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Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking Paperback – April 1, 2001
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About the Author
Both authors are teachers and working artists. Ted Orland's previous books include Scenes of Wonder & Curiosity and Man & Yosemite.
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With this break between undergraduate and graduate school, I tend to get unsettled from time to time and I look at the sculpture I am making and ask, "Is this worth the time? I like it, but will others? How would my professors look at this? Is this boring?" But this book tells me that I just need to make work, plain and simple. That by making a piece, even if it fails, I learn from the past piece and can move on to the other.
It also made clear to me that artists are regular people. That the artists I see in glossy art books are still just people who struggle with the same issues I do. "Is this good? Is this art worth making?"
In the end, despite the lack of critiques and constant showing of work, I need to keep making art so I can achieve what I want in the future, and to not settle on the goal of simply getting into graduate school, but pursuing a career afterwards and experimenting and searching my art for all of its potential.
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"