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Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking Paperback – April 1, 2001
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Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
This book really helped me relax, get rid of my white paper paralyses, and unleash my creative potential.
I highly recommend it to anyone who has a burning desire to create, but can't overcome the paralysis caused by external and/or internal influences that keep you from doing your thing.
I have spent years reading/learning about art, and how to make it.
I am more knowledgeable about the how and why, the materials and practices of artmaking and artists, than most of the working artists I know.
But I could not overcome the paralysis, caused by the thought that, I will spoil/soil/waste any paper/canvas/ink/paint that I use to make something, if it does not produce a masterpiece comparable or better than, the best artwork I have ever seen, or earn me enough money to pay for my time and materials.
The easy to read/understand words in this book, finally gave me permission to use all those artists materials I have been collecting/hoarding, and actually make things with them.
I feel an incredible sense of relief, excitement, and exhilaration making art, that I have been waiting for all my life.
One of the reasons we feel free to create when we were kids, is that we did not have to pay for the materials, or know how precious they are, and we were given the time to create, that was not otherwise needed to do "more productive/important" things (like earn money, eat, sleep, shop for groceries, clean the house, find a mate, raise children, watch TV, read a book, pick your nose, scratch your butt, etc.)
Even though I still do most of those things, this book has motivated me to also find/make time for creating art, without guilt.
Hope it has the same affect on you.
Now go play!!!
Life dose not last forever, You have earned this, and deserve the joy of making art :-)
If you don't, you'll be depriving yourself and others of the enjoyment of your creations.
Don't sweat it if everyone doesn't dig it, that is an impossible/unrealistic goal.
Focus on the pleasure of the process, and not what happens afterword. That will take care of itself.
Dave Finberg, the "Playing Mantis"
Top international reviews
Creating any kind of art full or part time is hard on so many levels that only artists ( like the authors themselves ) know how draining and frustrating it can be.
Opening this book up to the first page I felt a sense of relief that I was not the only one out there with these secret unarticulatable thoughts.
This pocket size guide is basically a map of sorts to the very difficult life that being an artist is. With this map come very funny, intelligent, observant and warming advice and insights aimed at showing you yourself through the eyes of others.
These authors clearly care about other artists as their very clear compressed observations are straight to the point and very filling food for thought.
Because art just gets harder after leaving art college/school ( 98 percent quit eventually they say ) it is great to know why this is.
Having less or no fellow artists to relate to or confide in after leaving school is a large part of it so having a book like this is a warming comfort and a joy to read. It is like having two very helpful and caring tutors you can turn to when you want to throw in the towel...unlike many real tutors who just make you want to plain quit.
This book is a keeper and not very expensive. I recommend this to all artist / musicians / writers etc of all mediums. You won't let it go if you buy it. If you like sensible helpful advice you can relate to that is well above average quality this book is for you.
The book also analyses the reasons why artists quit being producing art. These are easy to relate to, such as failure to be accepted or recognised for one's efforts. These are presented as the universal fears that haunt even "successful" artists, and knowing this makes them easier to manage.
Similarly, the authors discuss the dichotomy of acceptable vs authentic art, i.e., do you produce art that you know others will like, or art that is true to you.
Several examples in the book relate to photographers, which I found particularly relevant. However, I would recommend this book to any aspiring artist.
Perhaps I should have given it 5 stars.
A lot of the content gelled with me and it has approaches to deal with different scenarios.
Read in conjunction with Twyla Tharp's Creative Habit (slightly heavier read but worth it)
Rationally I always knew wasn't just me who went through all that I do, in my case, because I paint and have done for years, now I know for sure.
I recognized every phrase, and have been given a welcome new perspective on what I do in relationship to all other art makers. Famous and anonymous and all shades between.
So read this book.
Written with genuine knowledge and understanding of the struggles that accompany making work. Thanks!