Why is it some people are naturally talented at drawing?

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Old 04 April 2005   #16
Its kinda true

I started out wanting to draw and drawing crappy. Then I actually started to take art and drawing classes and I literally saw myself improve its hard to explain I just started drawing a bit steadier and found it to be very fun and relaxing but more importantly it motivated me further to become better at it and learn more techniques. Been doing CG in the engineering area for the longest time and wanted to become an artist. I had similar fears at the talent thing because I saw my cousin and my fiancee who are just incredible artists and draughtsmen. I often had and kinda still have the fear that I would never catch up but I have been seeing myself steadily improve and want to keep on working. So I agree that I think alot of it is passion, desire and hardwork that can make someone a great artist.

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Old 04 April 2005   #17
thats great

The thing is not everybody was encouraged to do so when we were younger. Growing up my parents and family never really encouraged arts or anything but science, math and tech. I was also kind of a hyper kid so my mom told me that they never tried to hard with the art because they felt I would never sit still. which is dumb because I didn't stand still for the other stuff either.

My grandma was always pressuring me to become a doctor all I knew was it involved like a decade or extra schooling so I said no thanks.

in my high school there was NO visual arts program but there was music and drama and I opted for drama. Funny that should have tipped me off about the whole arts thing.

Now i'm very much into CGI which is about as cross disciplinary as you can get. funny how that works.

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Old 04 April 2005   #18
Some people have a natural talent and if they work on it, they can easily get very great, but it's not only a question of being able to draw something realistically - let's say "copy from nature". There's more to it.

Everybody can learn how to draw something realistically. In my young days, I took a course in a museum and we weren't really taught anything. The teacher would just drop by once a week with a piece of cloth and ask us "can I do what I would like to do?". If we said "no", he wouldn't do anything. If we said "yes", he would take the cloth and wipe out a part of our charcoal drawing (very big lifesize drawings which would take months to finish).

It was all about learning to draw ONLY what you see and NOT inventing something which wasn't really anywhere else but in our minds.

So learning to draw correctly is only a matter of patience - everybody can learn it.

What is more complicated is to make interesting pictures with it and developping a personal style. Composition, subject, color combinations etc. Although there are lots of theories out there to study, I personally think that it is to some extend a very personal matter - that some people get it right quite naturally and others don't.
Old 04 April 2005   #19
Originally Posted by macievelli: Ok. THis may sound a bit wacky to some, unbelievable to others, just plane rubbish to to still more. Please understand that I write this with the utmost sinserity and seriousness. It is personal, but I can take some ribbing if you need to expresds yourself that way.

For me, the need to draw came about at an extremely early age. Before I could talk very well, or do much of anything, I was drawing...scribbling....trying to get something out.

My creativity stemmed from a past life. Or more precisely, from the need to express and understand past life experiences that were, for one reason or another, quite dramatic.

I did not come to this realization until I was an adult. Through talks with my mother trying to find out about my behavior as a small child and through past-life regression sessions I learned more about where my desire to create stemmed from.

At an age when most children were drawing stick figures and scribbling with crayons on walls, even before I could talk, all my drawings were of tanks and airplanes and machine guns and explosions. Scenes of combat and death and destruction coming from a child of about 3 or 4. My mother actually saved some of my drawings from that time. There are technically accurate, detailed images of weapons and armor. Not just a stick figure holding any old gun, but a detailed AK47. At 3 years old. I could not explain it. Could you? Mind you, this was in 1970, and I was not exposed to mass media, or media of any kind, except cartoons. I was not allowed to watch other kinds of TV at that age, or so my mother says. She could never understand it either, so she has told me. So, that being said, where did my knowledge of this stuff come from?

I have come to understand (and believe) that it is from a past life as a soldier; One that died during the vietnam conflict. I won't go into much detail on my regressions or my findings and verification here. SUffice it to say that I found out who I was/am. Name, serial number, rank, place of birth, unit, squadron, place/time/method of my death, etc. All of it info I spoke out loud during regression and then verified after through months of research in databases and through the net. It solved a lot of mysteries for me.

So, all this being said, I know where my creativity came from: The need to express. Through my life I continued to draw, being praised for my efforts by a very nurturing family and several teachers. I was urged to continue from early on, which had an awful lot to do with it, I think. It has always been about the need to not only communicate the imagery I had in my head, but the need to make my ideas more concrete so that I could analyze and understand myself. It is almost as though there is a tornado of imagery in my head all the time, and that I am alwatys trying to disseminate that information, sifting through the ideas and images to decide what to keep and what to let go on by into the maelstrom. I grab ahold of an idea and try to wrestle it out of my minds eye and onto the canvas or screen or paper. In that way I was not only providing a kind of therapy for myself, but also opening the doors to my own perceptions. In doing so I was able to refine that process and continue to feed and develop it.

I have never been certain that I wholly agree with the idea of a "God given talent" per se. I am comfortable and solid in my religious beliefs, yet find a unanswerable conflict with this past life experience. However, the idea that God has given me a talent is not so believable to me as is the notion that I've been blessed with an unquechable desire to continue to learn it, to express ideas and to develop using different media to express myself. THAT is what God has given me, I think. In believing that God bestows talent only to certain individuals, you eliminate everyone else. In my experience EVERYONE has innate ability. What they lack is the desire/experience/temperment/stick-to-it-iveness to develop that. I believe anyone can become an excellent artist if they practice and learn. It takes TIME and DESIRE. That God gave me, and I am eternally thankful. I feel very blessed with my life and what it has been for me.

Well, now that I've exposed my inner workings to the masses here, I hope you all don't think I'm a total looney. I've had a very rewarding life and a great career as an artist working in a variety of mediums over the last 20 years. I am a bit on the wacky side, which makes life a lot more interesting, but then I don't know too many artists or creative types that haven't got a few screws loose. Thank God for that.

It's the "normal" (whatever that is) people in the world that scare the hell out of me...the ones that never show any signs of deviating from what is generally accepted by western society. Perfect job, perfect car, wife, kids, house, hair, etc. Those are usually the folks that have the most problems when they get behind closed doors, behind the white picket fences of suburbia, behind the office doors of middle management.

Give me a web site full of creative free-thinking right-brainers any day.

Doesn't sound wacky to me. My mom saved my first doodle done with a pen: a worm inside a tv...I did it when I was barely a year and a half. I relate to your story a lot. Then again, I never paid much attention to graphite pencils until I was 16. And nowadays I stay away from ink and markers, but you get the idea...I think I feel like I am obliged to do art- so to me it's a love-hate relationship. It is my calling but also my burden.

Old 04 April 2005   #20
Like others, I will not theorize as much as tell my personal experience with drawing. Like most kids, I had a love-hate relationship with drawings. If turns good, and my teacher likes it, then it is good, and I enjoy making another one. I was never connected to the drawings I do, they were spontaneous acts. At the age of 17, got into architecture school. I realized that I had extreme difficulty expressing my ideas that I had in my mind. After a while, I figured that my weakness was drawing. Started drawing everyone I know as a Live model, and everyday. Two years later, I had my personal exhibition, and was on top of my class, and graduated the first with three first prize national student competitions under my belt.

Hard work pays off. This is the bottom line. Excelling beyond hardwork, is what most people consider as "talent" or natural gift whether you believe in the Creation or the Evolution.

I still tell my students at the Digital Design class, You must have a good hand to draw, CG by itself is not enough.

A great read about this wonderful organic relationship between the brain and the hand is "Abstracting Craft: The practiced Digital Hand" by Malcolm McCullough
Old 04 April 2005   #21
Quote: Iíd like to think that itís a combination of genetics and lots of hard training. Iíve been drawing obsessively since I was little Ė Iíve always had something of an aptitude for it: I understood colours when I was very little and my level of interest in painting has always been high. What I think I inherited from my mother is a love for painting and an eye for details and colours that has made it a bit easier for me to progress, but I got to where I am with a lot of work.

Iím always insulted to some degree, though, when people tell me how lucky I amÖ to have been given this gift by god. For me, who is not religious, and who knows how much work Iíve put into getting where I amÖ just putting it down to receiving a gift from someone or other feels quite degrading.

Wow, this is so inspiring. Me, myself am no good at drawing presently. But have started practising, and have already started showing improvements. I too feel that I have some aptitude for it, but born with an in-built drawing mechanism... NO!

Old 04 April 2005   #22
I beleive that artistic people are genetically predisposed to seeing the world differently. The difference between those who can draw and those who can't falls into 2 major catagories. The first is that the artist is born with the ability to visually break down the world around him or her into segments of lines and arcs, shades and colors. And the second is the drive to reproduce what they see. Many people can draw but they lack the drive. Many others cannot draw but have all the drive in the world. I think the artistic ability makes artists different from non-artists in the most fundimental of fashions. Like most artists, at an early age pencils began to move in my hand. My eye constantly scanned the difference between what I had drawn and the actual form I was looking at and I caught on to this at an alarming rate, much higher than other kids. Artists are complex beings and what makes them artists is equally complex.
Old 04 April 2005   #23
I started drawing actual architectural blueprints at 11, watercolour painting of scenery at 7. I think that drawing at an early age is no big deal...
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Old 04 April 2005   #24
Red face

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Old 04 April 2005   #25
I disagree with people that say there aren't those who are naturally talented. I do however think that if you wanted to break it down you could isolate those who instead of trying to "figure out" how to draw, instead began to use whatever tools they had for marking on something and began to recreate what they saw around them or was in their heads.

I always had a prediliction towards being able to render forms of whatever. 3D came very naturally to me too.

To become good though I had to work very hard at it. I'm still working hard at it.


Old 04 April 2005   #26
I believe there are too

I just think people are saying that its possible for others who didn't have that experience to become good as well. For instance I am just starting to really work hard at trying to become a concept artist it would suck for me to put all this work in then have someone tell me that if I didn't start drawing at 3 there was no hope for me to really go anywhere with it. For my own sanity and hope I choose to believe that hard work, determination and imagination can get me just as far as if I had natural talent (not sure that I don't but you know) albeit if my natural talent had been encouraged earlier I'm sure I would be much further along so I prefer to go with the idea that its never too late.

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Last edited by greynite1 : 04 April 2005 at 07:51 PM. Reason: because I don't know how to proofread :)
Old 04 April 2005   #27
According to Iain McCaig (designed Queen Amadalia and Darth Maul in Star Wars) on one of the Gnomon dvd's anyone can become a good drawer in a year if he practices every day an hour or so.

So, there's hope!!
Old 04 April 2005   #28
Ok what is drawing......I meen the real basics of it.........its all hand eye coordanation(if thats how its spelt) and thats somthing that could give primative man who had it an advntage over someone who hasnt got it....it gives you more accuacy when frowing...and catching....it enebles you to create things like clothing quicker keeping the elements away from your body......and as we evolved to become more artistic creating things like jewlery and paintigs which would have given people with it a advantage by appeaing to a potentual partners vanaty....bare in mind weve had 10'000 years of artistic capability....thats a long time to evolve and develpe theses skills......so in our past and even now being artistic gives you a advantage in getting a partner....which is what evolution is all about.....

hope you understand
Animator at Double Negative VFX London..

Last edited by Vivec : 04 April 2005 at 07:59 PM.
Old 04 April 2005   #29
heres a theory :)

Its just a theory so nobody get mad

Do you folks think that based on the previous post that artistic skill and perhaps talent are innate is because these things are encouraged in some and not others. For instance two kids both who start doodling and drawing at a young age. Both lets just say are equally good now one kid has parents who believe in more practical things and tell him to stop screwing around with the doodles and focus on something else. The practice and use of the skills and hand eye coordination needed to develop good drawing talents, habits and skills are never developed.

Now the second kid has parents who enjoy art and artistic expression and not only encourage kid 2s artistic expression but help facilitate it thus this child is given the training and practice neccesary to become good at an early age. So this kid goes on loving what he does and becomes say Feng zhu or Carlos Huente.

My theory is that what we call talent is really just the early and continued development in the hand eye coordination training neccesary for someone to become a practiced artist young. They already know the tools and have understood how shading and lighting works at an earlier age.

Make sense? what do you guys think?

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Old 04 April 2005   #30
If you ask me, drawing is mostly NOT hand-eye coordination. It is about seeing first and foremost. People don't draw badly because their hand wobbles. Having a steady hand is helpful to be sure, but knowledge of anatomy etc. are not in the hand.

I'm inclined to say technical skill and talent are two different things. Anyone can become technically proficient, although some will get there easier and are more likely to want to put enough effort into improving. Talent is what you do with that skill, the strength of your personal vision if you will.
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