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The field of arts is a subjective one; no doubt! It’s like “beauty” which  is in the eye of the beholder. Take for instance, a particular singer’s voice was once described as “annoying” by a judge during a singing competition and for that reason she was disqualified during auditioning. Surprisingly, the same annoying voice landed the singer a major recording contract which saw her producing major hit records one of which later got her a Grammy nomination. And that’s not all the instances! Many manuscripts of aspiring authours that were once rejected by publishers have won major literary prices such as the Orange Price for Fiction and the Booker Awards. Indeed, artistic expressions are no doubt subjective, and like it or not it will remain this way for a long time to come.

But this is destructive to creativity! The truth is that it takes a lot of courage for a rejected creative mind to keep pushing after being tagged “talentless” or flatteringly “almost talented”. The subjectivity in the arts is like an onslaught on creativity because many a creative minds have given up altogether on the craft as a result of it. This then brings me to why many creative judges are often so blunt (if not outright harsh) when passing their assessments on works of art- how would [THEY] have felt if their works were ever assessed that way? Do they ever realize that just because they don’t like a particular work of art does not make it “talentless? Questions…
Please note this is not to say there aren’t people “who do not have it” and yet continuously strive to be recognized for a talent that simply isn’t there. Indeed such people do exist, but this post isn’t about them. I am particular about the so called “Near Talents”. Why would anybody rubbish another person’s artistic creativity just because personally [you] do not like it? Mind me, this body of “arts” being assessed (be it music, stories or even films) are not meant for the judges alone; these are arts intended for the public. And reject it all [you] want there are many other art lovers out there who will find it interesting. So then why does artistic expressions have to be judged subjectively in the first place? Should there be some level of objectivity?

Of course there is some level of objectivity in the arts- something I’d like to call determinants of good art. A singer will have to have a good voice and should be able to sing on pitch to qualify as a singer. A writer should impress me with words and tell fascinating stories in which ever form he chooses. An actor must act a character so well such that when I compare [their] character(s) with their real selves I get blown away. And painters? Let me see the pictures! Now he is the problem- there are countless individuals out there who possess these basic qualities of art and yet have been rejected for not having what it takes. Interestingly, quite a number of these people have gone ahead to prove the judges wrong by excelling beyond expectations.

Mind me, this post is not against literary critique. As a matter of fact that is not even what is being talked about right now. Instead, I am talking about the immense subjectivity, the biases, the favoritism and the corruption in the arts. Perhaps this is not a topic up for discussion most of the time, but I have decided to bring it up because be it as looked over as it is, many creative are affected by it on a daily basis.

~Emmanuel Benson


2 thoughts on ““ALMOST TALENTED”

    Mike Senczyszak said:
    April 3, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Enjoyed your commentary!

    Liked by 1 person

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