Saturday, November 29, 2014


I saw this video of an artist painting. He wasn't even using brushes, he used his hands and a cloth. I watched him work and I thought how pompous of me to think I have talent. The only way I could ever get that good is by hard work. Actually, one of my favorite anime is about this subject. There is a girl who is kind of child-like but she is a master painter. She excels beyond everyone around her and without even trying to she gains recognition. All this while the people around her have to struggle with hard work to try to succeed in what they wish to do and keep failing. One is a young man who wants to make video games, he looks at her and all he can see is the distance between their talents and how far he has to go. Another is the girl who grew up with her and painted along side her trying her hardest to become as good but never succeeding. Sometimes I feel like that, watching others whose talent exceeds my own. Since I do not know the man in the video, he could have been doing that his whole life. It could simply be that he has devoted more time and effort into it than I have and that would be fair. But sometimes it is just that certain things come more naturally to others. Like my sister who has a beautiful voice and sings perfectly every time. Sometimes I think that I am not a natural at anything, that I do not have a talent. Every single thing I have learned is hard work and determination. If I am mediocre then, it is because I am lazy, not willing to devote the amount of time it takes to excel.

Sometimes I think writing is my talent. The words form in my brain and I write them down. But then I think about all the struggles I have had to overcome and am still up against when it comes to writing. I think about making the wrong word choices because I am not entirely clear on the meaning and misspelled words. I think about all the times I have revised an old story or poem to make it sound better and I know that writing does not come naturally, it is the one thing I have worked the hardest on. And perhaps that is the way it is with everyone. Perhaps there is no talent that exists without hard work. Maybe we just don't see all the work that others put into what they do. We don't see the mountains of paintings that came out wrong before he learned to do it so perfectly that he could video tape his skill for the world to see. I didn't see my sister sit in front of the computer videotaping herself sing until she could hit each note perfectly. We don't see all the work because they make it look easy and that makes us think it is easy for them when it never is. Maybe some talents come more easily to some people than to others. Or maybe it is just interest that heightens the learning capacity of one human over another.

I know that intelligence comes in all shapes and sizes. Some people learn quickly and others more slowly. Some people learn better from watching and others from doing. And since I know this, I shouldn't compare myself to others whose learning capacity is different from my own. I shouldn't look at one person who is able to paint with ease and wonder why it is that I cannot do that myself. If I want to be that good, all I have to do is spend every spare moment I have painting, spend every spare penny I get on painting supplies and devote myself to it entirely. I haven't even had much schooling in color or blending.

Maybe talent exists to some degree, but most of it is hard work and learning capacity. I cannot do anything about my learning capacity. I cannot expand my intelligence. I can only work with what I already have. But I can put hard work and determination into anything. I can make myself better, if not as good as this or that other person. And moaning about what I cannot do, or what I wish I could do, does nothing but upset me and others around me. In the end, the only way I will get to that stage (if indeed I am capable) is through hard work.

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