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Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking Paperback – April 1, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
Art & Fear is an unpretentious little paperback, written by two lifelong friends who have been artists, as well as other things, for most of their lives. Both of them have their feet firmly rooted in the real world that we all live in (however high their ideas and ideals might fly), and both of them have keen insights into what enables individuals to produce good art and to continue to produce good art, and what stumbling blocks stop many individuals. These insights are of value to artists in any medium whatsoever, and are in fact likely to be of significant value to many individuals who don't think of themselves as artists at all. One doesn't need to be an artist to be struggling with goals that seem beyond your reach and a lack of appreciation from others; it's just a little more pervasive in the artmaking world.
Reading this book is like sitting down with the authors for a long and lively conversation. You'll learn something of them, and something of yourself, and good things are sure to come from it. I've actually found it too good to keep to myself - I'm on my 6th copy now, as I keep giving them away to friends!
If you're hoping to identify with other artists who have faced doubts, fears and obstacles, you'll not be disappointed. This book delivers on its title: it is about ART & FEAR. It will describe where you are or have been. It could even help you stay there, if you choose.
This book says it explores "the way art gets made", why it often does not, and the difficulties along the way. As such, it is, in its own words "observational", not instructive. So it is not a "How To" book. It is also analytical, though not necessarily insightful, so it's not intended for your next meditation. And though other reviewers have said otherwise, I wouldn't recommend this book to help rouse anyone from their creative slumber.
If you're a practicing artist or would-be artist who is stuck, I don't believe this book will help free you. You may find identification or sympathy with other artists - maybe even justification - but not the inspiration, motivation or plain old instruction to get you going again.
Better to read something that is designed to be instructive or inspiring. (One inspiring book that springs to mind is Denise Sherkerjian's UNCOMMON GENIUS which profiles 40 winners of the MacArthur Prize. These artists cross all creative disciplines, face numerous obstacles and still create. It says a lot worth listening to and applying to the process of creating.)
I received ART & FEAR as a gift and read it as much out of curiosity as to honor the giver. I rated it 3 STARs because it (a.) has some good quotes, and (b.) helped me appreciate how differently I think about and respond to the doubt, ambiguity and chaos in my art. Compared to the Bayles & Orland landscape, I have more faith, trust and love in the process and the results of my creation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Can't get into this book. Bought on the recommendation of a local artist who loves this book. Guess I'm just not on the same page!Published 3 days ago by Rita A Dyson
When I first came across this book, it was assigned reading for a painting class. I didn't read it through, probably because at the time I was deep into the euphoria of being an... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Brewdaddy
I would teach this book. The whole deal for creative types is how to carry on when their first support system shoves them out of the nest. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Kindle Customer
I found one segment of this book particularly helpful, the concept of an artist's "canon." It's a bit of a misleading term - not referring to the body of work but more... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Alex P
This book is perfect for artists who struggle with their confidence and/or finding their "voice. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Valerie H
A MUST for any artist. When I was in one of my artist slumps, a fellow artist recommended this book. I am so glad I did - The first lines blew me away..... Read morePublished 1 month ago by W. Leger
An artist's bible to the creative process. And a constant reminder you're not alone, so keep at it! Keep making & stop overthinking. I've underlined half of the book.Published 1 month ago by Jamie B.