My name is Nick Huggins and I don't believe in talent. I never have and I probably never will. Well, at least the dictionary definition of Talent.
Talent, as defined by the top hit on google is "...the skill that someone naturally has, to do something that is hard. It is an ability that someone is born with..."
Now let me share with you, a quote by the (extremely talented?) Mixed Martial Artist Conor McGregor- "There's no talent here, this is hard work. This is an obsession. Talent does not exist, we are all equal as human beings. You could be anyone if you put in the time. You will reach the top, and that is that. I am not talented, I am obsessed."
Since I've been a child in primary school, art has always been a passion of mine and I was lucky enough to know at a young age that I wanted to be an artist. With the encouragement of my family and teachers, by the time I was ready to head to university there was only one choice for me- Art & Design school. I went to SCAD, and at the end of my first year decided to go into graphic design with pretty much zero experience in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. However I was dedicated to learning whatever was needed of me to succeed.
Does this mean I am a "talented" artist or designer...I don't think so. I am simply obsessed with learning this field; practicing everyday; designing and illustrating for late hours into the night. 90% of my books are books on design, my bookmark tab on my computer is filled with design websites; I am most passionate when speaking about design and spend almost all of my free time on the computer watching tutorials, illustrating, experimenting, sketching, whatever. I post new illustrations almost daily onto Instagram, work as a designer all day at an agency, operate a t-shirt company, freelance, do commissioned illustrations, and the list goes on.
I used to read interviews from designers who spoke of working 15 hours everyday, and working on weekends. When I was a teenager, this seemed insane...I now realise that it is what is needed.
It is an obsession, not a talent. I speak a lot here about design, because that is what I do. However this same idea can be used across the board for anything and I think that anyone with an obsession in any field can reach a certain level of success if they put in the time and the effort. Of course there are some things where physical attributes or levels of intelligence or personality traits may work either for or against you (I'm not going to go into the 100M Dash anytime soon) ... but still- Get started on what you want to do today and soon enough you will get there.
I know the word talent isn't going to leave the lexicon of humankind anytime soon, and I don't think it should. But just know that behind every "talented" individual is a lot of hard work and effort and not the result of some innate #bornthisway #wokeuplikethis skill.
If you are interested, here is a slideshow of where my art and "graphic design" skills were the couple years before going to university (Circa 2006-08)... This stuff is embarrassingly bad compared to what I see teenage graphic designers and illustrators doing on Behance or Instagram and if anything, is proof that anyone can do this. ----