“‘I think you are talented and passionate, Isabella. More than you think and less than you expect. But there are a lot of people with talent and passion, and many of them never get anywhere. This is only the first step toward achieving anything in life. Natural talent is like an athlete’s strength. You can be born with more or less ability, but nobody can become an athlete just because he or she was born tall, or strong, or fast. What makes the athlete, or the artist, is the work, the vocation, and the technique. The intelligence you are born with is just ammunition. To achieve something with it you need to transform your mind into a high precision weapon.'”
“‘Every work of art is aggressive, Isabella. And every artist’s life is a small war or a large one, beginning with oneself and one’s limitations. To achieve anything you must first have ambition and then talent, knowledge, and finally the opportunity.'”
—from The Angel’s Game, page 160
Note: I did verify this quotes with the final version, but I was unable to verify the page number; the page number cited is from my advance reading copy, so they may not be consistent with the page number for this quote in the final version of the book.