Are you talented or creative? What's the difference?

February 26, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

      Bendy organ.Bendy organ.    New and old at Steelstacks, PANew and old at Steelstacks, PA Jane's Carousel, Brooklyn.Jane's Carousel, Brooklyn.

    About a week ago, I posted on social media and this blog photos of drawings I made for a drawing class I have been taking.  The response from my "peeps" was surprising! So many people were very complementary and offered wonderful comments about how "talented" I am or how 'creative' my work was. One friend suggested I drop the "smudgy" pencil and concentrate on the camera as that is were my true talent lays.

     As pleased as I was with all of the nice things people had to say, it did get me to thinking: Is my drawing a manifestation of my talent or my creativity?

     It is clear to me that talent and creativity are two different things.  Talent is your ability to do something particularly well. Creativity is the ability to come up with an idea or a work that is original, different, appealing in such a way as to astonish or give pleasure to others. A person who is talented could sing a song like the original artist or copy a drawing exactly aside another artist. A person who is creative puts a spin of originality and imagination on what he or she does, perhaps in how a song is played or sung, or in making unexpected changes to a drawing or famous work of art (i.e, think of DuChamp drawing a mustache on a copy of the Mona Lisa).

     So which is it?  Is my work a manifestation of talent or of creativity? I must admit that my drawing to date--other than doodles--is evidence of my talent.  I have been a very good copier, but have not shown any originally or any spark of something different.  I may get there yet, but right now I am a living. breathing copying machine.

     My photography is another story, I believe.  I think I have a bit of creativity in what I pick to shoot and how I processes a photo once I have it on the computer. I actually rarely copy the work of another photographer. I have been inspired by many photographers, such as Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange, and Edward Weston, and the many photos I see on social media every day--but all artists have other artists who inspire their work.

     My drawing class will be ending soon and with the improving weather comes more opportunity to shoot what is really my passion--boats and scenes on the water. Whether I keep on drawing is an open question. But I do know that I would like to be able to transform my talent for drawing into something more creative, especially something that involves my photography.  How and when I do that only time will tell.


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