Creativity & Talent

Wow, I just spent the morning looking through about 100 portfolio’s of all sorts of talent and creativity. Some of it was very good, inspiring or interesting at least. Some of it I passed over quickly because it didn’t appeal to my eye or my mind in any way. That doesn’t mean it was bad art, just not my taste. (Sometimes it was bad.) The process of doing this helped me realize some important life lessons about creativity & talent.

  1. Creativity and talent are abundant because they are basic to human nature. Some may have a talent for math and science and others have talent in some form of art.
  2. Creativity relates to how inventive, productive and flexible we are with that talent.
  3. Talent does not equal success, nor does creativity. To be successful your creativity and talent have to be focused in a direction that will provide something that people need or want enough to pay for it. Thus the “starving artist” syndrome.
  4. Success is simply being able to offer something of value in return for being able to support your life (and your children if you choose to have them). In other words, not living an unproductive and irresponsible life that has to be supported by others (if you are a person who is mentally & physically capable of supporting yourself). Success does not necessarily mean becoming a millionaire, it simply means to achieve your goals in life while being self-sufficient.
  5. In order not to become a “starving artist” you have to be realistic about your creative abilities & your talent, and find the market for them. If the market for what you do does not bring adequate income, you will have to find an additional source of income or change what you do.
  6. Life is complicated and challenging and requires a lot more qualities than creativity and talent. Perseverance, determination, confidence, sacrifice, hard work, planning, networking, relationship skills, and the ability to keep learning are all equally important to ones success in life.
  7. A practical skill that uses your talent & creativity is more marketable than your artwork. Only successful people buy art and they usually buy it from successful artists, or dead artists.
  8. No one has to give up on creating beauty or exercising their talent, it can always be something one does for pleasure rather than money.
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5 thoughts on “Creativity & Talent

  1. It’s kind of awesome reading this post on this particular day. When I was writing this morning’s post, I toyed with mentioning the fact that the reason I always protested my mom’s pleas that I “do something” with my writing was that I did not want to mix business with pleasure. I never want to be in the position where I feel forced to create. I want to have the luxury to do it when I am inspired to do it, because I want to. That’s where I feel freest and when my creative efforts yield the greatest return. In some ways, I wish I could’ve found an interest in writing books before my mom passed away, but things needed to happen in the way they did for me to understand I could put out a book here and there if/as I felt like it without need to be defined by that aspect of my life.

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    • My husband and I have both felt the same way about the pressure to create art for money, it can be counter productive. Perhaps it is the challenge of “selling” their work that keeps some people going, but most artistic types do better with an agent who can market their work. I admire your fortitude in writing and publishing on your own!

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  2. Terrific post. I was advised not to try and make a living by selling art….but many jobs leave no time/energy for art which leave an emptiness – so all you can do is be realistic (It’s like superbowl – how many players actually get there) and finding a balance…#6, 7, and 8 are well said

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