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

 
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Product Description

An artist's survival guide, written by and for working artists. The authors explore the way art gets made, the reasons it doesn't get made, and the nature of the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way.

Customer Reviews:

  • Essentially useless unless you are really consumed with yourself
    I read this book in hopes it would help me break through a current bout of "writer's block". Uh, no. This slim volume took the authors seven years to write. It is so ponderous, that it feels like it takes seven years to read.

    The basic problem is that the authors think that being an "artist" somehow makes the self-perceived artist both different and more important than the ordinary person.

    For example, "healthy artistic environments are about as common as unicorns. We live in a society that encourages competition at demonstrably vicious levels, and sets a hard and accountable yardstick for judging who wins". Read it in context and I think it is trying to assert that even the worst "artist" should be judged by different standards than merely "Yuck! You call that art?"

    There is a desired here to romanticize art, "artists" and the creation of "art", to raise all above the level of mere mortal efforts. For example, one of their conceits that they call attention to is headed "Crea**vity", followed by an expanation: "Readers may wish to note that nowhere in this book does the dreaded the [sic] C-word appear. Why should it? Do only some people have ideas, conront problems, dream, live in the real world and breathe air?" Wow . . . isn't that meaningful? I don't think so. I think it is more meaningful that the authors are grandstanding, calling attention to their little conceit of not using "creativity" to describe the artist's work.

    Those who consider themselves "artists" may find solace here: they are misunderstood creatures who themselves deal with processes that they don't understand. They are, after all, artists and as "artists", "you declare what is important". You. You! You!!! It's all about you.

    In my humble opinion, the authors spent seven years trying to create a Zen of art . . . and they failed. Thst doesn't mean "Art & Fear" is an awful book. It is, in fact, occasionally interesting and the quotations at the beginning of each chapter are well selected and undoubtedly the most profound words in the book.

    But "Art & Fear" comes nowhere near satisfying the authors' boastful claim that it is "An Artist's Survival Guide". It is more like an ode to insincerity, bucking up the person who self-designates themselves as an "artist" and feels that their genius is under-appreciated.Isn't this true for all of us, artist or not?

    Jerry...more info
  • a good book for beginners
    I had to read Art and Fear for a photography class I am taking. The idea behind the book is to remind artists that creating art is about you and no one else. Whether people understand or appreciate your art is irrelevant. It's a great book for anyone just starting their art career, but those of us who have already been through the machine a few times will find the information in this book to be more of a reminder of what we deal with everyday. It's a fast read and raises some good points. I'd recommend this book for anyone that thinks they are an artist, or for those who don't think they are good enough to be an artist....more info
  • Best Book on creativity
    I suggest this book to every artist young or old and recommend it to every one of my students. A real eye opener!...more info
  • The best book on the creative process
    Other reviewers have said what needs to be said about this succinct, invaluable book; it's one to own and to dip into year after year. It's so much more "real" and to the point than the pretentious, silly "creativity" books such as the ones Julia Cameron writes, with all their time-wasting "exercises." If you want to make art, just start somewhere, and let one work lead to another, as these authors suggest....more info
  • ...from ArtsyFartsy News, February 2008
    This book changed my life... and my painting direction. Successful painters who are "in the know" have read this book. It has no photos, no step-by-step techniques and no color charts. This book will help you know why you paint, and not how to paint. This is one of the very few books I read and re-read over and over. It's been earmarked, underlined, highlighted, bent and very well used. I noticed I dated my original copy on the inside cover -- 1998. I still read this book today. (Buy several copies so you can keep one in your studio, one in your house and some to pass along to your artist friends!)

    Art & Fear is about committing your future to your own hands, placing free will above predestination; choice above chance. It is about finding your own work. This book is about YOU. In fact, you can open this small book (5-1/2 x 8 inches x 1/2 inch thick) anywhere, read four pages and swear they are writing about you (you're not alone). This book will get you out of your funk and into your studio to paint the way you have been born to paint. While reading this insightful and inspirational book, you will feel really good about being a "creative type!" We all have identical fears-- sorry, you're not that unique. You will be able to speak eloquently to yourself, your family and your friends.

    David Bayles' and Ted Orland's writing style is easy to read, understandable and relaxed. They do not do artspeak, phony babble or use big words. This must be your book if you want to move on and do art that is meaningful and significant to you. ...more info
  • oops, messed up feedback to bookseller...
    Art & Fear is a superb little tome (100+ pages). This is to try to make up for messing up bookseller feedback. Let it be known that montg118 mailed out my copy within 24 hours of order placement. In my book THAT'S super-good service...Thanks, Bev....more info
  • Feel your creative confidence wavering? Art and Fear will get you creating again!
    Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland is a real favorite of mine. It "explores the way art gets made, the reasons it often doesn't get made, and the nature of the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way." It was written for visual artists, but I think it's also perfect for writers, musicians ... virtually anyone who creates.

    This is one book you'll go back to again and again. I certainly have!...more info
  • This is a Great book...
    Anyone who is seriously about their art should read this book. It is a quick and easy read, and does a good job of putting things into perspective....more info
  • Poetry, Polemics and Aphorisms about Art
    The fear to which the authors refer in the title is the fear that an individual may have that will lead him to quit being an artist. The authors believe that artists quit either when they believe their next effort will fail or when they lose the destination for their work. This is a book about the process of making art.

    This book is a road map, not a survival guide. The authors provide a list of the obstacles that the artist will encounter in making his art, but they do not provide methods for overcoming these obstacles. In fact they seem to say that the artist must expect these obstacles and if he or she wants to make art, keep plowing through them.

    The book is beautifully written with flowing, majestic language that brooks no questions about the authors' pronouncements about the difficulties the artist faces. As factors that interfere with the ordinary individual's ability to make art, the authors dismiss fear that you are pretending, or that you lack talent or that you must seek perfection. Ordinary people, they say, can learn to make art. Similarly they dismiss the artist's fear of others, whether because the others lack understanding, or acceptance, or approval of the artist's work.

    The pithy statements that fill the book can certainly provide a ready source of affirmations if that's the way one deals with fears. For example the authors say:

    "Vision, Uncertainty, and Knowledge of Materials are inevitabilities that all artists must acknowledge and learn from: vision is always ahead of execution, knowledge of materials is your contact with reality, and uncertainty is a virtue."

    And they say:

    "Unreal expectations are easy to come by....Unfortunately expectations based on illusion lead almost always to disillusionment."

    Although the book is brief there are many opportunities for deeper contemplation. For example the authors distinguish between craft and art. Consideration of this distinction may help the artist to realize whether he is really creating art or just doing the same old thing. And yet as the critic Mark Schorer noted, "technique is discovery". Squaring away the distinction is important to an artist.

    Who should read this book? Not the consumer of art. The authors make it clear that there is no relationship between looking at art and making art. Probably every aspiring artist. It might be that the list of difficulties could lead one to quit before starting. But foreknowledge of the difficulties of making art may help the would-be artist to take those difficulties in his or her stride. Certainly the practicing artist will benefit from reading the book, with its message not to despair when fear occurs, but to keep pushing on if one really wants to make art. ...more info
  • Seven years?
    I'm immediately skeptical about the quality of a book that uses parentheses within its title. It caught my eye because of my own ruminations on fear in artmaking. Unfortunately it quickly substantiated my suspicion of its dark parenthetical omen.

    The book wasn't complete hogwash. There were some good, if generally mundane, observations in the chapter I read, but there was enough crap to make me feel just fine abandoning it. I suppose I do have to qualify this little review by saying that I did only read the first chapter, and a few lines here and there throughout, so this is not what you could call a genuine comprehensive analysis. It's a short book, and I was quite surprised that based on it's length and the general lack of nuance in the first chapter that the authors would admit in the epilogue that it took them seven years to write. Seriously, it should never take two grown men seven years to write a book this short, good or bad, and they should know that a book like this doesn't need an epilogue, let alone one that talks about the long arduous writing process? Really.

    I knew we were in trouble by the bottom of page one when I read this:

    "Other people, in other times and places, had some robust institutions to shore them up: witness the Church, the clan, ritual tradition. It's easy to imagine that artists doubted their calling less when working in the service of God than when working in the service of self."

    Imagine that!

    My difficulty here, apart from those elements obviously left to be desired (Other people? Other times and places? Gimme something to work with here...), is that rather than at least briefly addressing all of the questions this statement begs, they forge ahead as if they've stated some rock-solid anthropological axiom. What if those "other people" (who G.K. Chesterton would point out, are unjustly disqualified if it's done merely on account of their being dead) doubted their calling less because God does exist and working in God's service is a rightly orienting dimension of human life? What if those shoring institutions were serving a long-forgotten, basic human need? What if it's true? Just asking.

    The problem is that the authors took no time to discuss this. The self is preeminent, and so you have to learn to persevere in art, control your fear, and overcome. From what I read, the book should have been titled, "Art and Fear: A practical guide for artists trying to survive in these troubling times since the announcement of God's death (we expect to find his body any day now)." The book is not dishonest or stupid. It was just annoying in its simplistic brushing aside of what a Christian like myself believes. Granted, that's not what the book was about, but I'm only complaining because seven years had to have been enough time to at least touch on it.

    The best part of the book, by far, were the quotes heading each chapter. That's probably why authors put them in, and it made picking up the the little piece of literary detritus worth it. My favorite was a Constantin Brancusi quote that I identified with readily in light of my installation experiences:

    "To see far is one thing; going there is another."...more info
  • Art & Fear
    This book is a must read for any artist. It provides insight into your sole and other artists before you. I have given it as a gift to other artists and it has changed their attitude and given them great confidence, as it did me....more info
  • Art and Fear
    An excellent book for artists of all types!!! This book addresses the everyday ups and downs of creating art and how to handle the times when we are uninspired. A book that all can relate to at some point as an artist. It provides the type of coaching that helps get us to the next creative moment. This is a good book to keep and read whenever you feel stalled or worthless. ...more info
  • An okay read.
    I was really surprised by this book because it came so highly recommended and I wasn't very impressed with the contents....more info
  • when you need a lift
    Some valuable ideas about what holds an artist back and what to do about it. A little inspiration when you can't get that poem written or that picture painted. Read it, then get back to that poem or painting! ...more info
  • Spirited voice of encouragement
    The artist's powerful facility for truthful observation and keen analysis can be turned inward, and self doubt and a host of negative concerns and can arise as obstacles to making art. This book addresses the psychological difficulties of creating art. The authors examine problems and then offer possible solutions, alternatives and advice. Excellent - a spirited, useful and much needed voice of encouragement and instruction.
    ...more info
  • Help for the Needy
    This book is a shot in the arm for people with an artistic soul who may be :stuck, blocked, depressed, discouraged, having a dry spell, unproductive, resisting doing their work (whether for a hobby or for an intended career, or to revive a career). No, it is not a workbook and no it will not do miracles, but neither will "The Artist's Way" or any of the other Cameron books. People who are having problems creating art will recognize themselves and possibly some of their problems here, and it makes a person realize some of the obstacles in their way. The book illustrates why it is so incredibly difficult to be a professional artist in the U.S.--so many who graduate with art degrees end up teaching, exhausted, without the time or energy to do their own. This is not a book for the successful, working, happy fine artist or craftsperson, but it does address the problems. This along with "The War of Art" can make you understand you're not alone. However, if you need practical help, take a class, or get a workbook, or start a "bad art" night at your home, church, club, or library....more info
  • Perplexing, but worth a second read
    As if writers don't have enough trouble writing, along comes a book that is supposed to tell us why we and other artists often have trouble practicing our art. First, of course, when one thinks of art, it is not often that literature of any kind comes into the picture. Yet, the authors here say they are including writing. Okay. It is mentioned several times. Writers are quoted many times. Yet, it is usually the traditional trappings of art that are mentioned often. Maybe it is just too difficult for writers to face the fears we have about rejection, not measuring up (to readers, other writers, or ourselves).

    In retrospect, however, there are some conventions that are nice to discover. Like being told that a painter may have the same fears as an actor as a playwright, as a sculptor -- as a writer. That following through on a project and getting it completed, is sometimes the biggest achievement of all. And the one thing that all writers agree on is also something other artists experience: ideas are not hard to come by. In fact, they're everywhere.

    The one truth in this book that is easy for any artist to agree with is: It isn't as easy as it looks, or as everyone thinks it is, or that we thought it was before we actually got started. Problems and pitfalls are inherent in what we do. It's whether we are able to cope with those, and not only continue to practice our art, but also to grow and improve, that determines if we will be successful. That and talent will always tell in the end.
    ...more info
  • A godsend for artists in a rut...
    I just reread this book for the second time, and it's pulled me out of my rut once again. I'm an artist with lots of different mediums, and the first time I read it was for painting... the second time, for writing music. No matter your medium, this book will speak to you. A little cheezy at times, sure, but sometimes you need that. Anyhow, it pulls you through the self doubts and fears and gets you to create again. Good luck!...more info
  • A pretty good read
    Art and Fear is a pretty good read and would definitely help someone who's just starting out in their artistic career. The authors make several great points and offer some sound advice, but the best way to deal with issues addressed in this book are through experience.

    As an artist, I recognize my own tendencies to short-change my abilities, and this book will help someone who may not be aware of their own self-destructive tendencies to recognize the patterns. However, established artists and those who have survived any amount of critiques by professors, instructors, and fellow artists won't gain the full benefits of this book....more info
  • An Unlikely Discovery
    I've read the other reviews.

    Last Saturday, Lizzie (10) and I went to the art store with a gift certificate and she was heavily lobbying me for clay - which she got. In the meantime, this book was laying askew on a shelf. I picked it up as a diversion - and became captivated by it. The authors have assembled a distillate of their time and experience. And it resonates so well with mine. And the ideas they provide are not limited to art - they are also important to the modern applications of science which are becoming ever mre individually-oriented and therefore closer to art than perhaps science has ever been. Craft and art are merging.

    I finished this book with the same feeling as I had when I read Walden. Utter simplicity, utter verity, utter thanks.

    I'd like to meet these authors and enjoy a conversation with them....more info
  • This is an article turned into a book
    This book takes some simple ideas and beats you over the head with them over and over again trying to make them seem profound. It reminds of term papers you had to write, that had to be so many pages, so you word it up to fill the requirement. The helpfullness of this book isn't much and can be shortened down to an article. Not worth the money....more info
  • Art and Fear
    I think these two words are almost synonymous at times...This is a quick read that confirms about 90% of what most artists and specifically, a beginning artist, likely experiences as he/she journeys through the challenges of becoming an artist and just creating art. I think that although many of the ideas in here leave you thinking, "Well, I already knew that...", for me, it was probably the first time I had really heard it from somewhere else besides a casual conversation. It offered a safe venue to validate and consider (in a more objective way) the hurdles that exist in artmaking. For me, it was a validation of many of the thoughts that swirl about my head and also has some true insights into the creative process and what was holding me back.

    It does have a structure and offers quick thoughts on what you could do to improve or analyze your own process. However, thankfully I would not put this on the shelf and categorize it as a self-help book. (I abhore self help books...) I did not take it as evangelical or presumptive and thought that overall, it was presented in a biographical style where you could take the thoughts and experiences and apply them to your life as you saw fit. Some applied. Some did not. Nothing was a mandate and that is what I liked about it. Overall, I would certaingly recommend this book to the beginning artist or the lifelong dabbler who wants to be more serious and just needs a nudge of confidence. ...more info
  • Brilliant and Wise
    Art and Fear is the best and most inspiring book I have read for the artist. It is affirming and realistic and hopeful. I am so grateful to have discovered it....more info
  • Disappointing!
    I'm a screenplay writer.
    Movie director Robert Rodriguez recommended this book in his commentary on DVD. So I bought it.
    But it was not as good as I expected.
    If you're confident about you and eager to create something, you don't need this book....more info
  • I have mixed feelings about this book
    First of all let me say that I am glad I read this book, I just don't know if I would do it all over again. I got a few things out of this book. There were some cool quotes from artists and some old proverbs that really hit home with me. Probably the most profound quote in the book for me was "if you chase two rabbits, you catch neither". I'm really glad I heard that one. It's also nice to have someone remind you that art isn't supposed to be perfect, art is supposed to be human and we humans are not perfect.

    I'm also glad that I read some of the interesting discussions of art vs. craft and art vs. science. Their approach to explaining the differences was rather philosophical and not definitive, but it was interesting none the less since probably none of us are able to draw an exact line between those things.

    However, I also have to say that I found this book very annoying and patronizing. It's full of constant reassurances as if they're speaking to someone that's got tears streaming down their cheeks and saying "I'm not sure if I can go on being an artist, boo hoo... I don't know if I have what it takes". The books tone kind of comes off like "there, there, Rome wasn't built in a day... you know what Picasso would say about this... well Mozart always said to keep your chin up!".

    I also found it really annoying how the book is constantly pulling up some kind of story or lesson from a rotating selection of artists from random mediums. You'll be reading along and they'll throw in something like "Mozart used to cry for ten hours before he could even write a note" and "Ansel Adams was constantly on the verge of suicide because he felt insecure about his photography skills". Of course those aren't real quotes from the book, but they are examples of what I find annoying. I know they were writing a book about art in general and they have to throw in things about different art forms occaisionally, but it just seemed really patronizing.

    Like I said I'm glad I've read it, but I probably wouldn't have if I really knew what it was. This book is for people that are very afraid and very insecure. It will give you lots of reassurance and make you feel better about yourself. However, if you are not depressed and on the verge of quitting, then I think you may find this book to be very annoying....more info

  • ...from ArtsyFartsy News, February 2008
    This book changed my life... and my painting direction. Successful painters who are "in the know" have read this book. It has no photos, no step-by-step techniques and no color charts. This book will help you know why you paint, and not how to paint. This is one of the very few books I read and re-read over and over. It's been earmarked, underlined, highlighted, bent and very well used. I noticed I dated my original copy on the inside cover -- 1998. I still read this book today. (Buy several copies so you can keep one in your studio, one in your house and some to pass along to your artist friends!)

    Art & Fear is about committing your future to your own hands, placing free will above predestination; choice above chance. It is about finding your own work. This book is about YOU. In fact, you can open this small book (5-1/2 x 8 inches x 1/2 inch thick) anywhere, read four pages and swear they are writing about you (you're not alone). This book will get you out of your funk and into your studio to paint the way you have been born to paint. While reading this insightful and inspirational book, you will feel really good about being a "creative type!" We all have identical fears-- sorry, you're not that unique. You will be able to speak eloquently to yourself, your family and your friends.

    David Bayles' and Ted Orland's writing style is easy to read, understandable and relaxed. They do not do artspeak, phony babble or use big words. This must be your book if you want to move on and do art that is meaningful and significant to you. ...more info
  • Art and Fear Observations on the Perils nd Rewards of Artmaking
    This little handbook recognizes the terrible fear I face as a writer; that I am not good enough. It shines the spot light of reason upon the fear and makes me realize that " there is probably no clearer waste of psysic energy than worrying ab out how much talent you have--and probably no worry more common. " Read this book to remove the writer's block.
    I love it!
    ...more info
  • If you need to be coddled...
    ART AND FEAR, is a very good self help and motivational book. It's an easy read; you'll most likely finish it in one day. Because of its length I would recommend it to anyone. Short and sweet, how can you get hurt?

    What you'll find in these pages are things you already know. You know that art making is hard and that it takes hard work to get by. These authors are warm and have a great way of coddling their reader and letting them know it's a hard thing to be creative and that it takes self motivation and drive.

    If you are in need a reminder, this is the book for you.
    ...more info
  • A must read for ALL types of artists.
    This book is a great how-to manual for artists to navigate through the dicey waters of the art world, art school, or personal blocks to artmaking. It's great to have at hand when you are feeling uninspired, or nervous about making art. It's a good book to read in one sitting, great to flip through and read random passages as well.

    This Christmas, how about giving your artist friend/relative something other than a sketchbook or pencil set? You will have helped them more than you can know....more info
  • Sometimes maddening....
    I got a lot out of the first couple of chapters in this book, but more often than not, I was frustrated with the tone, the flow, and the style of writing. I sometimes stopped and asked myself, "What is the point they are trying to make?" It also had a sort of joyless and depressing tone. It was hard for me to finish. The language could have been more simple and flowing....it was a difficult read sometimes, and peppered with thoughts in parentheses.....frustrating. In all, it felt heavy and sad....more info
  • Labor of love, love of labor
    This book addresses flawed, fallible human readers, the ones who hopes to perfect craft despite their many and obvious imperfections. There is a lot to overcome: the inevitable gap between the vision and the actual result, the limits of materials and the difficulty of achieving their full potential, the times when inspiration seems to dry up, and the basic uncertainty that anyone will care about the eventual result. Even the term artist itself creates confusion, especially when capitalized into Artist. Self-doubt of myriad kinds creeps in: do I have enough (or any) talent? Am I just faking it? Why is it so hard for me, and so easy for everyone else?

    The authors take a tough love approach: No, it's not easy. Yes you will have doubts and dry spells. If you're any good as an artist, then you'll be painfully aware of the flaws in your work, even the flawed implementation of your initial vision, which only you can know. And, once you've created your work, there's the whole problem of public acceptance and approval (not the same thing). Getting into the galleries and getting sold creates whole new vistas of difficulty and doubt, since neither the gallery owners nor the hoped-for buyers have the same goals that you do.

    In the end, it comes down to some tiny core spark that the artist must have inside. It's not "natural talent" - maybe creation comes easily to the Mozarts of the world, but the authors address us mere mortals. That spark isn't some magical inspiration, either, since earning a living in art means you have to pay the rent whether inspired or not. That spark keeps the artist going when the world gives no reason to, and keeps the artist creating even when the magical Muse isn't there for inspirational hand-holding. In the end, the artist's human flaws aren't what defeats the art - they're what drives it. Seeing how each work falls short of perfection shows two things: it shows the flaws, of course, but it also shows a higher goal that could never have been seen otherwise.

    -- wiredweird...more info
  • Nothing is what happens while you think about making Art....
    When I picked up Art & Fear, it was for personal reasons. I didn't quite understand why it was so hard to continue to make increasingly great photographs without feeling so naked. When you have a pro who's work isn't quite as good as yours but, due to a website, confidence, and experience he manages to get a bit further, questions arise about why even trying. This book will answer those question. Esentially, Nothing is getting done while you look at and think about art you want to make of any kind.

    I enjoyed the read however found it difficult to continue at times due to the vast spread of artists they are trying to reach. [If you're interested, I found this book in the photography section of the bookstore.] I feel the approach was fair and there was plenty of great info for anyone in any contact with art (even at the level of a son or nephew who is an artist) Expectations are not causing the lower rating for this book as much as how I feel about the content not keeping me interested. The pages didn't grab me and keep me awake after 75% of it was finished. I felt like I was reading repetitive material. However, the messages that were redundant were nessisary. I would suggest this book to any artist. It's short and sweet but I may only suggest it to an avid reader due to the diffculty in completing it. Maybe it was inspiration that I wanted to put the book down so often at the end.... like... I got the point and there was no reason to continue. Regardless worth the read.

    If you know an artist, are trying to understand the difficulty in being one, or are an artist... this is for you... IF you're a reader! ...more info
  • FANTASTIC, inspiring read!
    This small book is a fabulous tool for artists of any medium. The authors explain motivations and thought processes behind the fears that keep artists from producing work. At times it felt like they had read my diary and then psychologically analyzed it! Any artist can benefit from this wonderful read....more info
  • One I turn to over and over again
    I am reading this book now for the third time and have purchased many copies for friends - a must for the bookshelf of anyone on a creative journey....more info
  • Art & Fear - a must read for any artist serious about their work
    Art & Fear was first published about 15 years ago. Since then it has become a classic and is a must read for any artist serious about their work. There is a chapter that will speak directly to you as an artist, regardless of your current circumstance.

    The topics are written for any artist regardless of medium or area of artistic interest. Whether you are a beginning artist or an old hand, this book is for you.
    ...more info
  • Now, I feel like I can move on with my work!
    I appreciate the author's effort to make its universal message apply to a wide spectrum of art disciplines.

    I'm a music composer and find myself torn between meeting the expectations of academia while trying to make music that I can feel good about. I have said before that I feel like an artistic surrogate birthing music that only serves the interest of the academic BORG. Any artist that feels trapped or paralyzed for whatever reason should definitely read this book.

    This book is not only focused and rehabilitative, but is also very funny and well paced.

    I recommend it highly!
    ...more info
  • The single best resource for working creative people
    Concise, revelatory, witty. My absolute favorite on the topic of creativity and the role of the artist in understanding his or her own process. An essential companion....more info
  • For anyone who aspires to be an artist
    I purchased this book quite some time ago. I have read it more than once since whenever I begin to doubt my abilities to paint and draw the book is there to aid me.
    The book is not a crutch or an easy way to do anything artistic. It is rather a way of knowing that the feelings we have are legitimate and shared by many who struggle to produce their art.
    When you can read words that are exactly what you are feeling at the time you begin to feel an ease that allows you to continue on your path.
    I would recommend this book to anyone who is attempting an artistic endeavor....more info
  • An Inspiring Read
    Experiencing a creative block? Read this book for the cure.
    This is an absolute must read for all artists and art lovers. The book is well written, easy to read, and quite inspiring. It eliminates all the fears of artmaking and explores the reasons why artists make art or not. This book makes a wonderful gift to patrons. It gives them a deep understanding of the art making process and will guarantee their appreciation of your art. This book should be required reading for all art students of all genre. Bravo! A great reference for artmaking without becoming a 'how to'. Quite impressive. You will read it over and over. ...more info
  • Fear no more!!!
    Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland is a Great read. I recommend it highly. This book gives form to truth, and inspired me beyond measure. The observations contained in Art & Fear were "right on," and will speak directly to the minds and hearts of any artist serious about their craft . Art & Fear should be required reading for anyone seeking to become the best artist they can be. If you are serious about creating meaningful art, buy it now! It's just that good....more info
  • Useful insight
    As a clinical psychologist, I have found Art and Fear valuable in my work with creative people. It is one of the few books I just went out and bought several copies of to loan patients. This book has been useful as we sort though the various obstacles that confront those who are moved to create. As an artist, I have found it valuable in my own work as well. I am comfortable recommending this book to anyone who takes creating art, music, literature, photography and the like seriously. And, of course, to anyone who wants to understand such people....more info
  • A must for every artists
    The best 122 pages you will ever read to inspire enlighten and give understanding to an artist life. Not a text book on how to create art or a highbrow telling you what is and is not art. Just pure down to earth truth of what an artist life is like. I read this book in three days between classes and working 40 hour week. As and artist reading Art & Fear I found my self speaking out loud in agreement with the text, which was some what funny in a public place. Anyway read it if you are an artist or know an artist or just want to know more about artist life. After I read Art & Fear I wrote this "When I in my studio and my work is following, the world is at peace, time falls away, heaven and hell are at my command until hunger and sleep over take me, then reality comes back" from William Mizell. And that how it feels

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  • Art & Fear
    A thoughtful and insightful guide to dealing with the various twists and turns of making art: from dealing with inner fears about success (or failure), how to keep doing art when others are critical of your style, how to get the most out of going to art school, and much more. A sweet little book to refer to when the going gets rough and you need someone to believe in you!...more info
  • Buy This
    I've never finished the book. It's so well written that all you need is in first three pages. Maybe all I need?

    I'm a painter. I know The Fear all too well. It's the one Hunter Thompson talks about in Fear and Loathing. You've just got to ride that wave- this book is some simple but excellent coaching.

    I have a quote from this book on screensaver that guilts me into the studio instead of wasting time online. Most days... ...more info
  • Know why you're reading this before you do

    Before you even buy this book, I believe you need to determine what you hope to get out of it.

    If you're hoping to identify with other artists who have faced doubts, fears and obstacles, you'll not be disappointed. This book delivers on its title: it is about ART & FEAR. It will describe where you are or have been. It could even help you stay there, if you choose.

    This book says it explores "the way art gets made", why it often does not, and the difficulties along the way. As such, it is, in its own words "observational", not instructive. So it is not a "How To" book. It is also analytical, though not necessarily insightful, so it's not intended for your next meditation. And though other reviewers have said otherwise, I wouldn't recommend this book to help rouse anyone from their creative slumber.

    If you're a practicing artist or would-be artist who is stuck, I don't believe this book will help free you. You may find identification or sympathy with other artists - maybe even justification - but not the inspiration, motivation or plain old instruction to get you going again.

    Better to read something that is designed to be instructive or inspiring. (One inspiring book that springs to mind is Denise Sherkerjian's UNCOMMON GENIUS which profiles 40 winners of the MacArthur Prize. These artists cross all creative disciplines, face numerous obstacles and still create. It says a lot worth listening to and applying to the process of creating.)

    I received ART & FEAR as a gift and read it as much out of curiosity as to honor the giver. I rated it 3 STARs because it (a.) has some good quotes, and (b.) helped me appreciate how differently I think about and respond to the doubt, ambiguity and chaos in my art. Compared to the Bayles & Orland landscape, I have more faith, trust and love in the process and the results of my creation. ...more info