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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nature Vs. Nurture

Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie - (i) inspired by photo by Ryan Russell
I'm loving getting these questions from artists and students! I hadn't thought I'd get to give back by teaching about what I do. It's an ego boost too, for sure. Also it inspires my inner dialog about being an artist. Oh goody, here comes more rambling.

I got an email yesterday from a graphic arts student in the UK wondering how I can do what I do so accurately. Going back to this post, this brings up the innate talent versus learned skill issue. I've long claimed, I guess largely due to my insecurities discussed in that previous post, that it's not something one is born with, this ability to do what I do. I say my accuracy comes from having simply done it for so long, a well-honed skill and facility with tools. People usually respond with something like, "Well, I know I couldn't ever do that."

I don't know. What do you think? Do people react to what you do the best like that? Do you feel like you're as good as you are because of who you are or what you've learned?

Or do you think this is a pointless question, that I should quit my rambling and just get on with painting?

Peace.

SOLD - Ben Gibbard 02/19/09

4 comments:

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I think this is a fascinating question, I've pondered it many times and still don't have a solid conclusion. There is a book out now (can't think of the title but I will find it for you if you want) on this very topic and the author firmly believes that all talent is learned, it is not something we are born with. I tend to think its a bit of both but the big difference in people (like you) is that your talent is fueled by passion and determination to do something really great....and you've achieved that.

classicrockforthesoul said...

I think it's a little of both.
I believe people have God-given talents, and it's up to the person to find those talents and expand on them.

YOU are very talented at what you do, and I know that I could never do anything half as good as you because I wasn't given an artisitc ability (at all!) like that.

You've managed to find the passion that you enjoy, which really is the only thing that matters!

Jeff said...

I think talent is more of something that is learned than something you were born with. However, I think being born with certain attributes will help you greatly when you are on your quest to be talented at something. For example, a guitarist with long and skinny fingers will obviously have an advantage over the guitarist with short and fat fingers. In the end though, I think talent relies mostly on hard work and dedication.

d.edlen said...

Here's @KathySierra's view. It simply takes persistence. Persistence expresses passion.