Talent vs. Passion

The mission statement of the UVU School of the Arts states that only those with “sufficient talent and passion” will be successful students in the programs put forth by the school. The “and” implies that you need to have both - but what is the difference?



An inherent skill or a knack for something that you can hone and perfect - more than just a passing interest but a true capacity to grow. As students in the arts, you’re past the point of wondering if you have talent. It’s now a matter of taking what comes naturally and turning it into something nobody else can do as well as you. Talent grows talent, too, and working with your skilled professors and classmates will increase your abilities.


A deep desire to do The Thing that drives you forward and motivates you to keep going even when things become challenging. It’s that whole “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” bone, the one that seems kind of ridiculous sometimes. Passion can sometimes be misleading, especially if it’s not married to talent. Think your passion is performing, but can’t get over crippling stage fright? Maybe your passion is being a part of what makes a performance great - as a set designer or costume designer.


There is a sweet spot that falls between both, and also includes “something people will pay you for” that means you have found a career. As an artist it’s hard to separate all of these things and finding success in a capitalist industry that has socialized art might feel like “selling out,” but there are myriad ways to use your artistry and also earn a living.

The other component of all of this? Hard work. Nothing earned, nothing gained, right? If you’re taking the time, building your skills, increasing your abilities, and truly dedicating yourself to your talents and passions, that will show. That’s why both words are included in the mission statement - they go hand in hand to make you the best possible artist.


UVU School of the Arts Mission Statement

The UVU School of the Arts attracts and retains those with sufficient talent and passion for a career in the Arts and challenges them to hone imagination, creativity, and innovation as they secure the knowledge, skills, and experiences vital to their success. It enlivens, enhances, and enriches UVU and its varied communities through scholarly activities, public exhibits and performances, participation in or with the Arts, and classes about the Arts.