No talent

A case for doing lots and lots of lousy work.

No talent

"If at first you don't succeed...try and try and try and try and try and try and try and try (etc., etc.) again and again and again and again (and some more)."

I cringe at the word, "talent". "Talent" implies an innate ability one is granted at birth and thus does not need to cultivate. Talent means you've either got it...or you ain't.

Over the last few years, I've gotten a bit better with my sketching and painting, but I have miles to go before I'll be able to draw something as simple as even this cup properly...but do you know what? This drawing of this cup is still somehow better than last year's drawing of this cup...

...and the next one I draw? That one will likely be a little bit better than this one. Just a little. That's progress. That's practice.

Practice means keeping at it. If you believe drawing and painting is all about talent, you're headed into The Danger Zone. Odds are you're going to wind up hating your work and begin to believe that you just don't have it in you—and that's when you'll quit—and that will be a shame. You do have it in you. It's just going to take more time than you might think to find it.

It's hard to try your best at something and not be happy with the results. It's tough to keep on going and to keep on trying even if you're not seeing progress. It's even tougher when you try for an extended period and still hate where you are...

but if you keep going...

and if you keep trying...

you will still make lots of art you dislike...LOTS!...and that's okay. Just keep going, and do yourself a favor: please please please don't ever quit just because you're not happy with the results if otherwise you love making art.

Embrace those beautiful little messes. Go find your own Art Zen. Get really good at self-acceptance, then watch yourself grow. Find your comfort zone, excel for a while...and then be brave enough to switch it all up again and fail some LOTS! and make even more lovely messes. Enjoy the doing!

Just make stuff. Have fun. Get lost. And remember: a bad night making art is still better than a good night binging television shows (IMHO).