Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tenacity Trumps Talent

My 15 year old niece is applying for a summer workshop at an art college and needs my help with the whole application process. I am always happy to help. People have helped me and I am eternally grateful for that, so I am passing it along. I was once told you can only repay kindness with kindness. Seems like a lovely rule of thumb to live by.

Back to my niece. What can I do to help her at this very beginning step in her art career?

First, I’m gonna tell her to read my blog. She can skip over most of it, if she wants, but I want her to read about the failures. About my failures. I do walk on water in her eyes, so it’s time to show her otherwise.

Secondly I’m going to tell her that the single most important part of success isn’t talent, its tenacity.

Though I knew my entire life that I wanted to be an artist, I was never the most talented kid throughout that time. I’m talking all the way through school, elementary through college. And it took me 20 years to get my MFA so this isn’t just a casual statement. I’ve got the time under my belt to prove my statement. Admittedly most of those college years were off and on for my AA. Once I set my mind to getting my degree, first my BFA and then my MFA, I was very focused and on track. Again, not the most talented. But nobody worked harder than I did, even in the early years.

As you already know, I was very shy and insecure. All those classes I took were my testing grounds. I tried, I failed. I watched and listened. I learned from all of it. I needed those 20 years to finally believe that I was an artist. And I am glad I did it that way. It worked for me.

I hope Lydia takes a shorter course. Though I hope she doesn’t skip failing.

I hope she will be willing to step outside her comfort zone to try something new. Something uncomfortable. I hope she tries things that don’t come easy or things she is not good at. If she stays only in her comfort zone she’ll be holding herself back and not growing to her potential. I hope she’ll have some great failures. And I hope she sees me in the back corner with my pom poms cheering her on.

Nurture, 8 inch hoop, Kim Radatz
Have a great day!

6 comments:

QueenofQueens said...

Beautiful work! Your tenacity is doubtless but your talent is supremely evident.

Kim Radatz said...

Ms. QofQ,
Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are so kind.
How is my hometown treating you? Well, I hope.
So nice to hear from you, thanks again!
Kim

jenn ressmann said...

Hi Kim - I found your site through Martha Marshall's blog. Just wanted to say I love your work! Really fun. Love the boat - Wishful Thinking. :)

Kim Radatz said...

Thanks so much, Jenn. It’s so nice of you to stop in. I looked at your blog too, looks great. Looking forward to reading more of it. Artists connecting through blogs. Love it. Have a great day!

Shannon Willis said...

Hi Kim,

I left a little something for you on my blog. Your work and blog posts have been so inspiring to me lately that I wanted to "PAY IT FORWARD"!

Be Blessed,

Shannon Willis
www.shannonscropstop.blogspot.com

Kim Radatz said...

oooooh, zipping over to your blog right now. Fun. :-)

And thanks, so glad I can be of inspiration!