A Creative Career

Talent isn’t mystical, it’s hard work.

12 May, 2009

People often tell me that I’m “so creative” and that they wish they could be “gifted” in similar ways. When I thank them and tell them that I’m still learning and that they can probably draw too, they usually look at the ground, put their hands in their pockets and kick at something imaginary on the floor while telling me wistfully that they simply don’t have the talent. To which I say with much enthusiasm “THAT’S CRAP!”

I have always believed that everyone can learn artistic techniques that will help them fully utilise their creativity, it’s just that the culture we’re in seems to dictate that art is some kind of flight of fancy that isn’t very useful at all; hence it isn’t developed as a priority in school curriculum. I even went to uni with the intention of becoming an art teacher so I could try and teach young people that, but quickly discovered that I wasn’t going to change the world in the ways that I had so naively assumed :P

Kirby Ferguson from Goodie Bag has an awesome name. He also has a point. You should watch the above video and be enlightened; then you should write a list of all of the things you’ve wanted to do but thought you couldn’t – and then set off on your 10,000 hours of practice.

Nothing is stopping you, except a little bit of hard work ;) (and PS: I’m still doing my hours!)

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  • I love that you posted this! I’ve been trying to be craftier (not that I would consider you “crafty”) lately and bought some watercolors to try out. As I’m sitting there making pears, I thought about you and how you are always so encouraging to people like me. With practice, we can do better. And while I still think that you are gifted, even natural gifts get better with a little honing.

  • I’ve been silently reading (more viewing your artwork) for a number of months. I love it!

    Your write-up here is spot-on. While I believe there are people with “natural talent” it is still a never ending street. And a street that people of all levels can start walking down.

    cheers.