Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland speaks to you, the struggling artist; helps you target your fear(s); and motivates you to make the art you were created to make.
Favorite quotes include:
“This is a book about making art. Ordinary art. Ordinary art means something like: all art not made by Mozart. After all, art is rarely made by Mozart-like people; essentially—statistically speaking—there aren’t any people like that. Geniuses get made once-a-century or so, yet good art gets made all the time, so to equate the making of art with the workings of genius removes this intimately human activity to a strangely unreachable and unknowable place. For all practical purposes making art can be examined in great detail without ever getting entangled in the very remote problems of genius.”
“Making art now means working in the face of uncertainty; it means living with doubt and contradiction, doing something no one cares much whether you do, and for which there may by neither audience nor reward. Making the work you want to make means setting aside these doubts so that you may see clearly what you have done, and thereby see where to go next.”
“In large measure, becoming an artist consists of learning to accept yourself, which makes your work personal, and in following your own voice, which makes your work distinctive.”
“. . . our flaws and weaknesses, while often obstacles to our getting work done, are a source of strength as well. Something about making art has to do with overcoming things, giving us a clear opportunity for doing things in ways we have always known we should do them”
“In fact, if artmaking did not tell you (the maker) so enormously much about yourself, then making art that matters to you would be impossible. To all viewers but yourself, what matters is the product, the finished artwork. To you, and you alone, what matters is the process: the experience of shaping that artwork.”
“Those close to you know that making the work is essential to your well being. They will always care about your work, if not because it is great, then because it is yours—and this is something to be genuinely thankful for. Yet however much they love you, it still remains as true for them as for the rest of the world: learning to make your work is not their problem.”
Have you read Art & Fear? (<—Amazon affiliate link)
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