The idea of art as free expression is romantic folly. Artists are problem-solvers. They are working for a living. They produce, play music, and dance for others for money. My artist friends, the successful ones, are taken up much of the time considering how to perfect or extend their craft and how to sell more product.
…While…taking a design course [my instructor] passed by me as I was laboring over a design project…. “Have you solved it yet?” he asked. That was when I realized that the essence of art was applied problem-solving…
[Let me point out how] completely erroneous [many popular] ideas about success in the arts are: as if one somehow either was born with the ability to play the violin or not. Talent plays a role, but time-on-task is the great determiner of achievement in playing an instrument and in doing mathematics. These arts are mastered at the cost of sweat, and their practice is not easy.
An anonymous commenter on Lockhart’s Lament