I just read a book called The Talent Code which talks about (among other things) how people get really good at stuff, be it arts related, sports, or really, anything that a person would want to be good at. He discusses actual changes in the brain that are brought on by consistent, focused practice at your art.
In other words, like the old joke says: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.
As an artist who teaches, I often have the feeling that my students are waiting for the magic formula to escape my lips, so that they can paint just like me. (I know, you’re not all like that) The other interesting concept brought up in the book, was that those who had to struggle whether financially or with lack of facilities are MORE likely to get really good at things than those who either had lots of “natural talent” or had their way paved too easily. It seems that it is the struggle to “get it right” that is the more important an indicator of long term excellence. I’ve always told my students that I was not a star in art school. This is absolutely true. what I was, was STUBBORN!!!!!! Turns out, this made a better painter than I would have been, had I won all the awards and got into all the shows.
Huh! Go figure!