I don't have any photos with this post, this is just something I've thought about posting many times but have forgotten to do so up to this point. One of the ways I try to learn and better myself in this trade is by studying the work of other artists and tattooers. I often do this by browsing their galleries on myspace or their websites, seeing what things work for them helps me to understand design and contrast, and the fundamentals of what I do. I also like looking at the work of those who i have met or worked beside, seeing their hard work pay off and grow. Browsing galleries I've often seen these four words as comments below their tattoos or artwork,"You are so talented." I saw this same comment today on a tattoo that someone had done and it reminded me of a very important post that I read on deviant art.com. It was posted by Mark Brooks who is a brilliant illustrator for Marvel comics. His words really struck me and I'm reminded of his post every time the success of someone's artwork, or the success of ANY skilled trade of choice, for that matter, is written off as a "talent". I fully understand that these people who comment are only trying to give the artist a compliment and make them feel good. I'm not bashing them, but I'm trying to maybe bring people to a better understanding of the dificulty of what it is that we do. It doesn't come naturally all the time. Anyway, Mark Brooks can say it better than I ever could, so I'll let HIM do the talking. The following was his post on deviant. He nailed it:
I’m going to go on a little bit of a rant here so bare with me or just stop reading now if you don’t want to waste the next few minutes of your life reading my drivel.START RANT!I hear the word ‘talent’ thrown around a lot whether directed toward me or the myriad of other skilled artists here or any of the other places artists like to hang out. I’ve always been of the opinion that there is no such thing as talent but rather the drive and determination to do something you love and the aptitude to keep working at it to get better and better. To say someone is talented(to me anyway) is to suggest that there was one day when we just decided to pick up a pencil or a paint brush and were able to draw or paint well. I feel it downplays the years of hard work, Squalored living, and rejection we put in to get to the level we’ve achieved. I don’t know about you but I sucked the first time I decided to take drawing seriously and continued to suck for years. I worked my ass off and gradually (very gradually) got better and better and continued to learn and grow. Do I think I was born to be an artist? I like to think so and don’t think I could be as successful at anything else even if I put the same effort forward but it still came as the result of years and years sitting in my room and filling sketchbooks with crappy drawing after crappy drawing. I knew I wanted to be an artist and I wanted to do very little else. It’s an aptitude perhaps but even then it comes after a lot of hard work.I challenge you; strike the word talent from your vocabulary. Stop downplaying the effort put forward by others or the effort you’re putting forward yourself. It does a disservice to us as artists and becomes a crutch to those that can’t draw and gives them an excuse not to even try. I hear “I can’t draw. I have no talent” or “I can’t even draw a stick figure”. Well, maybe you can’t but it’s only from a lack of trying and not from the inherent ability to not be able to draw. Find your favorite artist here on DA and take a long hard look at their work because you can be just as good if not better. They aren’t supermen and everything they’ve accomplished artistically can be a realistic goal for everyone else. They didn’t wake up one day being able to draw and neither will you. Once you fully realize this ,embrace it, and start putting that pen to paper for hours at a time I think you’ll find that all your artistic goals are in reach.So the next time you see a really skilled artist and want to compliment him or her don’t say that they’re ‘talented’. Congratulate them on all the hard work they’ve put in to get that good. It’s only a few more words and I think you’ll find it sets you apart from everyone else.END OF RANT!
Thanks for reading everyone. I'd like to hear what you all think about this. Stay tuned for some more tattoos and hopefully some more random photos. Dawn and I had a rad fourth of July party but no photos were taken. Lame. Oh well. Life's good.