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I'm looking for a single word, or a succinct phrase to describe an artist that achieves greatness after a lot of hard work and repeated failures, rather than someone who was naturally talented.

The closest equivalent I could think of was Journeyman, but that doesn't have the connotations of achieving greatness. Is there a better word to describe such an artist?

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    This is just the normal case of most people with expertise at something, it's not clear it warrants a special word. Prodigies are the exceptions. – Barmar Jan 27 '17 at 21:09
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    For many people, the opposite of prodigy is progidy; it's not easy to say all those stop clusters fast. – John Lawler Jan 27 '17 at 21:11
  • Progidy seems to be defined as people who think they are prodigy's but aren't, the person in question is very humble in nature, so I don't think this term applies. Thanks for your reply though. – AdiMG Jan 27 '17 at 21:15
  • @JohnLawler "What seems to be the problem, Ociffer? Yes, it's a one way street but I was only going one way" – Mitch Jan 27 '17 at 21:22
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    The word, extending your guild-theme, is master. As in master painter, master chef, chessmaster, the Dutch Masters, and so on. A journeyman is exactly the person who's pretty good at something but hasn't mastered it yet (the old guild system went apprentice -> journeyman -> master, which happened after the journeyman became sufficiently experienced to produce his masterpiece, the medieval analog of a master's thesis or doctoral thesis or that thing the art kids have to do to graduate). – Dan Bron Jan 27 '17 at 22:22
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Dan Bron wrote in a comment:

The word, extending your guild-theme, is master. As in master painter, master chef, chessmaster, the Dutch Masters, and so on. A journeyman is exactly the person who's pretty good at something but hasn't mastered it yet (the old guild system went apprentice -> journeyman -> master, which happened after the journeyman became sufficiently experienced to produce his masterpiece, the medieval analog of a master's thesis or doctoral thesis or that thing the art kids have to do to graduate).

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