Reading this thread and Pete Myer's article, I'm reminded of a Somerset Maugham short story about a young man who wanted to be a classical pianist, against the wishes of his father. They came to an agreement whereby the son would take a year off to practise the piano to his heart's content, after which time he would be judged by a successful pianist of the day as to whether or not he had any talent. If the verdict was he didn't have 'real' talent, then it was agreed he would give up music and take up some soul-destroying position in his father's business.
When the day came for him to play his best pieces before the 'judge', an accomplshed and successful middle aged female classical pianist, his efforts were ridiculed. The verdict was clear. No talent.
The play ended wth the poor bloke committing suicide.
Perhaps the moral here is, the first requirement of any artistic talent is the talent and confidence to withstand criticism.