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Can one learn to be an artist, or is talent required? 
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Hlobane Orc

Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:00 am
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Talent is required. I have none. I could not paint a chicken coop and make it look good.
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Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:30 am
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Hlobane Orc

Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 7:00 am
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Being a freelance artist myself, it's about time I gave my thoughts on the subject.
Art or whatever else for that matter is like trying a bicycle for the first time. Some may get the "hang" of it faster than others may, however with practice, anyone can ride one.

Even if I am self-thought and I never had any courses besides 3 weeks try at a private oil paint lesson, I did succeed at making a living with it. It is not easy but it is possible to get a "respectable" wage. However, I always practiced then and I always do. At over 100 rough sketches daily, of course people will say I have talent, however it is practice that pays off.
My advice to anyone trying to "make it" to a respectable level is draw everything you see constantly and do it in traditional mediums. Paintshop Pro, Photoshop and so on might be tempting to get nice and quick results, however, with those you will not get the "hang" of it. (Not that I do not use them myself here and then, but they will not aid you if you do not know how to make a stick figure to begin with!) Besides, they do not have "real" value like traditional mediums. Simply put they are not worth much. In the long term however, Pencil, Charcoals, Oils, Acrylics and other Watercolors gain "value" with name recognition and not only will you be able to sell the pictures, you will be able to sell the originals at a very good price. You will also be able to make a better and more recognized name too.

Another advice is to learn many different styles. Being able to capture the vision for the companies you work for is a BIG bonus! Marvel heroes are nice and all, but if you have no idea how to paint a film noir scene for a thriller book, your web flinging abilities will not get the job done. Oh and do artwork because you have a passion for it. Do not do it for the money, you will be poorly disappointed!
(Please note that it is my point of view only!) Happy drawing and painting.
ZW.
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Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:04 am
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Maukling
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And here is something else that ought to be considered. And it can apply across the board to many a profession.

Drive. If you haven't got the desire to be an artist, writer, card sharp or anything else, all the talent and practice in the world is not going to help you.
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Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:01 pm
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Red Cap

Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:00 am
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I untied it, I have a friend who is an artist, he is good, i have a preference for his waterpainting but one thing i can tell you, when we were about 15 or so his drawings were inferior to mine and another friend's (who is his cousin) and we used to give him a few ideas and tips.

He endured, practiced and now teaches at a local university and is doing his masters. he told us a story one can only love:

Quote:
Quote:
His mother sees him drawing, rolls eyes and says "Go and get some study boy!"

To which he quickly replies "Someday you will say that and I will answer to you: 'I am studying".



I know well how work like this can be looked down upon...
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Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:26 pm
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Maukling
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*chuckles* My parents make historical clothing, for reenactors, movies et al, for a living. So they cant throw stones at me for having an 'impractical' job.
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Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:40 pm
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Hlobane Orc

Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 7:00 am
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Quote:
gideon_thorne wrote:
*chuckles* My parents make historical clothing, for reenactors, movies et al, for a living. So they cant throw stones at me for having an 'impractical' job.


@ you!

ZW.
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Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:12 pm
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Hlobane Orc

Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:00 am
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Quote:
Arioch wrote:
Can one learn to be an artist, or is talent required?



"An artist" is just someone who produces art, and anyone (with or without talent) can produce art.

Whether the art they produce is good is another matter because there's a difference between "an artist" and "a GOOD artist." The former might produce nothing but self-indulgent, overrated trash; while the latter's most meager scribblings might exceed the former's greatest achievements without the slightest effort.

As several others have already pointed out, all artists require some technical proficiency; and I think everyone would agree that "skills" and "techniques" can be taught to anyone.

However, the degree to which someone can derive any benefit from being taught those skills depends on their talent and it may be useful here to remember that the word "talent" is synonymous with "aptitude."

Imagine someone with no aptitude for mathematics someone who hates juggling numbers in their head, who perhaps even has trouble calculating the amount of change they're due back when they pay with a $20 imagine such a person trying to learn quantum physics. It's absurd, yes?

Likewise, someone who has absolutely no aptitude for art can try to learn all the artistic skills and techniques they want, but that will never magically turn them into a good artist. By contrast, someone with a very high aptitude for art can learn very few skills, yet still be a better artist than someone with greater skill but lesser aptitude.
The Bad News? Some people are inherently more talented than others. They're just born with a natural aptitude for art, and no amount of learning is ever going to make you as good as them.
The Good News? Technical skill often passes for talent, because most people aren't all that picky. Even if you have only a tiny amount of talent, the acquisition of skill can put you above the herd and get you recognized as "an artist."
The Even Better News? To some extent, talent/aptitude can be cultivated. For the same reason that an innately artistic person might let their talent wither and never pursue art if the circumstances of their life quash the opportunity, a mostly un-artistic person might develop into an artist anyway maybe even a good artist if they devote themselves to doing just that.

Maybe you'll never have as much talent as the lucky bastard who was born with it; but that doesn't mean you can't develop more than you had to begin with.

So how do you cultivate artistic talent/aptitude?

As someone else mentioned, "drive" is the key. I prefer the word "devotion," but the principle is the same.

Bear in mind that this applies to everyone, whether they were "born with talent" or not
You have to WANT it, you have to PURSUE it, and you CAN'T QUIT.

If you can even bear the thought of quitting of never drawing anything, ever again then go ahead and quit now, and don't waste your time with art, because you don't want it enough.


Sun Jun 24, 2007 3:39 pm
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Skobbit

Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 7:00 am
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This could be seen as thread necromancy, but anyway....

It is not really that important for an artist to have talent. Yes, it helps alot because you will be able to learn things faster. But it is not the most important thing. What is much more important is: passion, determination and creativity. And creativity is greatly influenced by determination and passion. Imagine someone with no "talent", but with determination and passion, and that person wants to start painting and drawing. While he will have to invest more time and resources to start the tricks of the trade he has the benefit of a high determination and the passion to draw.

He WANTS to learn how to draw and paint. So even if it might be harder for him and he encounters lots of drawbacks and hindrances he will still continue. At one point, if his determination is high enough, he will perhaps be on the same level as the one guy with alot of talent for painting and drawing. He will perhaps come to a point where his skills will be high enough so he can actually start to become really creative in his work.

While before he had to think about HOW he has to draw an apple on a table now he can think about things that could happen to the apple on the table and he could draw THAT. So he starts to use his creativity and imagination because he doesnt have to worry about techniques, skills or things like that.

I have the strong opinion that everybody can be creative and imaginative. It is just that for some people it is harder to learn to use the tools, while others have a natural talent for that. It is not important how long it takes until you know how to hold and move that brush. If you want to draw you will learn it one day. And once you do you can let your creativity fly.


Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:03 pm
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Skobbit

Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:00 am
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I like your view on this topic Jupp ... it gives me hope I may someday be become a "real" artist
I am one of those people with little talent, but the determination, passion and resources to still try my best. Luckily I do have a strong imagination, so that part is covered
Perhaps a talented artist is able to see the statue and just takes away the excess material, while a trying artist still has to chip away the material to see what's under it ... Hope that's an analogy that makes sense


Sat Aug 11, 2007 6:09 pm
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Red Cap

Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 224
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I have something to add to this.

Do NOT judge yourself by comparing your work with the work of others. There will ALWAYS be somebody better than you. Strive only to be better than you were last week or last month. Save all of your drawings with some sort of dating mechanism. Then periodically go back and look at the old drawings and notice how you have imporved. Comparing your work with others will only serve to discourage you. However, seeing your drawings improve over time will instill confidence and increase your passion. Having confidence and passion will insure that you keep drawing -- and that really is the key. Keep drawing.


Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:53 pm
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Maukling
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Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:00 am
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Quote:
Mike Frank wrote:
I have something to add to this.

Do NOT judge yourself by comparing your work with the work of others. There will ALWAYS be somebody better than you. Strive only to be better than you were last week or last month. Save all of your drawings with some sort of dating mechanism. Then periodically go back and look at the old drawings and notice how you have imporved. Comparing your work with others will only serve to discourage you. However, seeing your drawings improve over time will instill confidence and increase your passion. Having confidence and passion will insure that you keep drawing -- and that really is the key. Keep drawing.



QFT

This is exactly correct.

While one can, and should, look to other work for inspiration and for what one can learn from it; trying to 'be as good as' whomever is only going to be an exercise in frustration.

Cause those other artists are getting better too.

Strive for your personal best and improvement. And that can apply to any career choice, not just art.
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Peter Bradley

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Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:58 pm
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Hlobane Orc

Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:00 am
Posts: 159
Post Re: Can one learn to be an artist, or is talent required?
Quote:
Arioch wrote:
I have absolutely no artistic talent, heck even my stick figures look like deformed slimes. So my question is would it be possible to learn how to draw or do I need at least a minimum amount of talent upon which to build

Ken



I think anyone can take an art class and learn how to draw. That's a technical skill that merely takes practice to learn. However, you asked if one can learn to be an artist, and in my opinion, the answer is "no".


Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:00 pm
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Skobbit

Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:00 am
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I'll add (and forgive if the point has already been made) that style makes art stand out. Your style can lend itself to a high level of technical aptitude, or a much lower level - and still be effective.

Someone may paint a perfect picture of my house, it may even look like a photograph - but to me that's not art. Its impressive, but not art. Its art when you paint a picture of my house and looking at it makes me want to cry, or get homesick, or nostalgic, or evokes/conveys some sort of idea or emotion beyond the subjest itself.

That's why I dig old school fantasy art. Some of that stuff doesn't register high on the technical proficiency scale, but I love it. It speaks fantasy to me.

:2cp:


Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:05 am
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Hlobane Orc

Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 7:00 am
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I think a mixture of both. I think that you can become technically proficient but still be completely uninspired or insipid, you can also have great ideas that get butchered because of lack of technique.

I also think that inspiration *can* come from learning, that a solid grounding on what's gone on before, and what's going on now in art can keep you from reinventing Campbell Soup Cans, and maybe plant a seed of inspiration.


Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:18 pm
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Red Cap

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:00 am
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It just takes work, of course it take some people less work. If you are starting from zero, you might as well create with your left hand. It is a very different experience.

There is a reason the backspace and enter keys are on the right.

This is not a joke.
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Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:35 pm
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