Amy Crow
Designer / Illustrator / Maker

Blog

I'm Banning the Word Talented

You're going to think I'm an ass for saying what I'm about to say.
It's fine, I'm ready.

I hate it when people say "you're so talented."

So you know that anything worth doing takes time, right? Anything worth having, achieving, suffering for, loosing sleep over takes effort. When you become proficient in anything, a sport, art, craft or trade, it's likely because you put in the hours, blood, sweat and too many beers. 

When you say "they're talented" it sounds a lot like "that's a nice thing they were gifted and it's good they're using that, good on them". It negates the potential years they spent not going out on a Saturday night to be good at that thing. Weeks of not seeing their friends and fam because some task demanded that level of focus. Hours burned and sacrificed to reach that level.

Do you see where I'm coming from?
I'm not saying don't fawn in awe over people because I've decided to ban the word talent and there's no other way to describe how skull crushingly awesome someone is. Just use a better word- here's a list if you're lost:

1. Skilled
2. Proficient
3. Legend (option to add fucking in front of)
4. Adept
5. Accomplished
6. Expert

Yes I've received backlash to my statement in the past, normally along the lines of "yeah, but, some people are naturally gifted". Wrong. Some people, from a young age, naturally gravitate towards something and stick with it. They persist. They were relentless in their pursuit to master that thing. Maybe in kindy you fucking loved clay and now you've got a solo sculptural show at a ritzy gallery in Melbourne- guess what I'm not surprised. Crayons were your jam in grade 1 and now, not so shockingly you're considered a genius in the interior design world- again I wouldn't be swayed learning this. Your ability to drive a remote control car from day dot to now means you're a drone pilot working for top secret military operations- look I don't know, man. 

Just stop saying people are talented. Say they're skilled, say they're exceptional, call them a brilliant force to be reckoned with. Respect their process, respect their time and drive to achieve and succeed. 

/mic drop.

amy crow2 Comments