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Davidpotter

How do you feel about being called talented?

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To me, a talent is something that comes naturally, a skill is something that is acquired through practice.

I have a friend who can put a pencil to a piece of paper and wonderful things just seem to fall out of the pencil.  When I do the same I get a scrappy doodle.  On the other hand, when she is trying to measure something and divide it into equal parts, she just looks blank, while I can do the maths really easily without thinking about it.  I don't think I'm good at maths because I've practised, it's just something I can do.  A talent?

Chris Campbell likes this

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On 10/1/2017 at 5:35 PM, Chris Campbell said:

Our talent might just be brutish persistence.

I know mine is!

I do not like to be defeated, by something I know I can overcome.

Min likes this

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I am at the point where I produce good enough work that people call me talented.  

Because I share Joseph's definition of talent being a natural initial inclination towards something, I cringe internally every d@mn time.  

I do smile and accept the compliment as it was intended: I was raised to be polite, and after all, most people offering these well-intended words have no idea at all how truly awful I was at clay to begin with. The pots I make now are a result of a combined love of the material, and as Min says, perseverance.  Even though I was really bad at it, I loved it enough to become good at it. 

Min, Joseph F and clay lover like this

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Yes compliments are nice but generally not significant to one's own pursuit or drive or persistence. As Patti Warashina says 'we all must be crazy to work in clay" but we all must have that persistent gene. I think clay is a challenging and engaging media no matter what direction in takes you.

Marcia

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1 minute ago, Marcia Selsor said:

Yes compliments are nice but generally not significant to one's own pursuit or drive or persistence. As Patti Warashina says 'we all must be crazy to work in clay" but we all must have that persistent gene. I think clay is a challenging and engaging media no matter what direction in takes you.

Marcia

@Marcia Selsor

/agree. Clay is so difficult. I try to explain to people when they ask me why I like it so much, can't explain it. The infinite possibilities. I mean I just spent an hour looking at the Intimate Object XIII cup and drink show and there wasn't a single cup/mug/yunomi like the one before it. Even the same artists work was different than the last. I think that is the joy I get from this. No matter how hard you try to make something look similar to the last object, it will be different. Sometimes it will just be tiny details, but never the same! So cool.

 

 

 

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well today I had a visit from a long time follower of my work who came with a former student and friend. This woman is very knowledgable about ceramics and is a collector and art consultant. We had a great time going through my own collection as well as visiting my studio. She took photos and posted them on Ceramic Collectors of Facebook.  I have to say I genuinely appreciated her comments. She knows her stuff so that really made me feel good. 

Then the stump removal guy came and removed a tree and 5 stumps. I then moved to wheel barrels of gravel to the site of the tree removal and leveled it for a storage shed for my portable raku kilns and other equipment. So much for my 15 seconds of fame! But I did enjoy the visit.

Marcia

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As to why I work with clay, I really haven't found anything that appeals to me as so tactile, malleable, intuitively creative and willing to bend to my will. . . as long as I learn to work with it.

 

 

best,

Pres

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David the birth of my daughter taught me not to take those comments to heart. I did not really appreciate my mom till i became a mother myself. i did of course appreciate her but not to the level i do now.  which i feel sad about. 

the context does matter a lot.

i grew up in india where i accept the compliment with a smile because talent usually means - you put in all the hard work and look how nice it looks. whereas i put in all that work and mine comes out looking like nothing. these are people who have done art and know what it means to persevere. 

here i just feel sad. because i feel people are missing out on so much (lack of any art education/appreciation). or the big factor. the fear thing. perfectionism.  not being able to overcome the fear of underpar work. the nostalgia of wanting to create but being afraid to because of the horribleness that comes forth  - in their estimate.

the comment that makes me really sad is 'i can't sing because i haven't been taught to'. anyone can sing. instead of   singing to their kids i see parents play their recorded music because they are not good. who cares. just sing.  why read story books at night all the time? tell stories. stories of your childhood, your ancestors. 

so for a lot of people i feel its also nostalgia. i really feel underneath they would like to create but feel paralyzed by their inner critique.

yet for me the problem is how to learn what a 'good' pot is. i can after 10 tries make a perfect technical pot - but what makes a pot a strong pot. so in their books i might be 'talented' but in my own books i am trying to figure out what kind of a pot am i?

D.M.Ernst likes this

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Trust me I need the ego boost. I nod sagely and mutter something like "yes, yes I am." -and let whoever accused me of being talented walk away being right, thinking I'm arrogant and I got an unfair advantage in life. I need something to hold onto other than the negatives in my life and the world at this point. 

-but I agree with Min wholeheartedly and am just learning these life lessons about how to actually get the work itself done. When I'm alone it's the struggle of the hours put in,  in my "studio" (kitchen) not sure if anyone is really going to like or buy my stuff, whether my 'true art' pieces are ridiculously edgy or my bread n' butter pieces are derivative and a waste of time. 

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Similar to Callie, I sort of cringe when someone says I am so talented, or so creative, or so smart (the latter often accompanied with thinly disguised displeasure).  I spent way too much time as a kid feeling as though I was expected to politely demur when what appeared to be an innate "talent" for art was commented on.  I worked hard to hone what skills I did have or if I was motivated to acquire new/different ones.  Eventually talent became irrelevant as navigating life became more paramount.  I also discovered that 9 times out of 10, when someone said "You are so talented." what they were really saying was not praise, but rather a way to then assert that they lacked talent (or so they thought). The one I hate the most  is the automatic "I can't draw."  I always want to snap back with "Well, how hard have you tried?" Or even "Sure you can, just do it--it's fun."  And yet, not that long ago I heard myself exclaiming to a pianist  how talented she is, and how I can't do a thing with music in any manner shape or form. Go figure.  Hope I didn't make her cringe!  

Edited by LeeU

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I read somewhere, maybe here, "forget your family and friends, they will never see you as an artist".

I think that is mostly spot on for self taught and at the same time I think self taught folks feel more defensive.  I don't think anyone in my life space really takes me that seriously but then again I really never engage anyone about it either. My partner gets a lot of accolades and she deserves it because her work is excellent and she is a very 'talented' artist.

I don't mean this badly but I don't really want opinions on my work at this point.

I care if customers buy the work because that's the only real validation I can trust and the rest is really noise and confusing and I don't want to be confused. I know whats good and whats crap and I'm working on it. If the work is good then people who like and buy handmade pottery will buy it.  The stuff they don't buy missed the mark.   

I think the 10k hour rule is mostly true as a benchmark in almost anything really. Talent may give it a jump start and lack of certain qualities will put a ceiling on how refined the work or activity will get. I was a pretty good tennis player after a few k hours in HS but I was not great. Who knows what another 6-7k hours would have meant? Didn't find out with tennis (shoulder surgery) but I will hit 10k with pottery. 

Been without a studio for 6 months and failed at a 2 year run at full time.  Although I am back to part time, I did git a huge number of hours in, particularly at the end, so its all moving forward.

New studio next month and really happy about that  :-)

Edited by Stephen
LeeU and Rae Reich like this

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