Do You Lack Artistic Talent?

You Don’t Need Any To Be an Artist

There is a huge misconception that you need artistic talent to be an artist. This just isn’t true. Many artists the world over were not born with artistic talent, that artistic gift some seem to have been born with. The fact is, the skill for drawing or painting, sculpting, or music might come to some easier than others. They may have a natural inclination for it. But without the passion and drive to persist in training and practice, it’s just something they might tinker at every now and then. I know individuals who can draw really well, but they have no heart for it and so they never produce any work. Simply knowing how to draw does not make you an artist.

Are you one of those people who really wish you could draw and paint but hold back because you think you lack artistic talent? Are you denying yourself the pleasure of creating because you don’t know how to draw and you worry what people might think?

Whether or not a piece of work is considered art is in the eye of the beholder. Art is hugely relative. For example, I am generally not a fan of abstract art. Does the rest of the world consider it art? Yes, by the definitions set by the world of art historians and curators and such, it is indeed art. Not my cup of tea though. There are a gazillion works of art out there that a gazillion people have mixed feelings about. Whether something is good or bad is an individual call. I’ve seen works that I think look like a five year old did it or are just plain hideous, yet they sell for tens of thousands of dollars. Somebody appreciated it.

I would argue that passion makes one an artist. Sure, talent (or natural inclination) might play into it here and there, but like my friends who can draw but don’t like to, they’re just not an artist. On the other hand, an individual may not be the most skilled and may even have trouble with stick figures, but they draw and paint with heart and passion every chance they get because it brings them joy. That person is an artist.

Aside from the standard definition of an artist, one who produces works of art, also defines an artist as “one who practices one of the fine arts or performing arts.” That last definition makes no indication of artistic talent being a qualification of whether or not one should be considered an artist. Rather, it’s the one who practices one of the fine arts that is an artist.

Just because you might not have been born with the natural inclination for drawing, does not mean that learning the skill is out of reach. I took classes with many students who couldn’t draw to save their lives at the beginning of the term. They applied themselves and learned. By the end of the term, they could draw and draw well. Artistic talent had nothing to do with their success. Drawing is a learned skill that if developed and nurtured can eventually lead to one having a talent for art.

So if you are one of those individuals who wishes that you could draw…just do it! Take a class or look up some YouTube videos. There are so many opportunities to learn without paying a fortune in student loans. Just start. The more you learn and the more you practice, the better you’ll get and the more confident you’ll be. You might choose to display you work and your progress or you might keep it to yourself and do it just for the sheer joy of creating.

There are social media groups for artists of every level. They have strict rules which prohibit critical comments and members are more than happy to share tips and tricks and give kind words of advice. Just start wherever you’re at with whatever you’ve got. Just dive in and don’t worry about artistic talent. If you find that you really enjoy it and that you have a passion for art, then let yourself go and do it. The point is, if you want to be an artist…then be an artist!

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Myra Naito

Freelance copywriter who is passionate about art and fitness. Check out my art blog at or follow me @mnaito_fineart .