Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles

Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

"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 remov...

Title:Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0961454733
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:122 pages

Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking Reviews

  • Leslie

    This is a great book for ALL people, artist or not, professional or amateur. What I mean by that is, whether you want to start cooking, gardening, dancing, painting -- WHATEVER! -- it helps give you motivation to do so.

    I've always been an artist, having a natural drawing talent from a very young age, delving into my art in high school, then studying art in college. I received my commercial art/graphic arts degree and even though I did not stay in my field (I hated desktop publishing, and would r

    This is a great book for ALL people, artist or not, professional or amateur. What I mean by that is, whether you want to start cooking, gardening, dancing, painting -- WHATEVER! -- it helps give you motivation to do so.

    I've always been an artist, having a natural drawing talent from a very young age, delving into my art in high school, then studying art in college. I received my commercial art/graphic arts degree and even though I did not stay in my field (I hated desktop publishing, and would rather create fine art), this book has been of great help to me in pursuing art as a hobby and just for fun.

    I love calligraphy/lettering, abstract painting (acrylics & watercolor) & some card-making. I still cannot believe all the notes I took from this book. I highlighted and underlined things on nearly every single page.

    There are many examples to give from this book, but 2 things have always stood out for me: The first is the example of the 2 groups of pottery students. One group was assigned to make as many items they could and the other group was assigned to just make one, but it had to be perfect. Of course, the first group succeeded because the more times you do something, the better you hone your skill for it. The other group were completely stressed out at making just that one perfect pot.

    Another example is the story of the dancer who was a great dancer, and did it because she loved to dance. She never thought of pursuing it professionally, until her teacher suggested she try out for a position (or something to that). That's when she became terrified of failing and questioned herself. She didn't enjoy dancing anymore because of the pressure to perform for others vs. just dancing for herself.

    This story is the same as what my b-i-l experienced as a photographer. He takes great pictures (we call him the family photographer because he always has his camera at family functions). Well, one year, I asked him (via email) if he would take a family portrait for me. I offered to pay him, said we'd work around his schedule, etc, etc. (I wanted him to know how much I'd appreciate it). Well, he never replied. I just figured he was too busy. But when my husband asked him about it a few months later, the bil said he felt he wouldn't be good enough and started to feel pressure. I immediately thought of this book and wanted to share it with him so bad! He was the perfect example of someone who just wanted to do what he did for the enjoyment of it and when I tried to make it "professional", he cowarded. (I never did get the family photo, but I warned him that he'll be hired to do my son's senior pics!)

  • Timothy

    It starts out strong, very strong, and then falls apart in a semantic entanglement of mixed metaphors and pseudo philosophy that spends a lot of words saying very little. It's a bit frustrating to read, the section on art and science was a disaster, perhaps demonstrating the authors complete lack of understanding of science. The two authors refer to "art" in such a flimsy pretext that they not only fail to define it, they change the implied definition to suit whatever point is being made but the

    It starts out strong, very strong, and then falls apart in a semantic entanglement of mixed metaphors and pseudo philosophy that spends a lot of words saying very little. It's a bit frustrating to read, the section on art and science was a disaster, perhaps demonstrating the authors complete lack of understanding of science. The two authors refer to "art" in such a flimsy pretext that they not only fail to define it, they change the implied definition to suit whatever point is being made but then mix the definitions in chains of clumsy logic (sometimes to the fine art business, other times to any creative expression, other times to a limited set of work that is non-reproducible). They go further into neologic territory and leave the word "art" in an unusable state that lacks any coherent meaning.

    For an artist, the book is captivating in parts, especially in the beginning as it concerns execution and vision, and a discussion of common fears in the art making process -- excellent insights. But that's maybe a 1/5 of the book, the title is a bit misleading...

    By the end of the book, you'll likely be entirely confused and realize "there's no definition of art", and it's the artists (and art community's) own fault. Tirelessly extolling "what is" and "what is not" art seems to have ruined the word in our vocabulary... if it's going to become so subjective as to not have a communicable meaning, then... well it doesn't really mean anything.

    Anyway, it's a quick read and if you enjoy pseudo intellectual banter that lacks meaningful content then you might enjoy more of it than I

  • Chrissy

    A quick, no-nonsense, part-philosophical-part-practical examination of what it means to make art, no matter the medium, and to continue to do so in spite of its inherent challenges. The authors' basic premise is that you can and will only ever be you, and all the other people in the world will also only ever be themselves. It might seem obvious, but the logical corollary here is that it is a pity to not make art because you are the only person who could ever make the art that you make. A second

    A quick, no-nonsense, part-philosophical-part-practical examination of what it means to make art, no matter the medium, and to continue to do so in spite of its inherent challenges. The authors' basic premise is that you can and will only ever be you, and all the other people in the world will also only ever be themselves. It might seem obvious, but the logical corollary here is that it is a pity to not make art because you are the only person who could ever make the art that you make. A second corollary is that it is useless to compare your art to that of other artists.

    With that notion in mind, the authors explore different forms of fear that lead people to stop making art, and explain concisely why each one is silly, surmountable, and ultimately up to you to overcome. It's a beautiful piece of quasi-self-help that offers only blunt and useful considerations without any of the fluff and hand-holding with which self-help, as a genre, is infested.

    I loved this book. Its applications reach beyond the scope of art, and into any form of creative thought (whether in sciences, math, problem solving, etc), and should be read by absolutely everyone. I mean it. Everyone.

  • Carol

    This book is about the challenges in making, or not making, art. Making art is difficult. Many times artists will stop making art and then feel guilty about not returning. Why? The is what the author says-- "Lack of confidence and self doubt -- I'm not an artist-- I'm a phony; other people are better than I am; I've never had a real exhibit; I'm no good. Or maybe fear about what others say after looking at your work. Basically the only work really worth doing-- the only work you can do convincin

    This book is about the challenges in making, or not making, art. Making art is difficult. Many times artists will stop making art and then feel guilty about not returning. Why? The is what the author says-- "Lack of confidence and self doubt -- I'm not an artist-- I'm a phony; other people are better than I am; I've never had a real exhibit; I'm no good. Or maybe fear about what others say after looking at your work. Basically the only work really worth doing-- the only work you can do convincingly -- is the work that focuses on the things you care about. The individual recipe any artist finds for proceeding belongs to that artist alone-- it's non-transferable and no of little use to others. In the end it all comes down to this: you have a choice between giving your work your best shot and risking that it will not make you happy, or not giving it you best shot-- and thereby GUARANTEEING that it will not make you happy. It becomes a choice between certainty and uncertainty. And curiously, uncertainty is the comforting choice."

  • Tiffany Gholar

    If you are in need of some motivation and don't have time to read

    series (which, by the way, I also recommend), it's perfect for you.  It addresses issues like perfectionism, creative blocks, and motivation.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from it:

    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.

    If ninety-eight percent of our medical students

    If you are in need of some motivation and don't have time to read

    series (which, by the way, I also recommend), it's perfect for you.  It addresses issues like perfectionism, creative blocks, and motivation.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from it:

    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.

    If ninety-eight percent of our medical students were no longer practicing medicine five years after graduation, there would be a Senate investigation, yet that proportion of art majors are routinely consigned to an early professional death.

    What separates artists from ex-artists is that those who challenge their fears, continue; those who don't, quit.

    Tolerance for uncertainty is the prerequisite to succeeding.

    The risk is fearsome: in making your real work you hand the audience the power to deny the understanding you seek; you hand them the power to say, "you're not like us; you're weird; you're crazy."

    If

    is like a super deluxe 64 ounce mocha with flavored syrup, whipped cream, and a dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg on top,

    is like a shot of espresso.  Both are like caffeine to energize your artistic career, and which you choose is really a matter of taste.

  • Deb Stone

    I've read this book cover to cover four or five times. I have picked it up and opened a random page to read on dozens of occasions. I reread the margin notes that I've written at various times.

    What I love about this book is that it uses art to talk about life. Specifically, it uses art and fear to talk about how our choice to have courage or not drives the degree of light you will manifest in your own life. The writers explore the human need for acceptance, fear of failure, communication sensibi

    I've read this book cover to cover four or five times. I have picked it up and opened a random page to read on dozens of occasions. I reread the margin notes that I've written at various times.

    What I love about this book is that it uses art to talk about life. Specifically, it uses art and fear to talk about how our choice to have courage or not drives the degree of light you will manifest in your own life. The writers explore the human need for acceptance, fear of failure, communication sensibilities between your work and yourself versus your work and the outside world.

    In talking about other's "magic" in their work the authors write: "Their magic is theirs. Your don't lack it. You don't need it. It has nothing to do with you. Period."

    Stop coveting other peoples talent, skills, lessons. Find your own magic. Risk it. Earn it.

    Everything I read in this book could also apply to the art of relationship. The art of love. You could cross out the title word Art and write LOVE & Fear, and the same concepts apply. It's specific to art,yet universal.

    It's an easy read, barely over a hundred pages. Carry it in your backpack, put it in your purse, or on the back of your toilet. Read it. Return to it. Make your life your art. It's that simple and profound.


Top Books is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.