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  • Writer's pictureStacey Chiew

Art - Talent Or Skill?

I started painting as a hobby when I was little. I didn’t know I had any talent. I believe talent is just a pursued interest. Anybody can do what I do. Bob Ross

"Do you have to be talented to be an artist?" I asked my grade nine students this very question. Almost all of them raised their hands and shouted, "YES!"

Beijing Opera Girl, art by Stacey Chiew.

However, if I asked the same question to my grade eleven students, I would get a slightly different response. Some tried to convince me that art is not about talent, while others agreed that both skill and talent are equally important. Talent or skill? It's the same as the age-old question, ''which came first, the chicken or the egg?''

Throughout my life, I received many compliments for my artworks. However, I have never considered myself to be gifted in art. I believe talent is overrated.

Talent is a rare commodity and not everyone comes with this wonderful gift. Wish you could paint? Here's the good news, anyone can learn the skills and be good at art. The bad news? Painting requires time, effort and lots of patience. Good art is often the result of learning from failure and hard work. Not to mention practice can make you better at most things.

My love affair with art began when I was six years old. I was always willing to do my best to learn what was needed to acquire the different types of painting and drawing techniques and styles. My motto was, like many said before me, practice makes perfect. Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated by art. I have never stopped creating art and continue to do so today. I am a strong believer that anyone and everyone, can become an expert if he or she is willing to make time to learn more, constantly acquire new knowledge and do more.

Most people think talent is an inborn ability. I, on the other hand, am not sure if there is such a thing as pure talent. Talent alone is not sufficient for success. Tim Notke once said, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” I couldn't agree more.

I love art because it takes me on a journey where my imagination can create things that delight me. I am dedicated to it, and I have always enjoyed the creative process. To me, art is more than just a creative outlet. It gives me purpose larger than myself and a sense of meaning to my life. But most of all, it helps me appreciate the beauty around me.

I am passionate about art. My interest in art has led me spend many hours working on myself to improve my art skills. As the years went by, I got better and better. I believe as long as we don't create excuses to hold ourselves back from moving forward, there is always something we can do to improve ourselves for the better.

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