Is talent inherited?

My daughter is a budding artist… no, that’s actually not a true statement. Forget the budding part, she’s blooming already. Her talent emerged at a young age and has developed exponentially over the years. So, is her gift nature or nurture? My father-in-law, Bob, was an amazing artist… among other things. When the kids were little, he would allow them to work in the art room. Pride and praise were all he offered for their efforts. My daughter didn’t only draw when her Papa was around, she drew constantly. But his praise was always both well-received and treasured.

It makes me wonder whether the talent one has can be attributed to genetic foundations or simply cultivating environments. Perhaps it’s both or varies from persons to person. The scientific community has studied the nature versus nurture riddle as it applies to creative talent and beyond extensive mathematical calculations, hypothetical suggestions, and cautionary conclusions, we may never know the answer to this age-old question. I’d like to think that a little bit of her talent was inherited from her grandfather because that means a part of him is still here with us.


Here’s her latest project.




7 thoughts on “Is talent inherited?

  1. Wow. That’s amazing. I think it’s probably natural but is nurtured in a wonderful loving environment. I once had a disagreement with my sons teacher about her teaching methods as she constantly shouted and never praised and my son blossoms under praise but comes home crying from a poor school environment. As I told her, all children learn differently. Your daughter has obviously reaped the benefits of both genes and teaching.


    • Rebecca,
      That’s such a hard place, especially for a child, but having a supportive home to return to was the best balanced gift you could offer. (I hope that your son’s current school yet is a better fit. This really could segue into an entirely different discussion… like your Nano blog. 🙂 And I agree, I think praise is the much preferred motivator. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting 🙂 Have a great weekend!


  2. Wow, Elsie! She is definitely blooming, and most likely will continue to flower :-). I think it can be all nature, all nurture or a combination. How’s that for a definitive answer ?!?
    Some are born in their left brain and couldn’t not live creatively no matter what their environment. But I believe we all have artistic creativity; it’s just deeply buried in some who need a mentor or wait a lifetime to explore it because no one showed them how to unlock the door. (That’s me!)

    Your daughter seems to have the best of both nature and nurture – blessed with creative genes from her father-in-law AND from you, along with support and encouragement to test her wings.

    A loving post and beautiful art.


    • Thanks, Sammy. All this “packing and moving” has put me in a reflective mood and there was something especially cathartic about writing that blog. (*Other moods are also present, but are best left unmentioned.) I love your thoughts on artistic creativity. That’s a very powerful and positive message. (And your zentangles and pictures suggest you have found the key.) Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great weekend!


  3. Lovely. I too have a lot of creative people in my family. My youngest is a keen photographer, and my eldest daughter writes and is artistic too. Interesting to wonder whether it is genetic. I do know that photography is in the family, my grandfather and uncle were both photographers. My cousin is an artist, so there seems to be a link there.


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