Do you believe that talent is innate? That when talented people sit down to write or paint or play music, it just flows out effortlessly into amazing art?
But when you sit down to write, it’s like wading through treacle in ski boots– and that’s on good days. So you obviously have no talent, you’re not cut out to be a writer, you’ll never write anything that’s any good. You might as well go back to your couch.
Let me tell you about Picasso.
If you visit the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, where I live, you can see his juvenilia and early work such as conventional representational paintings like Ciencia y Caridad, as well as sketches and doodles in the margins of books.
Picasso didn’t suddenly emerge fully formed, like Athena from the head of Zeus, into blue period or cubism, breaking moulds and painting Guernica.
Picasso went to art school. He went all the way through art school and year after year applied himself to learning the craft – the tools and techniques of the art of his time. Until he mastered them.
He went to the Prado museum in Madrid and copied the great works of Goya and Velázquez, stroke by stroke – because that’s what art students did back then. That’s how they learnt the craft.
Picasso didn’t break any moulds until he’d got to the limits of what he could do within them, with all the tools at his disposal.
Talent needs to be nurtured and honed with the long hard discipline of learning the craft and mastering the tools.