One of my favorite books is Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Art Making by David Bayles and Ted Orland. I’ve owned my copy for at least 10 years…it’s now dog-eared, and marked with my notes and underlines. You’ll surely find yourself doing the same.

Bayles and Orland help us understand how we get distracted from — or completely quit — making art. Whether art-making, for you,  is painting, sculpting, weaving, sewing, beading, etching, (you get the idea), all of us have experienced the mind games that go along with being creative individuals. We literally talk ourselves out of making our art. It isn’t good enough. The critics (jurors, buyers, public, reviewers, etc.) don’t understand your work. You  can’t make money making art. Because nobody out there gets it. Or you need to make art on the side, while you work full-time at a “real” job. Being an artist isn’t a “real” job.  My needs to be perfect. It isn’t perfect enough. You get the idea.

Great quote:

“In the end it all comes down to this: you have a choice (or more accurately a rolling tangle of choices) between giving your work your best shot and risking that it will not make you happy, or not giving it your 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” (p. 118).

Advertisements