Saturday, October 1, 2011

Talent or Hard Work?

I am lucky to belong to several communities of great craftspeople, like The Artisan Groupthe Aspiring Metalsmiths and Handmadeology. Through these communities as well as Etsy and a myriad of sites I have bookmarked over the years, I see a lot of beautiful handmade items, from ceramics to woodwork and everything in between. Often, when I see a particularly nice item, I think "What talent!".

Recently, I have become more and more unsatisfied with this simple reaction. It boils all the creative process to one variable: talent. What about hard work, experience, self editing, research and education?

I sincerely believe that most people can, with hard work, dedication and good instructions, create a decent, basic example of almost anything. Almost, because no matter what, this author cannot yield a needle or sewing machine. And, with time and practice, we can all be very good at a variety of activities.

On the other hand, we all know people who have a brilliant talent, who seems to be magically able to create beautiful things. Yet, how sad it is when these talented folks don't work to develop themselves. Like a brilliant student, who does just enough work to scrape by at the end of the year.

But when you join natural talent with hard work - oh boy! Great things happen.

So don't really only on your natural talent - develop. And don't let a lack of talent stop you - you may just find out that you did, indeed, have it in you all along.

Please share your thoughts on this subject! I want to write a couple more blog posts on talent and hard work and I would appreciate hearing what you have to say. And if you would like to share specific examples of these, I will gladly incorporate the pictures (this post seems a bit bare, doesn't it?)