Consistency Over Talent

Dec 04, 2023

"Your art is so beautiful; you're so talented!" This is the phrase I often receive when I showcase my work in person or share it on social media. But let's examine if it is genuinely about talent or not. To me, talent is something you may have or may not have. Of course, it's an advantage, but it's not determinative for someone who aspires to become an artist. I believe that passion and consistency are what propel you forward and make you truly proficient at something. If, on top of that, you're talented, then it's an advantage. However, relying solely on your natural gift and thinking that this alone will bring you skills and success might lead to a surprising realization.

As an artist myself and an art teacher, I can't stress enough the importance of consistency and dedication. My first art teacher once told me that anyone can draw or paint, and she was the one who believed in me from the beginning, while everyone else was saying that it was too late to start. So, this is the mindset I kept and brought into my teaching practice. But let's explore why talent is not enough and why it's crucial to practice your craft consistently to become excellent at something.

1. Skill Refinement:

While natural talent can provide an initial boost, refining your skills and becoming a professional in any domain requires practice and hands-on experience. No talent can replace this part and this work, no matter how gifted you are.

2. Artistic Voice Development:

Consistency contributes to the development of a distinctive artistic voice, helping artists establish a recognizable and unique style. Something "pretty" or "eye-capturing" can be created with talent alone, but creating a recognizable body of work that sets you apart from everyone else is solely the result of consistent practicing and self-improvement.

3. Learning from Making Mistakes:

We often perceive mistakes or bad artworks as failures. However, mistakes, not successes, make us grow as humans and as artists. The logic is simple: if you don't practice, you won't fail. If you create work consistently, it's obvious that some of it will be better than others, and this is okay. Mistakes give us knowledge and bring us to excellence.

It can be easy to tell that practice and consistency are key to success. Still, often people come to me saying they feel they don't have enough time or motivation to create art consistently. That's why I want to give you three tips on how to start simply and stay consistent because we all have 24 hours in one day—the difference is how you decide to use this time and whether you are motivated and organized enough to find the time for what you love.

Tip 1: Don't Underestimate Short Amounts of Time:

We often think that to create art, we need dedicated time, and when we can't find this time or feel too overwhelmed by everyday life events, we think that we'll never be able to develop our creativity. The truth is that you don't have to have one or two hours a day to stay creative and practice your craft. Even 5 or 10 minutes are already something! Do some sketching in the morning while you drink your coffee or make a moodboard before going to bed. Only 10 minutes a day are 70 minutes a week, which will bring you to dozens of hours a year.

Tip 2: Start with Simple, Doable Projects:

The number one thing that boosts your motivation and helps you find more time for your creativity is achieving a finished piece of work. Ensure that if you're tight on time, you don't embark on big and ambitious projects that will potentially take hours. Set small and medium goals and start from there. Once you get comfortable with smaller projects and realize how much time you need to put in to achieve a finished piece, you can then set bigger goals gradually.

Tip 3: Follow Your Passion, Create What You Love:

Nothing will motivate you more to continue your art journey than creating something that truly keeps you inspired and excited. When thinking about your next creative project, pick something that you're truly passionate about. For example, if you want to practice your painting skills, why not paint your favorite flower or even your pet? Choose something that speaks to you and makes you extremely excited just by thinking about creating this artwork inspired by something you truly love.

I hope these tips will be helpful and encourage you to start or continue your creative journey, no matter where you are on it. Consistency is the main struggle for artists but also the main key to success. So simply by keeping going, you're already bringing yourself ahead of 90% of other people. Take it one step at a time and celebrate even your smallest achievements!

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