Short note on talent

The following is quoted from:

Creative Authenticity: 16 Principles to Clarify and Deepen Your Artistic Vision, by Ian Roberts

I think the best definition of talent I’ve ever heard is Whistler’s:

“The ability to do hard work in a consistently constructive direction over a long period of time.”

Nothing about natural gifts or genius. Just about practice—showing up. You realize that in the doing, things line up. With practice, you just start in the morning and even though all kinds of unwanted thoughts come up, you continue and produce a result. You learn how to enter the work each morning whether you really feel like it or not.

At a certain point you realize this inner calling is real and won’t go away. You may have buried it for years with work or family. But it resurfaces.

Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Washing/Tracks/Maintenance: Outside (July 23, 1973)

You realize you can’t give up on this inner calling again. You know this time you must respond. Then the question of whether you are able or not, good enough or not, becomes irrelevant. Then the relationship to your creative expression becomes similar to raising a child. Your responsibility is no longer a choice. It won’t go away. If you want your creative expression to grow strong and free, you must nourish it. You must cherish it, though it may often drive you crazy. Your creative inner voice will mirror your weaknesses to help you grow and show you moments of connection and creativity you can only describe as divine. The question of whether you are creative or talented enough becomes as irrelevant as asking whether your child is intelligent enough to deserve your attention.

Want to know more about M. L. Ukeles, have a look here

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