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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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One specific quote I find especially liberating: "The difference between art and craft lies not in the tools you hold in your hands, but in the mental set that guides them. For the artisan, craft is an end in itself. For you, the artist, craft is the vehicle for expressing your vision. Craft is the visible edge of art."
Anyone reading this book will not be disappointed in finding several things to mull over for themselves. We are each on our own journey and are in search of different things. This book will help you on your own journey of artmaking.
More than anything else, the book says that the only way to be an artist is to make lots of art, and disregard any thoughts that tend to keep you from doing that. And make YOUR art -- trying to do anything else is a guarantee that you won't be making art. "You make good work by (among other things) making lots of work that isn't very good, and weeding out the parts that aren't good -- the parts that aren't yours."
As an assemblage artist who is constantly wrestling with some new image or technique, I think my favorite quote is from Chuck Close: "When you make something that looks like art, it's probably someone else's art."
It's funny: I bought a used copy that was in good shape except for a bunch of enthusiastic orange highlighting on the first 20 pages of the 120-page book. This included such pedestrian statements as "This is a book about making art." After the first twenty pages the markups dried up pretty fast. I suspect that was because the book's purchaser discovered that there wasn't any direct connection between number of highlighted lines and their feelings about being an artist, and gave up -- but maybe they got so enthused that they put the book down and went into the studio to create more art. I hope so.