Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking - David Bayles & Ted Orland

This book was recommended to me by an artist friend last fall. It's written by two artists basically to address a lot of the issues that arise for artists, particularly difficulties about actually getting any art made. They explore the reasons why so many artists quit (especially right after art school) and the excuses we use to justify either not making art or making art that isn't really ours. They also address many of the fears that artists encounter, both about ourselves ("what I do isn't really art") and fears about others ("will they understand me?").

It's a small book but packed with some really great thoughts. They do draw the distinction between "art" and "artmaking"; the former being a vague hard-to-pin-down term and the latter being something concrete and definite that is easier to do. I don't agree with all of their assessments, but most of it was pretty encouraging. They felt that while there are plenty of books that tell you how to learn this technique or that, there aren't any that tell you how artists keep on making art, and that is the purpose of this book.

Good stuff, whether you're a visual artist, writer, musician, or do anything else you consider art.

Fed to jonathan's brain | February 25, 2005 | Comments (0)


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