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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

TALENT? Nature or Nurture?

There are those who would have you believe that creativity can be taught. Maybe. But talent is another thing altogether. I have always believed that talent is inborn - it is not something that can be learned, taught or accrued like money or things - you either have it or you don't.

This video on Alonzo Clemons - The Sculpting Savant makes a statement that we all have similar abilities but they have been "overlayed" by more complex abilities such as language.

Language is more complex than sculpting? I would take issue with that. And if we all have these abilities then why are some people better sculptors than others, better painters, better writers? Is it simply that the "talent" has been overshadowed by other abilities, other concerns in those who do not consider themselves "creative or talented"? Or is there another component to talent/creativity that is part of the equation - a component the "untalented" do not possess?

Something to think about.



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4 comments:

d.edlen said...

Language's purpose is to model reality in a way that will successfully communicate some understanding of that reality to others.

Sculpting also models reality but in a more user-defined way, if you will. I do think sculpting is "easier" in that sculptors don't have to communicate the same thing to everybody. Art is open to interpretation by both viewer and creator.

Language is not supposed to be open to interpretation. It's supposed to be already defined. Thus it needs to be learned. All formal education really is about is learning to learn shared languages. So yeah, language is harder than sculpting.

As far as the stated topic of nature vs. nurture, I think it's gotta be both. If someone has a talent, but has no acknowledgement and encouragement, that talent will be overshadowed by society's norm of conforming and communicating in already defined ways.

Blah blah blah, sorry if I rambled...

Peace.

PopArtDiva said...

d - ramble away! That's what it's all about! This is a blog for all thoughts and ideas!

Thanks for stopping by and adding yours!

Eileen Williams said...

Thank you, Terri. That video was both amazing and thought provoking! The inner world of the savant must be extraordinary indeed. Such a combination of extreme talent and almost total lack of communication with others. I'll be mulling this one over for some time.

Pop Art Diva! said...

Eileen - I don't want to climb inside any one else's head - I have enough problems living inside of mine, lol. But it does make you wonder, doesn't it?