by Miriam Schulman
As an artist and an art instructor, do you know what I hear over and over again?
“I wish I had your talent!”
Everyone was born with creativity inside of them
There was no doubt that you could do it. Then you started to notice that other children got more praise than you did when they showed off their art. In time, you began to believe that you couldn’t be an artist. You started to believe the “talent myth” that some were born with talent and others weren’t.
But the truth is…
there is something else going on here. And that is you need to have skills to get results. And to have great results you need to practice those skills. So the child who starts off as a clumsy artist can acquire the skills they need and the longer that child is willing to work at it the better they get. It is just like how you learn and acquire any other skill such as tennis, bridge or knitting.
You just need to be shown the proper techniques.
Not everyone is a child prodigy, nor do you need to be
My mother was a professional dance teacher and studied dance in college, but she would be the first to tell you she was always the worst one in the dance studio. How did she make it as a professional dance instructor? The answer is simple, but maybe not obvious. She simply didn’t give up or get discouraged.
Because she doesn’t give up even when things aren’t easy. She works incredibly hard and spends her school vacations and summer working on her scales and technique to catch up. Meanwhile the “child prodigies” in our neighborhood…every affluent New York suburb has one…have already gotten bored of their instruments and moved on to other things.
Why consistency of effort counts
My son heads to the gym before school with his father every morning to lift weights so that he can wrestle in college. He also goes to a wrestling club to hone his skills in the off season. Every time he tests his technique during training, he’s practicing. Some days go well, others don’t, but he’s learning and getting better by being shown the proper skills and techniques. To get to the level of a Division 1 athlete he has chosen to train over the summer instead of hanging out with his friends. Any coach or athlete will tell you what makes all the difference is the consistency of effort over the long run.
I wasn’t born with “tennis” talent
Imagine if I just shrugged my shoulders and said I couldn’t play tennis because I wasn’t born with “tennis” talent?…or I was too old to start?
The power of passion and perseverance
I’m in the midst of reading a marvelous book by Angela Duckworth titled Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.
As much as I would love to plagiarize and quote long passages from this text, I encourage you to unearth these treasures yourself.
Here are some excerpts from Duckworth’s writings which I’ve been reading out loud to my children at the kitchen table:
Are you ready to fall in love?
Fall in love with watercolor
If you always wanted to paint in watercolor, but have been afraid to start, I have a class at the Inspiration Place that is perfect for you.
Taking an online class is the perfect way to learn at your own pace within the privacy of your home.
In Watercolor Secrets, you will learn techniques through step-by-step instruction, and you can practice at your own pace and develop the skills you need to let your creativity soar.
On Pinterest? I’ve created this pin just for you to share…
In case we haven’t met yet…
Hello! I’m Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives.
My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I’m not working on art in my studio, you’ll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net
Now I want to hear from you…
Have you ever had a time in your life when you have achieved success through grit and determination?