Monday, December 1, 2008

Talent

Talent by Keith Bond http://www.keithbond.com Today's guest author is artist, Keith Bond. I first saw this great article on Clint Watson's Fine Art Views. This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. Dear Subscriber, The most recent Southwest Art Magazine (December '08) honors 20 legendary western artists. Each of these artists is 70 years old or older, and each has been at the top of the western art scene for decades. They are gifted, successful, and influential artists. (Among the list are several that I have admired for years: James Reynolds, Richard Schmid, David Leffel, Kenneth Riley, and Howard Terpning.) As I read the interviews, I was intrigued by the similarity of the answers to many of the questions. One particular theme caught my attention. Each artist interviewed expressed this same idea in his or her own words. To summarize: 'Art is not easy. It is extremely difficult. It takes a lot of time, effort, practice, etc. Many people think it comes easily or naturally.' This sparked several ideas and thoughts in my mind. I will share only a few of my thoughts. I agree with each of the artists' assertion that creating art is extremely difficult and requires a tremendous amount of work, practice, determination, etc. However, included in the list of attributes an artist has is also talent. Some shy away from using that word, because it implies success without work. On the contrary, work is essential to the development of talents. Clark Hulings stated it well, "Most of us artists have a gift. But a gift is an inclination and some small ability to do something along with a great deal of application and hard work." Interestingly, I often hear people talk about someone who plays an instrument well or who excels at sports. There is usually a comment made about how much practice and time was devoted to achieve such a high level of skill. Yet those same people making those comments see an artist's work and say something to the effect of, "What talent you have!" In reality, there is no difference between the musician, the athlete, or the visual artist. Each has a great gift or 'talent'. However, each must also perspire. Each must practice long and hard. Each is never satisfied with mediocrity. To attain greatness each must push the limits, train, learn, practice, fail often, but get back up and learn from the failures. There are frequent successes, but there is also the realization that there is still much more to learn. A huge component is the unrelenting desire to become the best. It is a passion, almost an obsession. Being an artist (or musician, athlete, etc.) comes with a price, but it is gratifying. I do not pretend to know the magical recipe of how many parts talent, how much determination, nor how many dashes of luck is required for an artist to succeed. As for me, I intend to work as hard as I can to ensure that I reach my fullest potential. I want to find out how much talent is still in its infancy, waiting to be nurtured. I also hope that luck favors me along the way. Thanks again to Keith Bond All the best, Michael Orwick Orwick Arts http://michaelorwick.blogspot.com/ http://www.michaelorwick.com/
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