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On Artistic Talent

Posted by Rache , Apr 27 2013 · 730 views

music art minecraft
One thing that bugs me, and which I hear a lot from people looking at drawings or playing Minecraft, is the tendency to look at anything that's been done well, and remark that they would never be able to make something as good as that. This is especially irritating in Minecraft, where we're all working with the same cubic-meter blocks of material, and thus there is no really good reason to think that any particular piece of work is impossible for you to match.
The idea of someone being naturally talented beyond anyone else's ability to match is, to me, ridiculous. No one's first attempt at architecture, with no background in it or Minecraft, was as good as what some people have made in Minecraft. M.C. Escher did not wake up one morning, with no background at all in drawing surreal geometries, and start producing art. J.S. Bach's first experience with music, almost assuredly, did not immediately result in any famous compositions.
Getting good at something took time for them, and it will take time for anyone looking to follow in their footsteps - they were not born doing what they do/did, but rather worked to do it and do it well. If you really want to be good at it too, study the principles of the artform, and practice. Practice until you're sure more practicing isn't actually possible, and then continue practicing.
Because if one more person looks at something I've built or drawn [I don't show compositions to non-musicians, because I can't get them to sit still long enough] and says 'Wow, I could never build/draw like that,' I'm going to chase them around the world with a diamond pickaxe and set their weird squarish wooden shack on fire.

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Apr 27 2013 05:45 PM

I feel like this was at least partially directed at me. :P

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Apr 27 2013 06:15 PM

I feel like this was at least partially directed at me. :P

yeah this

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Blessed Blade
Apr 27 2013 06:51 PM
<< >> *Whistles innocently* Though, I'm usually just directing stuff like that at other drawings, since I don't draw well at all. =P But, I'm practicing, and you're totally right, as the drawings are getting much better, so it's definitely true.
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Whenever I say this, I mean it completely honestly. Not so much minecraft-wise, seeing as I've been known to build some cool stuff when not making square houses, but drawing-wise... definitely lacking, and I don't think any amount of practice is going change that.

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You speak truth. Talent is nowhere near as important as skill, and developing any sort of skill takes a lot of time and effort. I'm part of another fanbase that consists in large parts of younger people, and since I post a lot of art off-site I get comments pretty frequently about how they want to have my talent or requests/demands for me to teach them how to draw, immediately. It's an awkward situation for me, because I only got as 'good' as I am now at drawing by practicing and practicing and practicing continuously over the last 3 years. So what am I supposed to tell them, "Uh, neglect your social life and other facets of being a human being and spend the next 36 months drawing on everything?"

(That is actually exactly what I tell them)

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Another important thing about drawing, of course, is how you practice - buying one of those "how to draw" books that just has you reproduce specific images isn't going to help you. Much more helpful are the resources that build some sort of understanding of the forms you're trying to work with.


In other words, practice without an understanding of what you're trying to draw isn't going to help, but practice with a side of studying will help a lot.

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