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talent -long

updated tue 30 apr 96


Hendriks; Eleanor D. on thu 18 apr 96

This quote regarding talent comes from a collection of writings by M.C.
Escher, in this case to his son Arthur in 1955.

"Good God, I wish I'd learned to draw a little better! How much effort
and persistence it costs to try to do it well. Every once in a while the
stress of it all drives me to the point of a nervous breakdown. It
really is strictly a matter of persisting tenaciously with continuous
and, if possible, pitiless self-criticism. I believe that to produce
prints the way I do is almost strictly a matter of wanting so terribly
much to do it well. Talent and all that are really for the most part
just baloney. Any schoolboy with a little aptitude can perhaps draw
better than I; but what he lacks in most cases is that tenacious desire
to make it reality, that obstinate gnashing of teeth and saying,
`Although I know it can't be done, I want to do it anyway.'"

If Mozart, chocolate, seed pods, George Ohr's mustaches, and spring
weather can't get the creative juices flowing then a little "wanting so
terribly much to do it well" and "gnashing of teeth" *can* produce some
good (IMHO) results -and more sweat than usual. If Escher wouldn't claim
drawing talent *or* skill then I'm not going to claim anything for myself
but the satisfaction I get from the small progresses I make -either by
happy accident or by sheer determination. Is this a case of the end
result being what counts?

Eleanor in Fergus, Ontario, Canada

-trying to answer the question "Am I any Good?!" with something other
than fodder for the reclamation barrels.