or how talents invisibly connect


Talented people are intriguing personas. Swinging back and forth between different states of mind, between fantasy and reality. It’s just always about that one thing, the one, that you start doing and all of a sudden, you’re not on planet Earth anymore. But have you ever wondered what happens when you have not one but two talents that have become part of your daily life? Have you ever realized that hobbies are actually connecting invisibly? If the answer to these questions is “No”, I bet you would enjoy continuing reading.

Thomas Kolstee will be the main character of this article. With his help, I am going to walk you through that invisible connection I have told you about above and I will try to make it very much visible to you.

Thom is a second-year Creative Business student. Just like all of us he is going through the bits of the typical student life – school, socializing, nights in, nights out, but what makes him stand out are his talents in combination with his interesting attitude and approach. He is an amazing cook. And that’s not everything! Besides cooking, he also paints and through both of them, he expresses a huge part of himself.

“My hobbies are cooking and painting. I consider myself to be medium good at both of them. There is always room for further development. Cooking has started when I was younger as my parents would always go to restaurants and I was usually found in the kitchen or around the kitchen. It really took off when I was upgraded at my work back then from a dish boy to kitchen help. I used to like drawing when I was younger but painting, I only really picked up two years ago when one of my friends started with it and we made like a whole evening out of it. It all started in 2019 so it’s still very new to me.”
“Painting and cooking for sure have things in common. Food has to look nice in accordance with the color and I just know that when I send a plate out and it looks nice and moreover, when there are multiple color differences in the dish, that people enjoy it more. The same goes with painting – if you are starting a new artwork you usually use a lot of colors to turn the blank canvas into something extraordinary and authentic. Different types of art, same approach.”

Very wisely said is that:

Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors — it’s how you combine them that sets you apart.

Wolfgang Puck, an Austrian Chef

Isn’t it just genuinely mesmerizing how the word art is so flexible? The shapes of art are numerous and more often than we think, they are staying there, waiting to be unveiled. One thing leads to another, and it feels like a domino effect, the fact that once we’ve managed to discover an ability that we own, it leads to the discovery of another one – different, but in a way - just the same.

Even the character traits that are needed for both painting and cooking are just the same.

“Precision is needed for both of the hobbies. I would say that I could be more precise when I’m painting because I usually just do it for fun and sometimes, I even get annoyed by how lazy I am as I tend to have those mental states when I just won’t finish a painting. With cooking it’s a bit different mental state because you’re staying focused on that particular thing and you try to be as precise as you can be in order to turn that Nothing into Something.”

If I have to be honest with you, when I first started this interview, I wasn’t aware of how I was going to name it exactly. I was swinging back and forth between many ideas and only after listening to the reply Thom gave me, I realized what the article was exactly about. It is the difference that every talent, every hobby bears, that turns them into not complete opposites but variations of the same thing. These variations I am talking about are actually the shapes of art. If you try to think of every talent as a different geometric figure and of every difference that each one has as another corner added to that figure, you would get what I mean. The new corners that are being added on, are the only things that alter the initial figure.

“Both of the hobbies have definitely helped me learn more about myself and contributed to my development. Painting has taught me that I don’t have a lot of patience, but cooking has taught me that I do have a lot of capacity for patience and that I just needed the time passage to develop it. It’s a different way of patience that is needed for cooking and painting, but I think that cooking aims more at self-sufficiency, while painting is more about how to calm down and relax properly. The main difference is that with cooking the joy comes mainly with the end result, while with painting it’s always about the process.”

Did you see it? It happened again! The shapes of art, the shapes of our talents – the different things each talent has taught him add to the corners of the geometric figures I’ve told you about. Try to have them in mind while reading through the rest of the interview, I bet you’ll be surprised by the accuracy of this weird metaphor.

“I definitely think that cooking has helped me with patience and precision. I learned these skills by simply practicing my hobbies. The process that I, personally, go through is that first I paint the idea in my mind – the same I do with cooking… so when I think about a dish, I already know how it looks like, I know even how it’s going to smell and taste like. It’s all in my head. The idea and the basic feeling of what you want as a result come first. Just the same I can now do with painting thanks to cooking and what it has managed to teach me so far. Painting revolves all-around how I want it to look like and the image that I already have in my head and with cooking it’s always about timing, flavors that need to be added in order to make it taste good. Basically, all the steps that would be needed to elevate a certain dish, but I would say with cooking is more like I am on autopilot.”

Giving recognition of talent for the contribution it brought to the development of another sphere in your life is something that everyone should be doing. Acknowledging our abilities, giving voice to what needs to be heard not by someone else but by us is a whole different level of self-care. It’s the process of making yourself valuable in your own eyes.

Whether serving as an escape from reality or a way to overcome mental states such as anxiety, hobbies are meant to be a means of escapism and for some - as a way to make reality better.

“The moments that I do these two hobbies are moments where I do something I genuinely have a passion for. I think that in a certain way it makes you escape from harsh realities that go on in general society because you are in that little world and you’re only thinking about that. However, I would say that cooking is not a very good anxiety killer because it gives you a lot of stress if you want to do it right. With painting, however, it’s just very relaxing and it gives you the opportunity to explore your creative bubble. So through both of them, I think the golden balance is easily accomplishable.”

As a painter and writer, myself, the interview with Thomas brought me to the vast realization that life is not about having it all sorted out. It’s more about being spontaneous, testing your own limits, and enjoying every bit of the different shapes of freedom each of our talents could offer because at the end of the day, art is about exploring your inner world – nothing less and nothing more.