People believe in the myth of "talent", but what they call talent
is about 2% of the deal.
An interesting statement. The question of talent is one I have
thought about a lot, as I suspect most of us have. On the one hand, I
have encountered people who work at their craft obsessively, year
after year, and make little or no progress (though they hardly seem
to notice). I speak of perennial students in the Art Center where I
teach, but not only in my department. These people do not lack
committment, they lack talent. Such people often say to me in a
resentful tone, “Oh Noel, you’re so talented.” Well, sorry!
On the other hand, yes, I was given the gift by genes or Divine
Intervention to have talent, but I have worked hard all my life to
make it into skill, in order to put my talent to use in some
productive way. I would not, however, put its value anywhere near as
low as 2%. It is easy to say that if you have all the talent you
really need. I am reminded of the times I have heard people say that
money is not important. In every case, these were people who did not
lack for funds. Try not being able to afford necessities and tell me
money isn’t important!
So I guess I’d say that hard work and committment are indispensible,
and they are available to all, whatever your chosen object. Talent,
on the other hand, you either have or you don’t. Hard work can, to
some degree, make up for limited talent in this world, but I fear
that art is not an area where work alone can make you good. A baby
can’t lift a battleship, no matter how hard he works at it.