I recently came across this phrase online – “Artists are BORN!”. This comes from the common question – “Are artists born or made?” What are your opinions on this popular question?

artists born or madeAre artists BORN?

Are certain people born with certain innate abilities to become artists? What about others who have an interest in being an artist, but have no natural talent? Is it is possible for them to become “real” artists in this life?

Are artists MADE?

Can anyone learn to become an artist – just by learning to paint, learning to draw, or taking  course in any required medium?

…or is it a combination of both?


Facebook Poll:

I asked this question at our Facebook page.

Here are the results after just one day:

artists are bornAre artists BORN? 11
Are artists MADE?
Not sure…

Please keep in mind that these are my personal opinions in this article, and I respect the fact that opinions vary on this subject.


Do you think that some people are born an artist?

Just think about it – artists need some sort of skill in a medium, whether it be painting, drawing, pottery, welding, carpentry, glasswork, digital imaging, photography, etc. Art takes all kinds of forms, many of which require various learned skills. Artists are not born knowing how to paint a perfect painting, just as a violinist is not born knowing how to play the violin. These things have to be learned.


What about natural born talent then?

sun shiningMost artists I know were attracted to art at a very young age. They had a natural inclination to draw, paint, sculpt, etc.

Let me tell you my earliest memory with art. In grade one I can remember my teacher giving us a project in art class. The assignment was to create any type of dinosaur with Play-Doh. Of course I thought the T-Rex was the coolest dinosaur, so I set out to model my dinosaur. I can remember moulding the dinosaur with my hands and fingers and enjoying the feel of the Play-Doh without even looking at what I was doing. When I looked, I had a perfectly shaped body. So I attached the other prominent features, even sharp teeth in the mouth. It actually was my first experience using Play-Doh or sculpting anything! From that point on I knew I was going to be an artist.


Incidentally, the sculptures from my class were placed on display in the atrium of the school. When I returned to school the next day, mine was squat into a lump of Play-Doe, while the others were left untouched. I have no idea why someone chose to destroy mine – but now I’m thinking maybe they thought I must have gotten someone older to make it for me – maybe they thought it impossible for someone my age to create.

So, I believe I was born with the natural talent to create. But, through the years, I have had to learn how to use various mediums. But, I am naturally attracted to some mediums more than others – graphite, oil paint and clay.


Does everyone have talent?

art talentI believe everyone has at least one talent – something they are REALLY good at. Some people are especially gifted at fixing things, while others can pick up a musical instrument and learn very easily. As a kid, I can remember my Dad dismantling his chainsaw because it wouldn’t start. He would lay all the pieces out on the floor until he found the problem. Then he would piece it all back together, knowing where everything went. My Dad enjoyed doing this. Other people who had problems with their chainsaws even brought them to him so he could fix them. My father did not have a chainsaw fixing business either. He did all of this after a long day of strenuous work as a logger. The point of me mentioning this is that my Dad was obviously not born knowing how to fix chainsaws. It was something that he learned on his own. He had a natural talent, along with a keen interest to learn how the chainsaw worked.

My father also could play the guitar, piano, organ, and harmonica, but had no musical training and did not even know how to read sheet music. He just “played by ear”. It was a talent he had.. and I believe he was born with it, just as many artists are born with creative talent.


Can creativity be learned?

Even creativity can be learned. Those who have no natural inclination toward creativity may develop it through experiences, travels, reading and learning. I know of artists who never had any urge to create in their life until they went through certain experiences. These experiences inspired them to pick up a brush and learn to paint, something they did not ever think of doing before. Every artist has their own journey and reasons for becoming an artist.


Can anyone become an artist?

Touch People with your Art - Click Here!YES! I think anyone can become an artist… that is, if they have a genuine desire to become one.

A welder who is proficient at welding can decide he wants to make steel sculpture art. A carpenter may decide he wants to create artwork out of wood. People who are naturally talented at something can use that talent to make art!

Becoming an artist requires a lot more than talent. It requires learning, looking at art from other artists, and continually creating and exploring. 

Artists create art because they love doing it!

What is your opinion?

Do you think artists are BORN, or are they MADE… or both?

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  1. I think you are born with artisitic inclinations, but those that are not can learn to create regardless. But, to be one of the great artists I think you need to be born with the inclination and then work hard at it most of your life. Same with sports.
    There are a few that would break that mold, but on the whole, it probably applies.
    Interestingly I was recently at a restaurant full of wonderful paintings by the owners father in law. I was so taken with them that I sat an talked to him about them.
    Seems his father in law was a professor, with no interest in art. He then had a massive stroke. He began using his left hand, and started making the paintings.

  2. Both. If a child is very fortunate he/she will be nurtured and supported in what ever endeavor they choose. That's the key though, an adult that sees this and takes the initiative to help a youngster along, mentors are very important to early development of talents.
    Those who come to artistic expression late have a bit of a rougher time of it, but as we have seen, with perseverance can flourish.

  3. I really believe that anyone can be anything if they are willing to go through the pain necessary to get there. Painting is what I do. I learned about value and perspective and color mixing and brush strokes. I know what looks good, what feels right and what is pleasing. All of these things come from us and our experiences and can ALL be learned. What can not be learned is the pain aspect. Spending 20 hours painting the same tree trunk until you are satisfied, spending countless hours in the elements for a show. Selling nothing at three shows and deciding to go to a fourth. that is the pain element i speak of. the reason so many people are not professional artists is they are unwilling to endure this. With any profession, there must be a fight or fights in order to reach your self specified utopia.

  4. I believe both.
    I've seen young childern try to communicate with drawing first and than move on to writing. the most effective communication begining with those who encourge them.
    For myself, I was with-drawn form other childern and practicing drawing things or goals, openned a vocabulary of other mediums to communicate with.

  5. I am not sure why one has this question. It seems to be quite meaningless. We can share some beliefs about this and then we hear different viewpoints. Ok.
    What matters to me is that for anyone, when the "urge"to be creative is present there is a beautifull ooppertunity to be an artist. :-)
    Don't thin about it too much, just do it. Or not.

  6. If leaving in a very artistic/intellectual environment, it is really natural to be brought to art and maybe easier to be encouraged to become an artist. But even with no particular talent, any technique can be learned whenever there is interest. For this purpose, one has to forget all fear of failing to focus and dare having artistic goals. I believe Art is the soul before being fully lived.

  7. Both.. you need to study and train to enhance and for improvement.... but it is born also... its like you have within you.. the voice .. the inspiration ... the passion that create artworks....

  8. I think both... you need to train and practice to enhance and improve your skills... and also born with it.. the talent... what you can do easily learn easily and hard for someone... the ability to stir up one's emotion... the voice, the inspiration, within you and the passion that let's you create artwork...

    And continuous learning let's you convey your ideas more to the eyes of the people. What you see , and what they can see.

    If you have talent, you can easily learn, rather than a person who is studying only, he/she should strive more than the talented one.But if you have talent and study much better.

    As for me, what i remember is my hands started to draw, and as time flows by,, im enjoying it. I draw because I like it.
    But like what other people said... if you like what youre doing, and you know you can do it.. then nobody can stop you.

  9. I never drew, then one day I could paint like a anyone. I never sculpted then my first one I could do anything.

    It makes me upset when u say it has to be learned. Real artist are born.

    I can't find any teacher able to teach me anything except mixing colors, selling art and tools to use and tools I can find my own. I'm a natural.
    I can paint the same with my left hand explain that.

    I'm Josh leen

  10. Ur wrong. My first painting, drawings and sculptures were the best. Never did it before.


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