Vincent Van Gogh
I'm going to take a brief excursion from Wendy Richmond's book to discuss an article from the most recent issue of Art Calendar magazine, entitled "The Gift of Persistence" by Matthew Daub. This article really resonates with me and I think it will with many of you as well.
Daub writes: I have come to believe that the primary gift involved in the making of art is the love of making it - the fascination and drive that keeps an artist involved and working throughout the course of a lifetime. In the art world, where the prize often goes to the last person standing, persistence trumps talent every time. Here are the major points the author uses to support his thesis:
Being "gifted" is not enough -
without drive, "giftedness" is inconsequential
Successful artists have unstoppable drive -
how badly do you want it?
Successful artists push themselves -
maintain a strong work ethic
Just show up -
make your creative work a daily priority and set aside time for it
The author concludes with sage advice: Great ideas and good intentions are meaningless if they are not acted upon. Artists without discipline seldom succeed. Artists with lesser gifts may succeed through the consistency of their labors. There are no guarantees in life or in art, but we can be assured that whatever gifts we have become stronger the longer and harder we work, and our chances of advancing professionally are multiplied over time. Persistence is the greatest gift of all.
Folks, this article is important to me because I'm one of those people who works very hard to achieve. There are few things that just come to me naturally - that I can put very little effort into and still succeed. So, Daub's opinion, which is informed by his experiences as a seasoned art professor, is a comfort to me. I hope his words are meaningful to you, too.