“There is no such thing as natural talent.” When one of my high school art teachers announced
that to our class, I was at a loss. People had been telling me for years I had natural talent when it came to art. He went
on to tell us that drawing and painting are skills, and like any skill they can be learned.
buy it. After all, Mr. W was always spouting off about how we (the students) were like the barbarians that took down the Roman
Empire. It was the early seventies and he thought everyone with long hair was a radical out to bring down the government.
But I didn’t argue with him. He had a Masters Degree and knew a lot more than I did.
passed, I would often think about that statement, trying to reconcile it in my own mind. I have learned many other skills
throughout my lifetime. Some I am pretty good at, others not so much. Usually the skills I excelled at were the ones that
interested me most. Was that because they were the skills I had a natural talent for?
There have been many things I had to do for different jobs. I became good at some, even though I did not always enjoy those
duties. The tasks I performed over and over I became very good at. Other things I really enjoyed doing I became good at because
I spent a lot of time doing them. The thing I have spent the most time at is art.
I loved creating
art as a young child and would spend hours doing it. By third grade I was noticeably better at art than all but one of my
classmates. The better I got the more I loved doing it. Like any skill, I have continued to improve at art my whole life.
The dictionary describes talent as a natural ability or aptitude: a talent for drawing. Aptitude is a quickness for learning.
Therefore I believe drawing and painting are skills that can be learned by most anyone, it just might take some people a little
The thing that can’t be taught is imagination. When I try to explain the visions
in my imagination to my wife she cannot even fathom what I am talking about. She says she can’t envision things. I believe
imagination is so important to art that I would say it is equal to one’s skill level. If you are extremely skilled you
can copy a photograph and create a beautiful painting. If you are extremely imaginative but not very skilled you can also
create something beautiful.
I strive to be as imaginative and as skilled as I possibly can be when
it comes to my art. The visions I imagine are so real in my head, and yet I am the only one that gets to enjoy them. With
my art I am trying to share the fantastic dreams of my imagination. With the skills I have developed over time, I am trying
to make a fantasy world believable through details common to our world. I hope you enjoy what I have created. -T