Missing headline

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by d. light, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. After all the highly intellectual hot air about postmodern art its
    time for another fun question. :)
    Here it is:

    It`s being said that poets are born and not made, how about artists,
    photographers in special? Please estimate by a percentage figure how
    much is born capacity and how much can be achieved through proper
    training, discipline. Please give your opinion for these two aspects
    of artistic working.

    1. the ability to express, to articulate visually

    2. the content, inner life and emotion
  2. it`s being said that poets are born and not made
    who's saying that?
  3. *YAWN*
  4. I think these "nature vs. nurture" questions are lot like asking which is more
    important for determining the area of a rectangle, the height or the width? The
    field of behavioral genetics has some headache-inducing mathematical
    models for assessing genetic and environmental components based on
    objective measure, but I doubt they'd be of much use for non-quantifiable
    characteristics like "articulating visually."

    I can't give you any percentages (not with bullshitting mercilessly), but I do
    think some people have a knack for the sort of analytic and synthetic skills
    which are essential to being good artists and/or good technicians. On the
    other hand, the environment modifies our perspectives and skills from the
    time we're born, so calling somone a "natural-born artist" sounds silly to me.
  5. The following figures are exact and independently verified by an approved agency:
    Training and practice = 73.56%
    Inherent ability = 26.39%
    Blind, dumb luck = 0.05%
    Todd Schoenbaum
    Celluloid and Silver
  6. >>it`s being said that poets are born and not made<<
    >who's saying that?<

    Can`t remember right now, but I will be trying hard and let you know.


    thanks for the information, actually nothin new from you.

    Mike Dixon, thanks for your answer as well but come on nothing else comes to your mind?
    Could someone like Monet, Michelangelo, Shakespeare etc. be made?
    If yes, why? If not, why?
    As I said this is a fun question. Dont worry, it will be deleted anyway.
  7. who the hell knows, who the hell cares, really....go do something...jeeze
  8. Todd....not doubting the numbers, not agreeing either, but I find it completely wrong to lump training and practice together. You can also be naturally inclined and practice.

    Actually, if there IS one thing that makes or breaks an artist, it is practice...naturally inclined from birth, or trained.
  9. >who the hell knows, who the hell cares, really....go do something...jeeze<

    who is "who the hell" and why should I go do something?

    >Actually, if there IS one thing that makes or breaks an artist, it is practice...naturally inclined from birth, or trained.<

    I thought practice and routine are different animals.
  10. I wasn't trying to be a smartass, I was serious. Where did you get "routine" from anyhow, I never said that. Anyhow, lumping training with practice makes no sense if you dont lump practice with natural ability. They both require it. You could have all the natural ability in the world but you still need to practice at something to be really good at it. The way they did those groupings for those numbers just automatically skews it toward training. I'd like to see the numbers with training by itself, and practice also by itself. I think I know how it might look. Natural ability and training are probably gonna be dead even, or incredibly close, and practice is gonna chew up most of that +70%.
  11. im in the dumb luck category...
  12. If you've ever been around young children, you know that they all have incredible potential in every area. Adults don't encourage childrens' development so much as suppress aspects of it.
  13. I wonder what the percentage figure is for every getting a reasonable and interesting question for this forum. One hopes.
  14. 0.00003%
  15. isn't that a little on the high side?
  16. I hope everyone realizes that my post with the statistics was a joke. I made up the numbers, I lied, I'm sorry OK. I just hope they dont kick me off PN. [That was supposed to be more humor]
    Todd Schoenbaum
    Celluloid and Silver
  17. It's the answers as much or more than the questions- that are the problem. Like posting a link to your website twice. Once is plenty if not too much.
  18. In my case... I'd say it's 50% inherent 50% acquired. I have always been a critical analytical person. I have always been very aware and alert, I'm a light sleeper, sensitive to things, intuitive, etc..
    I have also always been technical and mechanically inclined ever since I was a kid. I have very vivid lucid dreams rather often (which I might add may have been learned from my HS psych teacher??).
    I would say I've always had a big imagination. Ok I hope that didn't sound like a rant from an egomaniac... but certainly not everyone is like that. I think all of that has helped me with being a good photographer. Many people can't remember there dreams, can't draw more than a stick figure, etc... Maybe I was born this way? Or maybe it was just the zodiac sign I was born under? (kidding)
    Then again I never learned or cared about photography at all until I was 20. I even took a photo class in HS and didn't really like it. I thought it seemed far too complicated. Then one day I was compelled to buy a rebel 2000 after taking a trip and getting half ass pictures back from a point and shoot. I ended up working at labs for a while... Now I shoot weddings and assist and am still learning. I have decided to make this my profession now after 5 solid years of asking thousands of questions, reading, experimenting and shooting.

    As for legendary painters like Monet, Michaelangelo, etc..
    They could visualize something and put it on canvas. Or look at a given situation and make it even more visually dazzling and imagine how to exagerrate it. They had that visionary quality.
    Another quick example of inherent artistic ability... My best friend Victor that I grew up with was always the best drawer. Even when we were like 8 in elementary he could always draw the best robots, ninja turtles, people, etc... How much practice by that age could one have?
    He is now an industrial designer so go figure.
    What's really funny about me is my love of life has always been music. I still enjoy music and going to shows more than anything. I have the keen ear for recognizing talent and appreciating music from all different genres. I have played a few instruments and get fairly good at them but... I've never been good enough to memorize 20 songs and play in a band. I can't play the guitar fast for too long or else my hand starts to cramp. So I have never played in a band even though at least 10 of my friends are in them. I just don't think I'm cut out to be a musician. One of my buddies on the other hand can play drums like you wouldn't believe, the trombone incredibly well, the guitar seems all to simple in his hands, etc... He hasn't even played guitar that long and makes it look easy. This kid is only like 19 to. Or like those child prodigies that can play Liszt on the piano by age 8.
    It's nuts. I think some peoples brains are wired to pick up on certain things easier. Similar to how people that are good at math suck at english, and vice versa. How much of that is given from birth I'd say at leat a chunk of it. I don't necessarily think you are born to do any one thing necessarily though. Specific personality traits help make a person a better artist, or manager, or whatever. It just has to be the right combo inherent traits and learned things, combined and used toward a goal. Obviously some people hit the jackpot early in life and find what they're good at very young. Others struggle and switch careers 3 times. Part of it is also believing in yourself and your abilities.

    As for expressing yourself and articulating visually!
    I never really took a lot of time learning the rule of thirds lol.
    I think you have to be somewhat obsessed with perfection in general to be able to use aesthetics to convey meaning effectively. You have to be picky and be able to recognize what makes an image great. Or what makes a certain portrait more flattering for your subject than say the other 50 bad ones you shot. This I believe is mainly inherent. Hence why you've heard people say "photography... you either have the eye for it, or you don't!"
    As for inner emotion and content if you are in tune with life around you and other people in general this kind of comes with the territory. A dose of imagination and voila'.
    I think this is awarenss and having mindfulness.
    You also have to be a caring, friendly, even somewhat sensitive person. You have to care about your subject matter to truly capture it at it's best.

  19. Actually, I care about this stuff because what it boils down to "Can you learn this stuff", and "Might hanging out on photo.net make your pictures better"

    Poets are different. It doesn't matter how good your handwriting or typing skills are you can still write a poem.

    Handling paint and paint brush is a skill that has to be learnt. Same for operating a camera. Now... someone could teach me to put paint onto a canvas just like Monet; but that wouldn't mean I could make a painting like Monet. You can teach some basic rules of composition, but that still doesn't do it.
    So some of it is what you learn and some of it - the "eye for a picture" part, is pretty much instinct.
  20. It was probably Shakespeare - he said a lot.
    NATURE is your maximum potential.
    NURTURE impacts on whether you reach that potential.
    Percentages ratios will obviously be different for everyone.
  21. My two cents. Artistry, for lack of a better term, seems to be more nature - uncovering it may be more nurture.
  22. Geez, we're all going to end up repeating each other..but here's my input, anyway! MECHANICS can be taught, and perfected thru practice. But meaningful EXPRESSION of emotion - that's talent. This is (painfully)obvious to anyone who has had the dubious pleasure of sitting thru dance recitals of little girls (just KILL me, please!). I love my daughter, but I could keep her in dance classes for eons and it's not gonna make her graceful - mechanically correct, maybe. And it's not that she's a klutz, either - she just doesn't have that SPARK that brings movement to life. So, most people can be taught to "write a poem" or "play piano" or "take a picture' - but what lifts their expression beyond the ordinary to the sublime - that's innate.
    Percentages? as has been stated (over and over) - that varies. IF we have the inner vision to start with, then practicing our skills should increase us from the "dumb luck" percentages to a better overall number of good images. Spending time perfecting our eye by looking at good images also helps - thank you, Photo.net!
  23. "NATURE is your maximum potential. NURTURE impacts on whether you reach that potential. Percentages ratios will obviously be different for everyone."
    Thank you for that one. Could we talk? Seriously.
    I grew up in a family of artists...and, I sometimes wonder where do artists come from who didn't? What did they catch onto...what reached out that long hook of art and pulled them in? Ironically, then, I probably wish I were a quantum physicist (is there any other kind now?).
    That to me is a spiritual occupation, and the sensation of "order" must be wonderful because if nothing else, it is not arguable to or by anyone less capable of speaking the language than you are. With art, it's catch as catch can. Anybody's an artist. Anyway. All they have to do is say they are. I heard Clement Greenberg explain that away once giving all blame to the invention of acrylic paint. Anyone could lay their hands on it, and anyone became an artist.
    Have you ever seen "The Kind of Hearts"....a french film where a soldier ends up in a small country town where the inhabitants have fled-all but the inmates of an insane asylum, who have been turned loose, and who assume the roles of all the townspeople,-judges, priests, barbers, and yes, the necessary ballerina. These are the people the soldier meets, and soon realizes are not normal people. They name him the King of Hearts. I don't know why, but I've often thought of myself in that predicament, that in fact I am in that predicament right now, and I do not have heart.
    Nature.....I have plenty of talent. Clement Greenberg said so. Corneille, of the Cobra painters said so. etc. But I live in the world of that little French town where the asylum inmates have been turned loose.
    My mother insists on dividing everything..attention, birthdays, everything, equally among her three daughters. I have a Masters Degree in painting (no big deal these days, I know..but in comparison),my youngest sister finished 2 years of college, and the middle sister failed three grades in high school. We are all "artists". I, who love to share, have no more say about art in our family or idyllic community of "fools", than they do. (I am one, let me say right here, who believes that it is not the formal education that matters, but "getting it"....Look at the Douanier!! Look at the grace and the beauty and the humility of the Dounier, Henri Rousseau!!)
    This is my middle sister's website. (That Elvis portrait of hers "won 2nd place in the International Painting Elvis Contest, 1998". We are like the Jimmy Carters and Billy Carters of the world. One becomes a phsicist, (didn't he?), a naval officer and president of the U.S. The president Carter let his brother, the not-diplomat, become a diplomat. Where did he get the idea?!!!
    I know I should love my sister, but she holds her naivte, her inadequacies,her extreme shyness,-or is it her extreme claim to shyness?!!-I forget,-her aches and pains over our heads, and we dare not do anything but give her sympathy, lest we be taken off to the house of the cruel.( Believe me, as much as I like to read Freud, Jung, and Lacan, I am not trained in psychoanalysis, and it's just easier this way....)
    Where do you hide a leaf? In the middle of a forest. I take pictures. My sisters take pictures. I paint. My sisters paint. We have all stalemated the other one. We have not loved. We have not incorporated. We certainly do not speak of our creativeness.....well, not me............... So, if you were seriously asking that question, or if any of you seriously want to study it, I offer myself.
  24. BD ... I hear you, but ... ... I haven't seen that movie, but I sometimes go watch the baboons at the zoo. There is a fence between their enclosure and ours, but it acts more like a mirror than as a separation.
    If I were truly cynical I would have said, "NURTURE (or the lack of it) affects whether you reach that potential" but I cannot be cynical and serious at the same time, and I rather like the verb 'to impact on'. Language matters.
    The interesting thing about dynasties is that you can predict the topics of conversation that were held at the breakfast table. For many families that is actually their misfortune.
    Asking where the Douanier got "the idea" is almost like asking why birds build nests, isn't it? I think your question was rhetorical, but then having the idea, (the "vision", as Lee wrote above) is only one part of the story, learning to express it is another, learning to share it is another still, as is learning to gain from it ... (and some succeed competitively, others collaboratively). It's all very fluid and dynamic and there is no end - if we can avoid the dead-ends. Man is born hungry ... what happens later becomes history.
    When I remember what is really important, it is that everything is made of atoms.
  25. Ah, yes - growing up in the shadow of the "artistic" sibling. I have a brother who could turn ANYTHING into a work of art - literally...way back in high school. He is literally loaded with talent. Thirty years later and has he done ANYTHING with this talent? No - he has totally neglected it! To me, this is a great sin! Yet the family will not give MY photos more than a cursory glance...So be it.
    Anyway, the point (and I DO have one), Belle - is to remember the END of the movie! The regular townspeople return, the inmates go back to their asylum - and the soldier is standing naked at it's gates requesting entrance! You see, he knows THEY'VE got it right! THEY know what's valuable! So it's NOT your family that are the fools - they are the TOWNSPEOPLE! If you feel out of place - maybe it's because you are a "FOOL". Welcome to the funny farm... (BTW, I work at a mental hospital!)
  26. Sandeha,I too, when trying to remember what is really important, remember everything is made of atoms. It's one of the more beautiful thoughts left hanging around.
    Lee, thank you for reminding me of the end of the movie...it does turn things around quite a bit...retreat to the center of madness...to stay by myself seems to be survival in this neighborhood. I left home at eighteen, and lived in Metropolitan areas-Washington, D.C., Miami, and New York -where I had an active life with artists.
    I am slow to catch on-sometimes comically so
    (the other day I reached for the telephone and put it down in front of me, closer to my work as I was about to make some calls. Something outside the window caught my attention for a second, and when I turned to reach for the phone-in it's usual place-it wasn't there! My mother and sister are always "putting things back where they belong." My sister will reach for my plate to wash it before I can lay my fork on the plate. To me, these are abuses of life. Okay, back to the hazy point of all this..)I could only think, "Where did they put the phone now! It's always been in this one spot-why would they move it!"
    But I'm used to little things like that, and have lived with them a good while....I used to have a webtv, and sometimes instead of putting a web page in favorites I would e-mail it to myself so as to be sure and remember the page. Almost without fail, I hit the send button, and move on to the next web page. Seconds later there is a "ding" announcing new mail, and I jump, startled, thinking someone has just written me and I check the mail.​
    Now, a lifestyle like that does not allow idiotic conversation to come at you too quickly. I'm miles behind trying to make sense of it all. And some of those questions to me were, literally,on the same level as "Why do birds build nests?" "Why are there only three primary colors?" I am just not fast enough to say, "Why are there that many? I could do with one." just to keep the conversation even. Instead, stupidly, I try to answer them. Les gens, les gens.
    If you can imagine me, in one of those old medieval battle scenes,crawing down the hill pretending to be a tree, forgetting,I began to believe I was a tree!
    I have chided myself to death practically, for falling for such stunts. It doesn't feel good to chide myself either-and blame some falty genetic thread for being so stupid....in stupid matters. You see, I become the tree.
    Gee, I need a vacation! I need to move!
    Lee, whatever you do at that mental hospital, rake leaves, analyse patients, mop the floors, prescribe medicines....you are my new best friend. Did you even meet a mental hospital groupie before? Sometimes, I think of them as heaven. My son used to take a vacation there every so often. We laughed about it. It is crazy here on either side of the gate, and usually, he could make better friends inside than out, and he made some very nice friends there.
    Well, I'm certainly straying...it all comes down to atoms, gloriously and wonderfully.
    I look at conversations with photographers, as part of the making, as part of any artist's...or any scientist's making. I think of this forum in some ways as the "lounge" and a place to do that. A place where all the wonderful photographs can churn and bring words to life. Words are important too....even though their atomic make-up might be questionable!
  27. This one has been answered before albeit by an artist in a different category -- science!

    99% perspiration
    1% inspiration

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