(not a picture of Kathy)
Art & Fear: Observations on the perils (and rewards) of artmaking
by Bayles & Orland
Continuing in chapter 3, we've reached the section about "talent," which the authors define as what comes easily. But, they ask, what happens when we reach a point where our artmaking doesn't come easily? Does this mean that we don't have "talent?" No, because talent is a gift and nothing of the artist's own making. So, whatever we have is exactly what we need to produce our best work.
But, talent isn't all that it's cracked-up to be. It may give us a good start, but if we don't have direction and do something with it, it doesn't amount to much. The authors remind us that the world is filled with people who were given great natural gifts yet never produce anything. And when that happens, the world soon ceases to care whether they are talented.
But, there's more to it than just having talent. One can develop that talent to higher levels by using it in challenging ways. We can learn and sharpen our skills. And, if we challenge ourselves then artmaking becomes progressively harder. That doesn't mean we don't have talent, it just means that we're trying to take it to another level.
In conclusion, the authors give us this perspective: Talent is a snare and a delusion. In the end, the practical questions about talent come down to these:
Who would know?
What difference would it make?
And the practical answers are:
What are your thoughts?