Can you learn to be an artist?

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  1. Pro Design Source profile image60
    Pro Design Sourceposted 13 years ago

    Do you think you can learn to be an artist, or do you think that all true artists have instinctive talent that can't be learned?

    1. dutchman1951 profile image62
      dutchman1951posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      yes you can, it is training the eye and hand and right side of the brain, and people are very sucessfull doing that,  I have, and if I can believe me...anyone

      I never though I could do it and now I do it with ease, so a big yes you can from me

      1. profile image0
        Charlinexposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Anyone with the WILL will find his/her way. Can you lean to be an artist? Why not? The only thing which prevents you to be an artist is that you don't want to.

      2. eslevy17 profile image61
        eslevy17posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        It's a little sad, but very few people actually achieve their dreams. Saying you can do anything if you set your mind to it just gives people false expectations. I think people should pursue what they love, learn to do it as best they can, and see what happens.
        Creativity can be improved, as can technical skills, but things like ambition, desire, perseverance, and just plain old natural talent are pretty much up to the luck of the draw. You can improve them somewhat, but you can't take random people and teach them to be amazing writers or whatever. I'd say it's a combination of nature and nurture, just like anything else.

      3. couturepopcafe profile image60
        couturepopcafeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Anyone can learn to paint or draw or do just about anything but artistic souls are born not made.  We all have a natural proclivity toward something!

      4. profile image0
        Deborah Sextonposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        It can be learned through the development of perception

      5. IntimatEvolution profile image69
        IntimatEvolutionposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Boy, I don't know.  My initial gut reaction tells me that it is something you are born with, and cannot be taught.  I don't think someone can become talented just because they want to.  Nice idea, but I think you must have the "gift" for it first.

      6. Sneha Sunny profile image86
        Sneha Sunnyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Hi, I think you can learn. but you can only learn if you really want to or you can say that if you are interestd. not by forcing anyone to do so.

      7. profile image58
        stoneyyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Adding the word 'true' smacks of the 'not a true scotsman' fallacy. 

        Learning to draw, or paint, is no different than learning to write or ride a bicycle.  One learns the basic tools/fundamentals and progresses from  there.

        When, or if, a person labels theirself an 'artist' is their decision to make.

        I draw and paint, all the while pushing myself to learn more.  Does that make me an 'artist?'

      8. cpvr profile image60
        cpvrposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Sure, everyone can be anything that they want to be.

        However, if you do not have an creative mind, then I don't see how you're going to make it as an artist.

    2. Maria Cecilia profile image84
      Maria Ceciliaposted 13 years ago

      If it's your passion nothing is impossible.. "all true artists have instinctive talent that can't be learned", we all can learn the basic or writing or painting, but the style of each individual is something that we can't easily teach to others...

      1. Pro Design Source profile image60
        Pro Design Sourceposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I like that Maria! smile

        1. Maria Cecilia profile image84
          Maria Ceciliaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          thanks Pro

    3. sunforged profile image72
      sunforgedposted 13 years ago

      anyone can learn to express themselves, but not sure it can always be "taught," but an education into methods and materials cant hurt.

    4. lakeerieartists profile image64
      lakeerieartistsposted 13 years ago

      I would say that you can learn the techniques, but not necessarily how to see.

    5. waynet profile image67
      waynetposted 13 years ago

      Anyone can learn to be an artist in their own way, whether they have talent or not. Art is what you make it and quite frankly there are artists who have no talent or skills and they make thousands from thought provoking art such as an onion painted green with a feather glued on top of it and the title of the piece could be something like "The Hulks lost ball"

      1. saleheensblog profile image60
        saleheensblogposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        take it from the artist hubber.

      2. Pro Design Source profile image60
        Pro Design Sourceposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Yeah - I get what you are saying, marketing is key. to making money wink.

        1. waynet profile image67
          waynetposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Marketing yes, but sometimes, all is needed is a simple idea and give it a unique spin and away you go.....

      3. profile image0
        shazwellynposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        LOL... funny, I was just about to suggest you to the OP! lol

    6. Richard Craig profile image61
      Richard Craigposted 13 years ago

      I studied art at college and learned a lot, so yes you can.  You learn by researching and doing, even bad pieces of work is just another lesson to learn.

    7. Richieb799 profile image65
      Richieb799posted 13 years ago

      You can learn certain techniques and mediocre stuff, but the overall passion and dedication it takes to master and produce masterpieces is a talent and only gift from birth.

    8. Pro Design Source profile image60
      Pro Design Sourceposted 13 years ago

      So how do you know when you're an artist?

      When do you cross that line from hobbyist to artist? From trying something new, learning a technique, to artist?

      1. waynet profile image67
        waynetposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        There will be some point, when you've learned all you can at a basic or intermediate level that you would want to make money from your art. It just happens this way, I used to enjoy drawing as a hobby, but the more and more I worked in other jobs that were classed as dead end jobs, the more and more I always came back to my drawing and art and just realised I could make money from this if I really wanted it!

    9. gracenotes profile image90
      gracenotesposted 13 years ago

      I took some art classes after snagging my first job -- but I did it because my tuition was free.  smile

      I have around 14 hours in college art.  Yes, you can learn to be an artist.  Minus a natural talent, you can develop your own style, but it takes much work and dedication.  Anyone can draw, but composition is very difficult to learn, for most.

      The truly great show their talents from an early age.  That doesn't mean that they know how to market their work, though. In fact, I'd say that most artists struggle with this goal.

    10. Lexe Charleston profile image54
      Lexe Charlestonposted 12 years ago

      I know this is an old forum post, but still wanted to reply. I almost think that someone who doesn't have the natural ability to create art, but who has enough passion and dedication to learn to utilize a medium in their own way and become great at it might become a more successful artist than someone who has an instinctive ability to do it but who does not have the same dedication. Not sure if that makes sense. But I also think that there are many cases when people have an instinctive, natural ability to do something but never bother refining the skill to become excellent at it. Or even get bored with it quickly because it came so easily and quickly to them.

      I took many photography classes in college and saw people who weren't naturally good photographers really develop their skills. Even though they weren't good at it at first they still had a passion for it, and I think that passion helped them become good photographers. And I really respect that in anyone. Think it shows strength of character and true passion. Usually when people aren't naturally good at something they give it up quickly or find no interest in it and move on.

      1. Castlepaloma profile image76
        Castlepalomaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I've been a full time artist for 35 years.

        For me, the order of importance are- desire, attitude, focus and lastly talent.

        Often enough people tell me Jesus gave you that talented gift.

        In my Mind, No, I really worked hard to become a great artist.

        1. profile image58
          stoneyyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Exactly!  It takes work/hard work to learn the basics. And making lots and lots of mistakes! big_smile

          A person can analyze what went wrong and correct things. It's called 'learning'.  I know of no way to analyze what went *right*.

          Those folks bleating about Jebus are a tad confused.  If they're going to give their imaginary friend the credit for their, or your, successes-then they'd better give him the blame for their failure(s) and tribulation(s).

          They can't have things both ways.  smile


    11. Rafini profile image70
      Rafiniposted 12 years ago

      No.  Being an artist requires good eye/hand coordination, talent, patience, and an ability to recognize individual style has some influence on every piece of artwork ever in existence. 

      I have none of the above and will never delude myself into believing I could ever be an artist.  However, I believe I can learn to appreciate art, and to recognize good art. smile

      1. Rafini profile image70
        Rafiniposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        - but I do believe some people can, just not me. hmm  smile

    12. mega1 profile image68
      mega1posted 12 years ago

      I truly believe that with the right teachers, the right instruction, anyone can learn anything.  I believe also many, many successful artists would tell you that it doesn't come easy - it is hard work.  We have a myth about natural talent - I don't believe in it.  I think it is all early exposure, good teacher teaching you how to learn, then applying all of yourself.  I really love art, but didn't really learn to draw and paint and other stuff until I was in my 30s and took some really wonderful classes where the teachers showed us by example and taught us how to train our eyes and brains to see art all around us.  So - yes, anyone can learn - however, to be successful you must develop the artist's eye and put in hours and hours and days and years of very hard work - you can't give up after one failed attempt.  Just like with other things!

      oh, and self-taught?  with really great art?  probably not.  crafts I can teach myself and have, but fine art I needed lots of guidance.

      1. Castlepaloma profile image76
        Castlepalomaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        The survival rate of an artist is that of a fleshly hatch sea turtle. Many artists are good, yet the vast majority of artist do not make it because of 2/3 of the whole has to do with business and logistic skills.

        The most common thread to master any field is it takes 10,000 hours of work. If you’re practicing, you’re on your way to being an artist

    13. FloBe profile image65
      FloBeposted 12 years ago

      I think the basic skills can be learned but it takes a lot of practice and determination to become good. Being creative is in all of us, it's just a matter of discovering which art you are gifted in. So, I would say learn anything that even remotely interests you and somewhere amongst all the choices you will find your passion and gift.

    14. Uninvited Writer profile image77
      Uninvited Writerposted 12 years ago

      Still, not everyone can become an artist.

    15. profile image0
      Deborah Sextonposted 12 years ago

      If someone wants to be an artist they can.
      Most people use the left brain and try to draw lines..You are suppose to use the right brain and draw shapes from the dark shadows

    16. Uninvited Writer profile image77
      Uninvited Writerposted 12 years ago

      I guess some have the right to be crappy artists too

      1. Castlepaloma profile image76
        Castlepalomaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Success in life, as in art, in my opinion anyways.

        In Order

        Talent, natural or required

      2. profile image0
        Deborah Sextonposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Learning to draw is very simple, if you receive instructions.

    17. profile image0
      Deborah Sextonposted 12 years ago

      There are many art schools that turn out artists who could previously only draw stick figures.
      Artists can be made.

    18. ddsurfsca profile image72
      ddsurfscaposted 12 years ago

      I couldn't even draw stick figures, and I just wrote a hub on how I taught myself how to draw in ink, it is failproof, and I even taught a seven year old boy, who got good in no time, it was over a summer, so you can definately learn to draw.

    19. profile image0
      Aleister888posted 12 years ago

      I think that one can technically and intellectually learn the mechanics of visual art, just the same as any craft, but i think the true essence comes from the individual creativity of a persons mind, and that is something that can not be learned.

      1. profile image58
        stoneyyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Much is learned, but an individual's style develops.  I'm sure it also changes over time.


    20. waynet profile image67
      waynetposted 12 years ago

      Art is what you make it!

      1. kirstenblog profile image79
        kirstenblogposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I have seen stories on the news of art selling for huge sums that was done by animals, dogs and such. Do they actually have any natural inborn talent? Or just someone with a mind for marketing?

        1. waynet profile image67
          waynetposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I once saw a painting that had been painted by a dog wearing slippers dipped in paint and it looked quite effective!

          So I think these animals are genius to be able to create art and sell it too, something we all can learn from!!big_smile

          Crazy art seems to sell well I think whether it's half a cow in a tank of chemicals or a monkey stuffed and painted pink wearing y-fronts!

          1. kirstenblog profile image79
            kirstenblogposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            I think the real talent of these animals is their marketing talent smile

            Impressive that a dog can market its art isn't it wink

    21. kirstenblog profile image79
      kirstenblogposted 12 years ago

      Trow away your concepts of what art is 'supposed' to be and you can be an artist IMO. Abstract art is never 'wrong' ya know wink

    22. Mark Ewbie profile image82
      Mark Ewbieposted 12 years ago

      I am not an artist. That's fairly obvious. However, I enjoy doing doodles.

      I am not a writer. But I enjoy writing things.

      I don't think you need to be brilliant at stuff in order to try it, enjoy it, and add to your general sense of fulfilment.

      So for those less confident than me.

      Have a go.

    23. profile image0
      Deborah Sextonposted 12 years ago

      Once I checked out a book from the library that was about drawing by perception.
      I read a little bit of the book by skipping around in it and taught myself to draw portraits.
      I draw portraits in ink, pencil acrylics and oil, and I'm not a bit creative.
      Drawing isn't about creativity it's about perceiving what you're looking at. Which can be learned.
      Now I have seen young guys who had notebooks full of drawings of monsters and creatures and they were very creative. But when I asked them to draw a portrait they couldn't. They were looking at real life and didn't know how to perceive a human face.

    24. profile image0
      Deborah Sextonposted 12 years ago

      Artists have times when they want to draw everything. It's like a driving force. It lasts for awhile then the urge goes away for some time. At least for me.

    25. DaniellaWood profile image75
      DaniellaWoodposted 12 years ago

      It depends on which type of artist you're talking about. I'm a stilt walker, which some would refer to as being an artist. It is a skill - and therefore something I have been taught - but at the same time my body seems to have naturally good balance so I find it easy (when my sister tried it she couldn't do it at all!). So the answer is both; you need the natural flare to begin with and then you can develop it and work on that skill to reach your full potential. The same goes for artists (painters etc) - natural talent definately helps! That doesn't mean to say if you're not naturally gifted a little hard work and self-belief won't get you there too though...

      1. Castlepaloma profile image76
        Castlepalomaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Most of the world class artists, I know are self taught. I think if you’re a doctor or Lawyer, University is important. It’s very difficult to teach self expression to an artist.
        If you’re a world class doctor or lawyer you’re most likely to become a millionaire, not so with world class artist, very few be come millionaires...

    26. Flightkeeper profile image67
      Flightkeeperposted 12 years ago

      I think you can definitely learn the skill in any art.  Whether you are an artist is really only determined by you, your vision and your passion for making it.

    27. profile image53
      shanzaymalikposted 12 years ago

      as i think about your question,
      yes definitely we can learn from the really artist,
      you can not learn without any guide line, it is right that there is some thing creative but use that thing you need some one who polish your creativity.
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    28. simeonvisser profile image69
      simeonvisserposted 12 years ago

      Doesn't everything qualify as 'art' these days?

      1. cpvr profile image60
        cpvrposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        No, is also - articles. Art can be anything, but tutorials can help people learn how to draw.

        Resource: … 442.0.html

    29. Midnight Oil profile image81
      Midnight Oilposted 12 years ago

      If you say you can, you will be an artist - if you say you cannot, you will not be an artist.  Simple as that.

      Of course, like all things in life, you have to serve some sort of 'apprenticeship' first.  Practice, practice, practice and never give up... wink

    30. imatellmuva profile image78
      imatellmuvaposted 12 years ago

      I agree with Midnight Oil. Anyone can learn to be an artist. Some people have a natural ability, and others learn the trade. Even those with a natural ability learn techniques to improve their craft.
      A good example is my son, who at 23 is phenomenal! Many years ago I enrolled him in a class to improve shading, and depth. This is the only formal class that he's taken, and now his drawings abound with more life and definition. There are many, many expressions of art, and it's unlimited.

    31. profile image0
      lovazaposted 12 years ago

      I think being and learning are two different things.
      In "being"  is having the innate abilities and talent
      to produce a piece of work, in knowing what needs to be done  doesn't require as much thinking doing a painting or a drawing. Children can pick up a crayon, and do you notice how they color?  What colors did they chose?  Is there something unique about how they colored?  Most of the time it would be general.  And it depends upon the age group.  A 3 year old will color with less skill than an 8 year old.  When a parent encourages their child to draw and color as he/she grows up,  if he/she shows the interest, he/she will be more skilled and ready in learning" to be an artist.   
      In "learning"  takes time, effort, and practice along with the knowledge on how to paint a landscape or draw a portrait. It takes lessons on technique until the skills are developed enough to create a beautiful painting or drawing.
      I have enjoyed doing artwork since high school, and over the years I have developed the skills in order to paint and draw.  I have grown, which is the process through "learning"  into becoming an artist because of the time I put forth into my works.
      And besides, everyone can learn to "BE" an artist, it depends upon what type of artwork we can create or produce.

    32. Ian Hudson profile image67
      Ian Hudsonposted 12 years ago

      I am lucky, I have always been able to draw reasonably well. I enrolled in college for art 18 months ago now and I have improved dramatically. There are some people on my course who was not very good drawers, but they have started to improve.
      Who says art is being able to draw and paint?
      There is so many different things you can do in art, such as textiles, photography, photoshop and illustrator on the computer, fashion etc.
      Once you have a general knowledge in colour and composition, anyone can begin to create pieces of art.
      The thing is, are the things you are creating quality and original?
      You need to have something new, something that catches the eye of the viewer. You can't just regurgitate the same meaningless pieces over and over.
      You must also have desire and drive to gain what you want.
      College is a must if you want to improve, there are not many successful artists who didn't have training. Even the great artists of the past had to be taught.

      1. craftybegonia profile image60
        craftybegoniaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, you can! I went to art school. I'm a trained artist (though I have chosen to be an artisan.) My mom is a born artist. She painted  from childhood and can leave it off for a long time and pick it up at will and always make gorgeous paintings. I had to learn it and get rusty if I don't use it. That is the difference between natural talent and acquired one. But yes, you can absolutely learn it.

        1. Ian Hudson profile image67
          Ian Hudsonposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I actually missed my point in the end, I was going to say yes!
          Everyone has made some great pieces of work at college, even the people who didn't have great drawing skills.
          Great teachers will bring something out of even the, I can't draw people.

    33. rickzimmerman profile image68
      rickzimmermanposted 12 years ago

      An artist like Picasso comes along very rarely, as does a cellist like Yo Yo Ma; or a Duke Ellington; or a George Balanchine. Some levels of 'artist' are only available to those with the inherent talent. For a vast number of artists at a great many other levels however — respected composers, first-chair violinists, oscar-winning actors, collected painters, world-renowned sculptors, admired opera sopranos, etc. — are made by adding great training and discipline and desire to what may be relatively eager inherent 'talent'. Artists can be made, just like CEOs and media moguls and press barons and rock stars.

    34. ChristineVianello profile image59
      ChristineVianelloposted 12 years ago

      I believe you can learn to become an artist. But being an artist takes a lot of patience and time that devolops over time. After high school, I went to school for art and over time my art had gotten much better and more appealing.

    35. jackie_fish profile image62
      jackie_fishposted 12 years ago

      I Don't believe one is born with a special talent to become a artiest. because what is art. It take many form and it can be argued that anything anyone does could be classed as art, such as a pen, could be said to represents the history of books, or a famous  footballer pulling off a trick. This could all be classed as art to a certain person.

    36. stclairjack profile image80
      stclairjackposted 12 years ago

      no matter what genere you might delve into,... be it photography, painting, sculpture, print, written word, music, perfromance....

      what is talent without passion? what is a skill without ambition? what is vision without direction?

      an artist posses all of these and more,.... every one else is just a person who happens to have a ability... wether it was inherent or learned.

      i supose that 1000's of art schools the world over are hoping you think it can be learned.

      art can be enjoyed and contributed to on so many levels,... the artist most generaly has not the head for buisness to make his/her living at the trade,... and find it opressive and stifeling to be bothered with the buisnes end of it,... the agent, the promoter, the copyright lawyer, and the roadie are no less important than the artist,...

      and the true artist knows it.

    37. Jared Peace profile image60
      Jared Peaceposted 12 years ago

      Interesting. Its true that when you see a professional singer or a guitarist or any artist for that matter, the first thing that comes to your mind is that he's born with it, God gifted. But in doing so one does undermine the time and hard work put into it by that person, inborn talent being irrelevant. Also, focus and patience can raise an amateur's art to new levels but true mastery is definitely from within, not a God's gift but a thing called passion.

      1. stclairjack profile image80
        stclairjackposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        passion is the key, your right, all the other atributes are wasted withou it.

        passion doesnt work alone though,.... i've known some incredably passionate no talent dumbass',.... nope,.... passion does not cure everything,....

        but whiskey helps in the short term.

    38. Sally's Trove profile image79
      Sally's Troveposted 12 years ago

      Has anyone defined "artist"?

      1. stclairjack profile image80
        stclairjackposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        good point!

        every one here seems better at posting a question,...

        ask hubbers to define artist

    39. Azure11 profile image85
      Azure11posted 12 years ago

      I think you can learn the skills required to be an artist for sure but part of the definition of being an artist for me is to have the creativity and ideas. For example when I go out selling my paintings I sometimes get comments of 'I could do that' - which fair enough, they could if I gave them the necessary tools and instructions about how to do it (and maybe a bit of practice) - but the point is, they didn't come up with the idea, the design etc and if I asked them to sketch me out an idea for a design and some great color schemes they would probably be stuck!

      So it's not only about sill but also about creativity to me, and not everyone has that.

    40. acreach profile image60
      acreachposted 12 years ago

      Artist. An artist to me would be anyone who creates or crafts something. My initial reaction when I hear artist, is one who does painting, drawing, etc. But in reality it incorporates a lot of things. An author creates and crafts sentences, an actor creates and crafts characters, a photographer creates pictures..a musician creates songs...the list goes on. There are some people who have a natural talent for crafting art and yet sometimes and for the most part people don't realize they have the talent or that they love it until they try it. I didn't discover that I loved to act until I got here to college and as I've gotten more experience, my skills have developed and grown along with my passion for it.

    41. mega1 profile image68
      mega1posted 12 years ago

      I don't believe in "talent"  I think that is a myth.  What you can do is learn to access your inner feelings and learn to uninhibit yourself so you can express these feelings and your life.  One tool for this is meditation - which gets you to focus on what your thoughts really are, and then let them pass on.  You learn control but also release using meditation and it makes you feel free.

        Another tool is really tuning into the world around you listening, looking, touching, etc.  Absorbing as much as you can and looking at how you feel about the world - then you pursue technique with the materials you have chosen.  Without some knowledge of your materials and how to use them you cannot really make the art you want to make. 

      ALL this is about learning.  If you have a hard time learning, you may need to free yourself to do it.  You probably just have blocks about how "hard" it is and how you think you don't have "talent" - Really look at how other artists do it - I think you can learn how.  In my experience people who say they can't make art are not really living in the world - they are living in their own minds and don't really experience much - when they get free of their preconceptions they make art, if they want to.  At the very least they can really appreciate others' lives and art, not just their own.  (Hey, I should write a hub about this!)  Thanks for helping me think this morning!


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