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  • the Gift

    This was mentioned in another thread, and has been on my mind for years so I thought I'd toss it out here for discussion.

    I do ok with Photoshop, but I've tried for decades to make non-computer work I'd be proud of. I've been into photography since the early 70s, and even have a minor in graphic design. But no matter what I do, no matter how hard I hack at it, I don't do work that I like, or that is particularly marketable.

    Is artistic talent a "Gift"? Is it something that some will do (seemingly effortlessly) while others will be forever incapable?
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning

  • #2
    I think it is a gift and some gifts are better than others.

    And I think we have to accept that. But I think we need some honest evaluation from others. Some people are too hard on themselves. Are you like that, Doug? If you are, that can stifle your creativity because you have to get it perfect.

    I can't sing. No matter how many lessons I take, I still won't be able to sing. I don't put my ego in my singing.

    I can't paint a picture, but I can matte it and frame it and hang it in an attractive way.

    If you truly give something your best, and you still can't excel at it, then I think you need to put your ego in what you excel at. Doesn't mean you have to quit, just accept your work as "your" best and not "the" best.

    My 2 cents

    Sharon

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    • #3
      Boy, you can sure come up with the tough ones can't you? I don't know how to answer that one. Is "artistic talent" something you are born with, or is it something that you can learn? I think we all have the ability to learn "something" about the arts, but obviously there are those who are "one in a million". I think those people have a God given gift. They did not come out of the same mold as yours truly.

      Ed

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      • #4
        Doug,

        'Is artistic talent a "Gift"? Is it something that some will do (seemingly effortlessly) while others will be forever incapable?'


        Yes it is..............

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: the Gift

          Originally posted by Doug Nelson
          I do ok with Photoshop, but I've tried for decades to make non-computer work I'd be proud of. I've been into photography since the early 70s, and even have a minor in graphic design. But no matter what I do, no matter how hard I hack at it, I don't do work that I like, or that is particularly marketable.
          The funny thing is that if you ask most good artists if they are happy with their work, they will say no. I can't say that I have ever done a painting, print or digital work that I have been truly satisfied with.

          Comment


          • #6
            Doug, I've loved "taking pictures" since I was a kid, but didn't understand much about technique even after reading about it for years. A few years ago, I fell in love with photography all over again and attended classes and seminars and practiced more than I had before in my life. I gained some ability to create a better image, to recognize some of the elements in an image that inspires me, and I thought maybe I'm finally going to start being able to create images that I love.... But the "eye" for seeing the photograph in a scene right in front of me still eludes me.

            I know that some people are endowed with great artistic gifts -- talent that shows even during childhood; I still like to believe that the rest of us can learn to create awesome images, but I fear that the most that I can look forward to is enjoying the experience of trying.

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            • #7
              Sharon said:
              <I think it is a gift and some gifts are better than others. >

              I completely agree...There are so many ways to express yourself artistically, it just takes trying many different things to know what your very best gift is. For me I have always been able to "see" a beautiful shot, even when I was very young. Not being braggy here, please believe me. I tried many many different forms of art for years but nothing was ever "easy" like photography. Once I found out about digital enhancement I was hooked!
              I am a Beautician by trade and there are many artistic people who express themselves that way too! It's funny...not one other person in my whole family has any interest in art/photography...they think it is a waste of time! HA

              Comment


              • #8
                There's no question in my mind, that some people do actually have a "gift". I also think there are others who are somewhat gifted, but not in a grand sense. Just enough to make it frustrating. I think I fall into that catagory. Couple that with a somewhat analytical brain, and you have a much too critical eye for your own work, as G. Couch said:
                I can't say that I have ever done a painting, print or digital work that I have been truly satisfied with.
                I find that restoration work is one of my more rewarding artisitc pursuits, as there is a bit of talent needed, but also some straightforward methodical processes - that are learned skills and not talent. The key, is having a finish point. It's one of the few "artistic" endeavors that has a true "end"point. Once you've corrected everything, there is nothing more to do.

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                • #9
                  A VERY interesting thread.

                  It's one of life's great questions, isn't it?

                  I wouldn't call photo restoration "art" any more than I would call art restoration "art" - but then everyone has a different view of what art is, don't they? And equally, everyone has a different view about what is artistic talent and who has it!!

                  I believe that every human being is creative to a greater or lesser degree and that some creative abilities can be taught/learnt, while others can't. Pure creative genius is probably a natural "gift" (as you put it) but that doesn't mean that if you're not born a "genius" in a certain field, that it's not worth pursuing a career in that field.

                  I suppose what I'm trying to say is that art is a language and like any language there are those who are fluent and eloquent in their use of it, and there are those who just get by but still manage to communicate perfectly well.

                  But then again, I may just be spouting a pile of hedge clippings here!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sam

                    I believe that every human being is creative to a greater or lesser degree and that some creative abilities can be taught/learnt, while others can't.
                    I think you hit the nail on the head Sam! Every human being has creativity, not just artists. For example, Richard Feynman, the Nobel prize winning physicist, is widely regarded as one of the most creative thinkers of the 20th century. He was not an artist but he certainly approached problems with the creative "eye" of an artist.

                    Art is an extremely hard endeavor. Most of us have a "gift" for some small aspect of art- composition, color, etc... and have to work really hard at the stuff we are not so good at. Every so often someone comes along, a Picasso or a da Vinci, who seems to have a gift for all aspects of art.

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                    • #11
                      art is a language and like any language there are those who are fluent and eloquent in their use of it, and there are those who just get by but still manage to communicate perfectly well.

                      --------------------------

                      Sam -- I love your analogy. It encourages me to continue my efforts at creative expression, since I've never considered NOT talking even though I'll never be as eloquent as Jesse Jackson or Ronald Reagan.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sam, I totally agree that a restoration does not produce "art". However, I would say that the restoration work itself, can be considered an art, in the sense that it requires a skill or special ability.

                        But of course, that's just my opinion. I would ask, if we all had the same tools, knowledge, and training, could we all produce the same results? Or....

                        .... Is it something that some will do (seemingly effortlessly) while others will be forever incapable?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Vikki - don't get me wrong, I wasn't knocking your definition of art! Absolutely - good photo restoration requires a lot of time, patience, experience and skill, plus an eye for detail - all of which are necessary attributes for an artist - no co-incidence!!!

                          I suppose that Doug's original question may be answered fairly simply - Yes, some people will seem to do it effortlessly and Yes, some people will forever struggle. And it doesn't matter whether you're discussing photo restoration or the painting of the Sistine Chapel. C'est la vie!

                          Happy art-making!

                          Sam

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