On The Poet & The Geek

In Pep Talks, Rants and Sermons, Thoughts & Theory, Vision Is Better by David9 Comments

20091002_NeonBoneyard-Vegas_114-2My buddy Chris Orwig, a man who combines the poet & geek with grace.

A few quick quotes this morning to bring us all back to thinking about the uneasy – but necessary – connection between the artistic and technical sides of ourselves, or our craft. It seems everywhere I look as I study creativity and the creative process, I see reminders that it’s those who give not 50% of their attention & pursuit to skill, and 50% to creativity, but those that give 100% to each, however mathematically improbable that sounds.

“The separation of talent and skill is one of the greatest misunderstood concepts for people who are trying to excel, who have dreams, who want to do things. Talent you have naturally; skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft.”
– Will Smith

“You’re only kidding yourself if you put creativity before craft. Craft is where our best efforts begin. You should not worry that rote exercises aimed at developing skills will suffocate creativity. At the same time, it’s important to recognize that demonstrating great technique is not the same as being creative.”
-Twyla Tharp

“Without passion, all the skill in the world won’t lift you above craft. Without skill, all the passion in the world will leave you eager but floundering. Combining the two is the essence of the creative life.”
-Twyla Tharp

Next week I’m going to announce a giveaway related to the launch of VisionMongers, Making a Life and a Living in Photography. Until then, have a great weekend. Get out there and shoot something you love.


  1. Author

    @Scott Jones – That photo frame was made in the OnOne PlugIn Suite – onOneSoftware.com – but you can get the frames plugin seperately too. Or do what my buddy Matt Brandon did and just buy a few from iStockPhoto.com

  2. Yes and David, where did that photo frame come from. Very fun and I would like to play with those too. Dare I ask if it was a software program you used for that?

    This would be the craft side of things, eh?! 🙂

  3. Nice Photo Frames – it’s a slippery slope my friend – you can just keep going frame in a frame in a frame in a frame; it’ll be the photographic equivalent to Escher.

  4. oh man, what a summary! …this post addresses it all: talent, skill, passion, creativity and hard work. I love how you’ve laid it out for us, …”here’s what it takes, now go shoot something you love.” Thanks for this powerful send-off into the weekend. Have a great one!

  5. Pingback: On The Poet & The Geek – David duChemin (pixelatedimage) @ Photo News Today

  6. Spend 10,000 hours doing something and you will become an expert at it, right?

    I too love Will Smith’s quote, especially since I am a big fan of his. I never heard of Twyla but she has some wise words as well. I can totally relate to her last quote.

  7. Great Post David. I especially love the Will Smith quote, it really rings true with Malcolm Gladwell’s 10 000 hour rule, are you familiar with it?

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