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Advice by Ragemoon

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Submitted on
January 13


17,211 (1 today)
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Please artists, take a time and read it. 

A lot of people is been asking me recently about what I do to create, how I developed my work, if I have any formal study in arts, or if it's only "talent". Oh, talent, that damn word. I don't disregard talent at all, but what I really think is that's a complete waste of time for us as artists to underestimate the value of HARD WORK. Talent is a given, Hard work is coachable, and that's all. Simple math. Here's an excerpt of text that says it all: 

"Talent is, in common parlance, 'what comes easily'. So, sooner or later, inevitably, you reach a point where the work doesn't come easily, and, -Aha!, it's just what you feared.

Wrong. By definition, whatever you have is exactly what you need to produce your best work. There's probably no clearer waste of psychic energy than worrying about how much talent you have- And probably no worry more common. 

Talent, if it is anything, is a gift, and nothing of the artist's own making. (…) Talent may get someone off the starting blocks faster, but without a sense of direction, or a goal to strive for, it won't count for much. (…) Even at best, talent remains a constant, and those who rely upon that gift alone, without developing further, peak quickly and soon fade to obscurity. (…) Artists get better by sharpening their skills, or by acquiring new ones; they get better by learning to work, and by learning from their work. They commit themselves to the work of their heart, and act upon that commitment. (…) What you end up caring about is what you DO, not WHETHER THE DOING CAME, hard or easy."
(Extracted from "Art & Fear"- David Bayles & Ted Orland)

There's no secret formula for evolving in art (sorry for that if you were expecting for one). I just study and draw everyday, and by everyday I mean every-single-day. If you're not a Frank Frazetta, a Da Vinci or a Kim Jung-Gi, I really suggest you start doing the same. 

If there's anything to talk about Talent, that's it. And this book is an amazing read if you ever had any questions about a life as an artist, and all it carries within. Go get a copy, and you won't regret yourself :)
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RaeCabaret Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2014   General Artist
Although I understand this wisdom you've shared, we can't forget that every one has their own take on the term 'talent'. I guess it depends on the context of the compliment but when it comes down to it, the viewer is open enough to express their awe of your work whether or not you were given this gift or if you worked yourself to this level of skill. The ego will cast a shadow on this light of good intent and create a negative energy that can possibly make you loose focus on what's really important here. 
Maybe the aggression behind hearing such comment is what drives you to work harder. Again, it just goes back to what your reality of the situation is. 
In all, your advice is great and very inspiring. A lot of people take "work hard, play hard" too literal and reach a point of stagnation that only diligence can conquer, whether they're 'talented' or 'skilled-by-persistance'. It's a rough journey but the passionate always prevail. :)
eduardovieira Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I understand your vision, but it's not the case. I totally agree that people is good intended when they tell it, but the point is that people seem to give talent an overrrated importance on the work and they simply just forget how equally important hard work is. I wrote it having in the count that the human being has a tendence to be stable; people tend to search for the most comfortable position in life. They forget that evolution is a hard work of the nature and a few individuals. 

Well this seems this way to me coz I damn worked hard to get where I am- and my art teacher suggested me, once, I should abandon illustration coz I didn't have "talent". Seems to me that attributing a good work to talent is better to people than working hard until you spill blood. Waiting for luck to play its game and give you a star among the darkness is more comfortable than going there and getting it by trying. 
RaeCabaret Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014   General Artist
Woooow your teacher really said that? I'm sorry you're teacher was a NSP - List of things Brian likes to suck Emote  . I can see now what you mean by the term being slaughtered by society. There are still a few people out there who know what is skill and what is talent. It's easily mistaken given titles such as America's Got Talent or Talent shows at school. That word is definitely thrown around like a hot potato.
LoopyWolf Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014  Professional General Artist
I am in total agreement.  "Talent" is "the interest to spend the hours it takes to get good at something"
eduardovieira Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
LoopyWolf Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2014  Professional General Artist
I've just re-visited this post, because it's something I want to refer back to
It speaks to a crisis I've been having in my artwork lately
Nyamesiss Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Man you just said it.. I've been getting compliments on being talented more and more as my art progressed, which is of course nice, but its mostly attributed to this thing they think is "talent"
Surely real talents exist, but I know I've drawn tons and tons of drawings to get to the point where I am now (not where I want to be just yet, because I'm still trying hard to improve more)
But yeah it can be a bit annoying to have people drool and give credit to some sort of free gift
Or when You have to tell other people how you got your art skills .. well just hard work? but they don't want to hear that.. they think there's some kind of magic recipe to it, as if you couldn't reach that level without it. :L
I really don't know how to handle these people, mostly just thanks and be honest with them .__. just work hard!
that's why its good to encourage people ^^b 

I always love people's work so much more, knowing they've gone through struggles themselves to develop their style :D so good work man
keep it up! Since that's the thing that counts ^^b
go-kun Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014
While I do agree with most of the sentiment expressed about talent, I still believe it's important to remember that some people are, in fact, just born with "it." And that special something, like it or not, does in fact give them an edge. Someone not born with that special something will have to work 5 times harder just to compete, and chances are will still never reach that same level. It's not nice, but it's just how things are. 
That being said, most of the people born with "it" still work every bit as hard as everyone else, and that's precisely why it's so hard to catch up with them. 
eduardovieira Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I do know that some people do have "that" extra thing. But that's NOT a guarantee that this person is going to be the best, the unstoppable, or EVEN this person will take this path in his life. How many people do you know that probably has an insane natural born talent for music, sports, arts, but despite this fact, choose to be lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc? 

It's a whole new level to the topic itself, that some people simply DON'T follow their talents. 

But let's follow your POV, so I may give you another shot about it. Take, for example, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the famous soccer players. In a comparison, Cristiano Ronaldo is clearly more gifted, since he's faster, far more skilled and phisically stronger - both body structure and shots. As if it was not enough, Messi had to take medical treatments while a kid because he was diagnosed with a deficience of growth hormones. Despite these facts, Messi won the title of world's better player 4 times. Luck? I don't think so. I think both trained hard until they sweat blood, but at some point one of them made it harder than the other, and in a more objective way. 

Sometimes, it's just how things are, as you said. But sometimes it's all about your own efforts. It's possible to go far with a ton of talent, if you do work hard. But one of the most important things about it, I discovered that recently, is that you have to BELIEVE it. :)
draWCo Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i agree. the only way to perfect your art and style is practice.
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