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?
Are 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?
I asked this question at our Facebook page.
Here are the results after just one day:
Are artists BORN? 11
Are artists MADE?
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?
Most 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?
I 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?
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?