Nature or nurture?
The art of being creative (as many authors will tell you) is something which comes from deep within, however, like most art forms, your ability to create is a very personal one and something which I believe gets better the more time you spend and focus you place on doing it.
This casts a light upon the various classes that any writer or artist can take in order to grow themselves, I mention this because about fifteen years ago I was speaking to an author about the use of writing classes, he was of the mindset that ‘you either have it or you don’t, you can’t learn it from a class or a book’. Which to some degree is true, you can’t make the most intelligent person write a novel if their heart isn’t in it.
However, to say that any form of tuition with regards to art and creativity is a waste of time always struck me as a stupid thing to say, it’s like saying that with practice you’ll never see improvement, it just doesn’t ring true.
This of course leads on to another and deeper question – is your talent and ability, nature or nurture?
Well to some degree nature does play a role in your abilities to create, you will see talented authors who can write brilliantly with what seems like complete ease, then you’ll find others who work hard at every single page and take three times as long to publish. The same goes with any form of art, there are those with natural ability and others who just need some tuition.
The strange thing is that we place our own barriers when it comes to our own abilities, have you ever heard someone tell you that they simply can’t draw? The fact is that the last time they tried was when they were a child, because it may not have been the most exceptional ‘work of art’ (and what is from a twelve-year-old), they naturally made an assumption regarding their own level of artistry which followed them into adulthood.
When you look at your handwriting from that of your former twelve-year-old self to how you write as an adult you’ll see a vast difference, the flow, curves and overall structure will be easier to read and show signs your proficiency and maturity in this art form. Now this has happened because you kept at it from an early age, imagine what your art work would look like if you’d kept at that too.
In fairness life can be full of other priorities which see most adults failing to return to art, again, this is also hampered by beliefs which don’t bare true, but for those who do continue or make the start to get back into something creative, taking a class (in person or even online) can be the catalyst for improvement and ensure longevity.
This is also backed up by science, many studies have shown that when you practice something new for over 30 days continuously your brain starts to form new neural pathways, I personally taught myself to juggle in 30 days by practice and repetition (15mins per day for 30 days), now I can juggle without overthinking what my hands are doing, the neural pathways are there and as such I have a new skill (I know it’s not rocket science but it is fun!)
The same goes with art, the more you practice and the more skills you can be exposed to the greater your own abilities will become, you have to remember that it just won’t happen overnight (30 days continuously practicing will show improvement).
So regardless of your current skills and abilities, you are not yet the master of your chosen art form, but with practice and maybe even a little tuition you soon will be!
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