For too long the myth has prevailed—that you must be born with talent to learn how to draw and paint. That talent is a “gift” handed down from some lofty cloud. Or that somehow the planets were perfectly aligned when creative souls were born.

In The Talent Myth, world-renowned artist and educator, Larry Gluck, dispels the myth once and for all. This is no theoretical treatise, no “feel good-about-yourself” book. He speaks from hard-won experience.

For more than a quarter century, Larry Gluck has taught people who thought they were devoid of talent how to create works of art.

In the Talent Myth, you’ll discover why anyone can learn artistic skills and acquire talent, why everyone has the potential to become an artist.



Excerpt from The Talent Myth

We Love a Mystery
(Chapter 1 – Page 11)

People love the notion that talent is a mysterious gift from God and only a few lucky beneficiaries are blessed. Or that it’s in the genes, or comes from some lucky roll of the twin dice, nature and nurture. Ordinary mortals admire talented artists with awe and envy. Instead of believing you can also learn, have you, too, set the talented apart and endowed them with mysterious powers far beyond your own?

Then how do you explain the writer who struggles through five novels before someone publishes his work, or the singer who has voice lessons for twelve years before her first exciting performance? Does talent only belong to the writer who instantly gets published or the singer who succeeds without a lesson?

We start with whatever ability we have, but from then on it’s up to us. The writer who begins with only a strong desire but who works hard to learn his craft can become as good a writer as the gifted one who quickly dashes off the latest bestseller.

Only by our ignoring the truth can a myth persist. Sometimes we may even enjoy the myth and desire its persistence. I once showed an art collector a painting of mine that intrigued him no end. He had no idea how I’d achieved that particular effect and asked me to show him how I’d done it. I did and he immediately grew upset. The mystery was gone; I had ruined his fun.

When we unthinkingly agree to an untruth, a talent myth can become a tyrant king—to tread upon our once bright dreams and bludgeon us into forgetting we can learn.

If someone you know—perhaps even you—has used this myth as an excuse not to pursue the arts, the jig is up.



1 – The Myth

2 – Talent & Creativity

3 – Traditions of Excellence

4 – The Artist

5 – The Fundamentals of Fine Art

6 – An Artist’s Strength

7 – The Making of an Artist

8 – Watch Your Step

9 – The Teacher

10 – The Learning Process

11 – Artistic Fulfillment


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