Talent is not always discovered early; sometimes it takes time. Mary Shelley and Helen Oyeyemi were discovered before they were thirty, but what about those like Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison? They really became known when they were older, after years of hard work.
Here we have, then, “young geniuses” and “old masters.” There is no Natural Selection at work here, there is only a creative world that belongs to anyone who sets foot in it. An old master may create a piece about his broken heart from his lost love so late into his life. A young genius may create a piece about just finding love, experiencing it for the first time and sharing that exuberance with the world.
Young geniuses are often bold, making emotional statements and cracking the molds of their fields. Remember that Picasso and his cubism took the painting world by storm.
Old masters tend to be more experimental, who push forward through trial and error. Take Mark Twain for instance. He nearly quit writing “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” twice and after nine years of writing, was still left unhappy with it. As The Artist Myth says, “Talent Is Not A Birthright; It’s A Result.” In other words, talent is the result of hard work, knowledge, and experience.
Today, many people think that since they are already older they cannot write, paint, or learn to play an instrument. Childhood and creativity is not intrinsically linked. Self-expression is creative; there is no one in the world who doesn’t express themselves in some way, and that way can be termed as creativity.
So no matter if you’re twelve and painting like Monet, thirty-five and trying to learn piano, or seventy and writing your first book, remember that it doesn’t take a young genius to change the world.