Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What is Talent?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the idea of talent.

I have my suspicions on what it might be, but I'm still not sure about it. I've observed what I consider talent, though, so I guess the secret lies in there somewhere.

I have a few friends I consider talented, especially in the field of art. It's really fascinating and inspiring to watch them: they spend pretty much all of their free time just drawing, drawing, drawing all the time: drawing stuff for online classes, drawing stuff for personal projects or portfolios, drawing friends, or even just drawing random people to practice natural forms.

It's really incredible. How do you acquire passion like that?

Well, that's not a fair thing to say. Artists with that level of dedication don't necessarily find it easy to spend all their time drawing--it's just what they have to do to keep their skills sharp. No doubt they give up all sorts of alternate activities in order to hone that skill. In short, it sounds hard.

I've never founds something I was passionate enough about to keep me from getting distracted by other things. Or, at least, it feels that way sometimes.

As noted in my previous blog post, I've definitely found something I'm passionate about: something I have, in fat, always been passionate about, so much that I believe I subconsciously kept focusing on it, even though I'd consciously given up on the idea.

So, maybe that's talent? The drive that keeps you obsessing over it even when you're not actively trying to think about it? I like that idea. I don't think it accounts for the entirety of talent, but I'd be willing to accept it as a facet.

I guess the biggest question is: can talent be learned?

I'm not certain. Perhaps it's true that, for some people, it doesn't matter how much you practice or how long you spend training to become good at whatever it is you want to do--you're either good at it, or you're not.

That's certainly a pessimistic view, but is it realistic? People often equate the two, but I don't think they're necessarily tied to each other. Sometimes the idealistic and the realistic can be closer than you think. Or perhaps that's just wishful thinking.

Anyway, I'll just leave this here. Sometimes I feel like I should listen to this every day.

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