Education Vs. Talent
This article was created to discuss the importance of Education vs. Talent in terms of success. It is meant to focus on the ART industry, as in this industry, talent is a trait that can significantly lead to success. Notwithstanding, education is an important aspect in any field and occupation, but does it necessarily bring artists their wished-for success?
In this forum I'd like to share my personal story with the readers but encourage everyone to post their comments (in the box at the end of this thread). Although I discuss my own personal and business growth, it is by no means, meant to be the focus of this forum. It is only brought as an example.
Questions that I'd like to discuss here are:
- Can a talent make up for the lack of a degree?
- How do you define success? Do you define it in terms of money or in terms of self-fulfilment?
- How can one develop his/her talent? What else can artists do to achieve business success and personal growth?
So, here is my personal story...I finished 13 years of formal education while growing in Israel. I did not continue to higher education and never went to University or college to continue my studies. I discovered my artistic talent only 9 years ago. This took me on a different path where I discovered my passion, my drive and myself; a path that gave me great self-fulfilment and continuing satisfaction that no degree in the world could ever make up for.
I started my career as an unknown artist. It wasn't an easy start. During the first six months I created some artworks but sold only few. The few paintings that were sold hardly brought me any income (to say the least). This did not hold me back from painting and I never ever thought I should quit because of that. I just couldn't stop painting. The desire to keep creating grew stronger and stronger within me with each passing day; a burning desire I could not control. There was no 'me' anymore, I was consumed by this fire inside me. It was evident that this is what I wanted to do in my waking hours. Friends told me to "Stop and smell the roses". I replied "But I'm in my garden every day". Not many understood what I meant.
After a year I started gaining recognition and the demand for my art increased greatly. I started to develop new techniques, I experimented a lot. The great feedback I received from customers only fueled the fire in me. With each passing year my business grew and the fruits of my determination decorated private homes, companies, hotels. My artworks appeared in magazines, newspapers, wine labels, BBC NEWS, TV series, big screen movie and so on. My artworks got the attention of many art collectors worldwide.
This success was accompanied by a feeling of giving back to the community. I donated funds and few of my paintings to great causes such as Epilepsy and autism organizations, Sick Kid's foundation, heart and stroke foundation, children with lung disease, churches and private causes in need. I also helped many struggling artists; both emerging and professionals in terms of marketing advise and tips.
I believe that everyone has a talent, waiting to be discovered and that the first step to be successful is to discover that talent. Once discovered, it cannot be ignored as it always comes well packed with passion. You can rather master it and improve it, or let it be, just as is, raw and fresh, as never being heard or never being seen before. Combine your talent with belief, passion, determination, persistence, drive, creativity and you are on your road to success.
What lead me and can be adopted by many is the quote: 'Do what you love and success will follow'. In University you use the skills you learn; but what about passion? What about creativity, determination, persistence, drive? Do they teach you that in school? If you have the whole package consider yourself lucky, but I am not talking about being lucky, but about how the majority of us can be successful.
Education is an important aspect but a degree doesn't necessarily bring success. I know master artists who paint but don't sell and I know emerging artists, who don't have education in art but they are selling their artworks in well-known galleries.
Your paintings are your diplomas, and the most important thing is that they bring beauty, comfort and peace to their owners.