5 Art Quotes to remind us that talent alone doesn’t cut it

Talent and art go hand in hand, but talent alone doesn’t always cut it. Don’t get us wrong, it is totally possible to make it on talent alone, but it’s hard! Other qualities like discipline and hard work are necessary if one wants to be a successful working artist. Below are the 5 best art quotes that will remind us that talent alone may not cut it.

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“Talent! There's no such thing as talent. What they call talent is nothing but the capacity for doing continuous hard work in the right way.”

-Winslow Homer

The Gulf Stream by Winslow Homer (1899)

Talent! There’s no such thing as talent. What they call talent is nothing but the capacity for doing continuous hard work in the right way.
— Winslow Homer

Ok so this is a bit extreme and we don’t fully agree with this statement. While do believe in such a thing as talent, Winslow Homer was driving a critical point home. Hard work, dedication WITH talent is what makes for a successful artist. Talent alone may not be enough. The worst thing in the world is undiscovered talent and if you don’t have the ability to hustle or don’t put in the hard work, you may run the risk of remaining undiscovered.


"I am doubtful of any talent, so whatever I choose to be, will be accomplished only by long study and work"

-Jackson Pollock

Alchemy by Jackson Pollock (1948)

I am doubtful of any talent, so whatever I choose to be, will be accomplished only by long study and work
— Jackson Pollock

Is the point getting driven home here? Jackson Pollock one of key leaders of the abstract expressionist movement, believes that his accomplishments were through long study and work and that’s a load of BS. Winslow and Jackson are from the same school of thought but we believe that great artists achieve their goals through a combination of talent, long study AND hard work.


I started painting as a hobby when I was little. I didn’t know I had any talent. I believe talent is just a pursued interest. Anybody can do what I do.
— Bob Ross

Ummm…No Bob. NOT everyone can do what you did so don’t be so modest. Bob Ross pursued his interested indeed and with a blend of talent AND consistency, he was able to leave a legacy. What many people don’t know is that Bob Ross was a 20 year career military Was “The Joy of Painting” not the most memorizing show ever?


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“If you have great talents, industry will improve them. If you have but moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiency. Nothing is denied to well-directed labor; nothing is ever to be attained without it”

-Joshua Reynolds

If you have great talents, industry will improve them. If you have but moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiency. Nothing is denied to well-directed labor; nothing is ever to be attained without it
— Joshua Reynolds

Creation is the artist’s true function. But it would be a mistake to ascribe creative power to an inborn talent. Creation begins with vision. The artist has to look at everything as though seeing it for the first time.
— Henri Matisse