myself to improving my craft.

You see the main point of importance is to follow your passion!
As I see it, Talent are the gifts we are given. They come easily but need to be developed to become skills. We may have a talent for creating or a singing talent, but that doesn’t make you ready to paint a master piece or sing opera.
Skill requires passion and drive to fuel it. It takes us directing our core energy source, our willpower and applying it with focused determination over a period of time. To develop skills we educate ourselves, take classes and most importantly practice.
After all.....Practice makes perfect.
Skill comes down to the very choices we make. We can take pride in our choices, our skills
We cannot take pride in gifts or talents, we only take them for granted.

 So here is a drawing I did that took two settings to complete. I lightly sketched the major shapes in  pencil. The remainder was done completely freehand with ink, no erasing, no rulers, just concentrated effort as I work to build my drawing skill. 
Click image above to this to see this drawing larger and get a sense of the linework at the proper aspect ratio.
One day I fear that if I didn’t follow my passions that I would be haunted by the decision not to try at all. Using only "gifts" and talent is a life of ease, there is no motivation to improve something you are already good at. Whereas skill is something you work hard at and and can feel proud of your accomplishment at the end of the day. A skill is also something anyone can learn, like drawing. The real talent comes in using your own desire to do it and discipline to get good at it and then you've EARNED the right to call it a skill. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Following your convictions and lead the life of adventure. On some level, that is what I think we are here to do. Take the less safe path and follow your passion! Live, don’t just exist.

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