> The simple fact of the matter is that only a small percentage of
> the population is endowed with truly artistic talent--this is why
> have DO NOT have "Monday Night Sculpting", but we DO, of course,
> have "Monday Night Football" showing on prime-time ABC.
The elided text made a lot of good points, but this one sentence
really rubs me the wrong way. First, you would have me believe
that artistic talent is something we are endowed with (or not).
Then, you would have me believe that few of us were endowed with
this talent. You hint that artistic talent cannot be acquired,
i.e. that one cannot learn to be artistic. And you close the
sentence with an explanation that just doesn't fly. After all,
the percentage of the population capable of playing American
football at a professional level is also very small. And there
are obvious reasons why sculpting doesn't command a large portion
of the television schedule, reasons that have nothing to do with
the percentage of sculptors among us, e.g. the amount of time
needed to complete a sculpture. There aren't a lot of TV shows
devoted to furniture refinishing either, but you don't expect me
to believe that "only a small percentage of the population" is
capable of refinishing a coat tree, do you?
Let me try to end this rant on a positive note. I think *many*
of us are capable of being artistic. I suggest that there are
two reasons why more of us don't spend more time being "creative":
+ Self-Image. Most people simply don't see themselves
as being artistic, perhaps because they think they
lack the natural ability. These people end up in a
negative feedback loop.
+ Money. Art was never a profitable enterprise for
more than an infinitesimal percentage of people.
Finally, let me contradict myself by suggesting that many people
actually exercise artistic talent quite frequently but they just
don't acknowledge the fact. The issue boils down to the ancient
question: What is Art?
I doubt that we can agree on an answer, but let me leave you with
one last thought. Next time you're flying a kite (preferably a
single-line kite :-), think of that kite-flying event as being an
artistic act. Think of yourself as a sculptor and your life as
sculpture. For that matter, next time you do *anything* . . .