The Anatomy of 'Talent'

Passion. Skill. Vision. Flair.

For me, these are the four components of 'talent'. Only when they join forces like a Mighty Morphin Megazord do they really shine.

The thoughts below tumbled out of my skull upon waking this morning so I thought I would share my musings.

Passion / Obsession

Like all pursuits, art needs a driving force, in order to survive the ups and downs on the journey.  Passion is the base of the 'talent' pyramid. Without the passion, you would never commit to learning the skill and all that goes along with that. The passion, or obsession in some cases, is unrelenting. It won't let you rest, it is impossible to ignore. It beats down your door every day and pulls you out of bed. The passionate person doesn't sit back and relax when they reach a level of skill, they look for the next mountain to climb. It's all about the climb!


The next level on the talent pyramid is skill.
Often, when somebody is skilled at something, people will refer to them as 'talented' or 'gifted'. This can be disheartening for the individual. Why? It implies that 'talent' is innate, when in reality in order to be skilled at something you have to work work work. To some people the skill may come easier, but ultimately some practice is necessary. The positive of being passionate is that you are more than happy to work hard for that skill. The challenge of learning is just as enjoyable (sometimes more) as the reward of being skilled.


When I say 'vision' I'm talking about ideas. Each one of us has our very own way of seeing and ingesting the world. How we spit it back out again is up to us. Some people talk about it, some people write about it, some people dance about it, and some people paint about it. All are valid forms of communication and there are many more than this. We all have our own vision. Communicating that vision to the world, requires the skill to do so and the passion to drive that skill. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are unhappy because people are talking too much, maybe your form of communication is something else?

I talk waaaaaay too much (*inner voice - OMG it's happening right now isn't it?) but it's mainly because words don't work for me and I use more in an effort to express what I'm saying (along with a lot of hand flailing). It doesn't work out. I'm much happier, more efficient and easier to be around when I'm art-ing. When I art, the whole world makes sense to me and I explain myself more coherently.

Having vision without passion and skill is like imagining an apple. It's a beautiful idea but nobody can eat it. You need to plant the tree and nourish it so that the apple has a stage to display its beauty, and potentially be consumed. 

You can have some vision without skill but, in any given area, a lack of technical knowledge will obscure and limit the scope of your vision.  


In my opinion, the zenith of the 'talent' pyramid. You have the passion which drives the skill which can be used to put the vision into action so now what!? The flair is what separates the greats from the rest of us. Picasso, Michael Jackson, Lionel Messi, they have the flair, but they had passion, skill and vision first.

So there you have it, Sinéad's four step plan to conquering the world! 

I'm currently on the second tier, 'Skill', and I am grabbing hold of every workshop, book and youtube video I can get my hands on in an effort to become more skilled. I have been attempting to download a veritable matrix of information at high speed into my tiny human sized head, not because I want to be great, but because I am inSANEly hungry!! nom nom nom