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It's the Practice More Than the Talent

This NY Times magazine Freakonomics column is about sports but there's probably a lesson in there for art and webcomics as well.

one man's "suck" is another man's "Picasso"

Greg Carter's picture

While it's true that everyone is differently abled, art is subjective, and one man's "suck" is another man's "Picasso".

Greg Carter
UpDown Studio

Greg Carter - Abandon: First Vampire - Online Graphic Novel

But if you do shoddy work,

But if you do shoddy work, you'll be regarded as "suck" a lot more than "Picasso." But if you feel your technical ability and ideas are so revolutionary that people will not be able to understand them until you are dead and they read a bunch of letters you wrote to your brother, then by all means, go for being regarded as Picasso. Your life will suck, but oh man, if there's an afterlife, you'll be the smuggest cat ever.

Kiwis by beat!

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Nature vs nurture

It is an interesting article but, at its core, it's not a very original take on the age old "nature vs nurture" debate and it is pretty one-sided. While practice is obviously important, the fact is that some people are born with greater abilities than others in certain areas. The article makes a grudging acknowledgement of this in its one throw-away reference to the fact that Michael Jordan was actually born with the abilities to become a better basketball player than most of us but then dives straight back into the idea that, with practice and the desire to make it big, anyone could turn pro.

This is patently not the case. And - as for its relevance to webcomics - sure, both sides of that coin are as true in webcomics as elsewhere. The more you practice, the better you'll get. But even with practice, some people will always suck at it no matter how much they improve in relative terms, while others will always be head and shoulders above the rest, even with minimal practice.

It's not fair but that's how life is.
Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids


Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

You ought to read their book...

Howard Tayler's picture

Freakonomics is a great read. This kind of analysis is applied to lots of "mundane" things, and is a real eye-opener.


Schlock Mercenary

Cool. I'll definitely check

bobweiner's picture

Cool. I'll definitely check out the book, Howard. BTW, I'm reading another book now called "Unstoppable" by Cynthia Kersey - talk about uplifting and motivating. It's for anyone who thinks that people who enjoy great success are just lucky or born into it. The book focuses on the lives of ordinary people and how they have overcome extraordinary adversity to reach success.

Krishna M. Sadasivam Cartoonist, "The PC Weenies"

Great article. And

bobweiner's picture

Great article. And definitely applicable to art and webcomics.

Krishna M. Sadasivam Cartoonist, "The PC Weenies"