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Talent Vs Skill Essay About Myself

Talent vs Skill

“Talent” and “skill” are often used interchangeably in conversations and perceptions. Both words pertain to the ability or potential of an individual to deal, work, and perform a particular task. However, their main difference is their point of origin.

A talent is defined by resources as the ability by a person that is inherent, inborn, or naturally occurring. A talent is said to be a special ability to do something without prior experience, study, or tutelage. It is often classified or compared to an instinct or a certain flair for doing something without extra effort and almost perfect in execution.

Since a talent is innate, only some people have actually acquired it. A talent makes it somewhat restricting–some people have it and others do not. Because it occurs naturally, a talent is also seen as raw ability which can be developed and improved over time with direction like instruction and training. Consistent improvement of any ability or craft gives an advantage for any individual.

This is also true for a skill. Unlike a talent, a skill is an ability that is learned and practiced for a period of time. A skill is an acquired or obtained ability which is often the result of constant performance and improvement on a particular task or behavior.

Skills are often taught and considered as a demonstrated talent. It is the “nurture” aspect which is the opposite of a talent being the “nature” or natural acquisition of ability. In this viewpoint, it can be said that a skill can be a result or an extension of a person’s particular talent and considerable effort. This means that a talent can be a stepping stone to improve a skill. A skill can be a refined ability when combined with talent.

Using both a skill and a talent can drive an individual to success and fulfill a goal in life. It is not a substitute for talent, nor is a talent a substitute for skill. A skill, as something acquired, needs instruction, time, training, and practice to actually learn. The training involved in doing a skill can also result in good values like hard work, perseverance, dedication, excellence, and other positive attributes to a person.

Another difference between a skill from a talent is that everybody has a chance, potential, and capacity to learn and earn a particular skill.


1.A talent is an innate ability to do something. It also involves potential for further development and improvement. A skill, on the other hand, is a learned ability and a result of study, effort, training even before development or improvement.
2.Talents and skills are not substitutes for each other though they are used interchangeably. In many cases, a talent can be developed into a skill, as a refined form or as a demonstrated talent. This instance makes a talent as a platform to acquire or develop a skill easier.
3.In terms of acquisition, a talent is the natural aspect that needs little or no knowledge or effort while a skill is the nurturing aspect where there is a lot of time and effort spent to learn and execute a certain ability.
4.A talent occurs only in a limited number of people, and not everybody has access to it. Meanwhile, skills can be learned by anyone who has the capacity, potential, and willingness to learn.
5.A great advantage for learning a skill is that there are some additional values that can be learned in the midst of the learning process. Positive attributes regarding work and training can also help develop a person. Though talents can also offer the similar values in the duration of improvement, skills often require a more profound and much deeper embodiment and application of these values and attributes.
6.Both abilities are instrumental in the performance and accomplishment of a task or a dream.

Celine. "Difference Between Talent and Skill." DifferenceBetween.net. June 8, 2016 < http://www.differencebetween.net/language/words-language/difference-between-talent-and-skill/ >.

Artwork by Whitney Waller via Creative Commons
Is this drawing reflective of skill or talent?

Today is a standing on my soap box kind of day.

A few weeks ago at work I had a conversation with a colleague I’ve had more than once in my life. Someone with limited to no art education started a conversation with me about skill versus talent. It ultimately led to the same larger question many people ask me “my opinion on:” Is art a skill or a talent?

This is a question that I get really passionate and riled up about. In schools parents use the art as talent justification to argue their kids deserve higher grades if they “try” at the course, even if they have no skill. (I’d love to see someone posit that argument for a math class). Adults I know use it to justify their lack of skill and their discomfort talking about and practicing art. The most recent argument I heard art was equated with sports and people’s performance in sports (people can practice but that doesn’t mean they will be an Olympic athlete). (Funny, still feel like I could argue that for math or any other subject).

When people ask me this question it is still framed as “my opinion.” I want to kick someone in the shins when they do this. Especially when I share my opinion, based in years of education and experience, and they push it aside and hold to their beliefs, as ignorant as they might be.

Art has elements of SKILL, just like learning to write an essay has techniques, or playing football has techniques. If you never learn those basic skills and steps, then of course you will have limited skill! But, if your education incorporates those techniques and skills, you will become more skillful. This isn’t rocket science people.

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I see this especially from my experience with students from Korea who come to our school. Almost every student I’ve worked with from Korea here can draw nearly photo-realistically. This does not mean the stereotype people hold is true (People from Asia are better at art). Actually, their education incorporates drawing skills as part of their curriculum from a young age. And as we all know the sooner you put hours into something and if you are taught a skill and made to practice it, you will get more skillful.

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards also proves “art as talent” is fallacy. Look at some before and after drawings done by adults after one year of practice and techniques taught.

Now, I’m not saying there is no such thing as talent. Just like any subject (math, sport, English), some people are predisposed to specific skills. And that predisposition can lead people to their choices in school, and/or even a career. I just HATE IT when people use this “story” as an excuse. It’s okay if you have no interest in learning how to draw or don’t have the time, but admit to it. “I just don’t have the talent” is an excuse. Own that it is. And its more infuriating to me that someone with no background in the arts feel they can make that justification with the same authority as an arts educated individual (which leads into a whole question of how the subjectivity of arts allow people to feel authority of statement and opinion without educated support or justification). Yet, is it their fault when our society and institutions do not support arts education?

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: What’s your take on the art as skill or talent? How do you handle the question of art versus skill? What responsibility do we have to educate others about the arts?

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